Often criticized as spoiled, impatient and, most of all, entitled, more Millennials are entering the work force, and companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands with faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules, much to the annoyance of older coworkers who feel they have spent years paying their dues to rise up the ranks.
Millenials, also known as Generation Y or simply Gen Y, are defined as those born in the 1980′s and 1990′s. Employers say concessions are necessary to retain the best and brightest of this generation as they bring fresh skills to the workplace: they are tech savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected and collaborative. And smart companies realize they need to keep their employee pipelines full as baby boomers enter retirement. Gen Y workers are estimated to comprise more than 40 percent of the workforce by 2020, far out-numbering any other generation.
Millennials shun bureaucracy and the lack of co-worker communication, preferring to utilize their talents to the fullest. Some companies have eliminated middle management in order to give younger workers more exposure to projects. Some have even introduced unlimited vacation policies, which according to these companies has not been abused.
When Millennials don’t feel they are making a contribution to the company quickly, they move on. A 2010 research study found that while baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 cited work ethic, respectfulness and morals as their defining qualities, Millennials chose technology, music and pop culture, and liberal leanings, as well as superior intelligence and clothing as their defining qualities, prioritizing lifestyle over salary. They foresee changing careers often during their lifetimes.
With Gen Y workers firmly entrenched in the workforce, the future for companies in general appears to be bright, as this generation is digitally savvy and connected to the consumers they will be marketing to.