Join today’s Millennial Misunderstanding webinar

Don’t forget: You can join us for a discussion on the Millennial misunderstanding–one the major themes of our research program–today at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

During the webinar, Ed Cone will present the findings of our research and ask for insights from Deloitte’s Deborah Cole and SAP’s David Swanson. Do Millennials need to be managed differently than other workers? Do Millennials actually care less about competitive compensation? Are Millennials getting the training they need at work?

Interested? Register here.

The Millennial career path

People are afraid that their jobs are going to leave them behind. Obsolescence is a serious concern for employees everywhere—even for Millennials just starting out in their careers. 40% of Millennials say this is a top job concern, and fewer than half say the skills they have today will be what’s needed in their jobs in three years.

Millennials are no more likely than non-Millennials to say they will have advanced skills in key technical areas like cloud, analytics, and programming and development—but they are looking to improve their performance through feedback and other development opportunities. In fact, Millennials expect feedback 50% more often than other workers, and many say development-related benefits would increase their loyalty.

Millennial development

Skills development for Millennials is a key part of planning for the workforce of tomorrow, closely tied to leadership and succession planning. For more on the wants and need of Millennials—and how companies are preparing to meet them—register for Wednesday’s webinar on the Millennial Misunderstanding.

Join us next Wednesday for a webinar on Millennials

Next Wednesday, November 12, join us for a discussion on the Millennial misunderstanding–one the major themes of our research program.

As we’ve discussed on the blog, our Workforce 2020 surveys reveal that when it comes to work, Millennials are not so different than their older colleagues.

During the webinar, Ed Cone will present the findings of our research and ask for insights from Deloitte’s Deborah Cole and SAP’s David Swanson. Do Millennials need to be managed differently than other workers? Do Millennials actually care less about competitive compensation? Are Millennials getting the training they need at work?

Join us Wednesday at 10 am PT/1 pm ET for answers to these questions and others. You can register here.

The Millennial Misunderstanding

Much has been said about what Millennials want most from work, but our research suggests that some of these ideas are not entirely accurate. It’s not that softer benefits like finding personal meaning in work don’t matter to Millennials, but that these things matter as much or more to older workers. In fact, it may be that non-Millennials are the group that’s more misunderstood.

Millennial myths Oct 27

Millennials and older workers place the same value on most workplace benefits and incentives. For both groups, competitive compensation is the most important factor in determining job satisfaction.

Millennial priorities October 27

But our surveys do reveal one substantial difference between Millennials and older workers—the younger people expect more feedback. In fact, they expect feedback 50% more often than other employees. They are also more likely to say they get their professional development from formal training at work, and less likely to say they use self-directed learning.

So while companies should offer the same benefits and incentives to all employees, they should understand that their younger employees require extra help in terms of feedback and development.

Millennials are different, but not as different as companies think

Executives are concerned about Millennials entering the workforce, yet they aren’t making any special plans for managing them. Although 51% of executives say Millennials entering the workforce significantly affects workforce strategy, fewer than one-third of executives say they are giving special attention to their particular wants and needs.

And perhaps they don’t need to: There are many myths about what Millennials want most from work—which is not so different from what non-Millennials want.

Millennial myths Oct 6

But while Millennials have many of the same wants and needs at work as their older coworkers, they do need be managed differently, in terms of feedback and development. Nearly one-third of Millennials say they expect more feedback on their performance than they currently receive—and they want it more often than non-Millennials.

You can read more about Millennials in our research report, and this article from the Wall Street Journal.

2020 Workforce news roundup

The Shifting American Workforce: Growing Legions of Freelancers and Independent Contractors (Inquisitr): Dependence on non-payroll workers is growing quickly. Though labor statistics can’t tell us exactly how many freelancers are in the workforce, we’ll need to have a better sense of these figures soon—especially as increasing reliance on these workers changes HR strategy.

Women should ‘man up’ for male-dominated fields (Economic Times): According to researchers from Michigan State University, women who described themselves with masculine traits in an experiment were more likely to be considered fit for a job than those who used traditionally feminine descriptors.

New graduates still prefer to work for state-owned firms (South China Morning Post): An annual survey of about 48,000 people conducted by shows substantial changes from last year’s results. Among them? This year, many more say they would rather start their own business than be employed by someone else, and salary expectations are rising. Despite changes, new graduates are still quite likely to say state-owned firms are their first choices for employment.

Millennials: Hard to define, like any other generation

When we set out to survey employees across 27 countries, we wanted to learn what sets Millennials apart from older employees at work. What we found is that Millennials are not so different from non-Millennials, especially when it comes to job satisfaction.

But that’s not how Millennials are typically perceived in the media—this past weekend, The New York Times published a story on the vast store of articles on Millennials, many of which portray the generation as self-entitled and narcissistic in life and at work. However, the article also calls on the Pew Research Center’s 2010 reports on Millennials, which point to a generation far more complex than most think.

Millennials may be complex and difficult to define, like any other generation—but our research points to commonalities in the way Millennials and older workers perceive work and job satisfaction. More of our results to come when our research program launches next month.    

Millennial myths

Results of our employee survey show that many of the conventional beliefs about younger workers may not be true. Millennials—who made up half of employee survey respondents—are thought to care more than older workers about making a positive difference in the world through their work, achieving work/life balance, and leaving for their next job—none of which may be accurate. It isn’t that Millennials don’t care about these things—it’s that other workers care just as much.

But Millennials do need to be managed differently in terms of feedback and development. Nearly one-third say they expect more feedback than they currently receive, and without the advantage of having many years’ worth of contacts, they rely on mentoring and development at work instead of outside the organization.

Accommodating Millennials’ desire for more feedback and development opportunities would not just satisfy Millennials—it would help push companies forward and prepare for the workforce of the future.

2020 Workforce news roundup

Debunking the myth that jerk bosses get results (FastCompany): Bosses like Steve Jobs and Gordon Ramsey earned notoriety for their harsh treatment of employees—and plaudits for getting results. This article argues that such leaders are successful in spite of, not because of, their attitudes.

The skills leaders need at every level (Harvard Business Review): When HBR asked 332,860 bosses, peers, and subordinates what skills are most important to a leader’s success, the top qualities were very consistent, suggesting that the core competencies required of leaders do not change as they move up the corporate ladder. Developing those traits throughout your career, and always preparing for the skills you’ll need at the next level, may be a key to success.

Employees using social media before making any career move (The Economic Times): A new Kelly Services report says that employees are increasingly using social media to learn specifics about companies, including workplace conditions and reputation, before putting in applications.

Millennials at Work: Young and Callow, Like Their Parents (The New York Times): Many think that Millennials are unprepared, lazy, and difficult to manage—but that doesn’t make them any different from the generations that preceded them.

More on Millennials in the workforce

As our 2020 Workforce surveys head toward completion, one the more interesting preliminary findings is that Millennials, however different they may be from older workers in some ways, are a lot like them when it comes to workplace topics – and their bosses may not understand these similarities and differences very well. More on those topics soon.

Meanwhile, another look at the generation entering the workforce: Bentley University’s program to prepare recent graduates for the job market. Built on a survey about “the ‘why, what, and how’ behind the millennial generation’s challenges in the 21st century workplace,” the PreparedU program looks to help younger workers succeed in their careers as well as inspire leaders in education and business to encourage and support them as they enter the workforce.

You can see a slideshow here: