By 2020 Millennials Will Represent 40% of the Workforce. Are You Ready?

Industry experts predict that more than 86 million millennials will be in the workplace by 2020—representing a full 40% of the total working population.

Is your workplace a talent magnet for Millennials?

The best workplaces find ways to integrate their organization’s culture and mission. Unfortunately, most corporate offices appear and function much like they did 50 years ago.  Workstations or desks neatly lined up in long rows, conference rooms with tables, chairs and perhaps a whiteboard, and a limited number of coveted hard-walled “window” offices for executives.  Many have added coffee shops, cafes, fitness centers and walking trails.  But the space does not align with the social business transformation that’s taking place across the globe or the growing demands of millennials. HR needs to take the lead in creating a workplace that promotes collaboration, work-life integration and a work-from-anywhere culture.

Collaboration vs. Competition

Eighty eight percent of millennials surveyed prefer a collaborative work-culture vs. a competitive culture.  Collaborative work cultures are based on trust, transparency, open communication, role clarity and a common vision/purpose.  It’s important to codify relationships between decision rights, accountability and rewards and ensure that all levels of the organization embrace it.

Work-life Integration vs. Work-life Balance

We live in a 24/7 fully connected world and business professionals have to blend their personal and professional lives to make both work.  The shift from “work-life balance” to “work-life integration” has been fueled by technology as well as the blurred boundaries between work and family time. Many employees are willing to trade off working later at night so that they can attend a soccer game or other events that are important to them, or their family.  HR needs to encourage leaders to be open to flexible work schedules as well as openly discussing ways to blend demands.

Work from Anywhere

Work is what we do, not where we are.  Organizations need to adapt to a more social and mobile environment, and allow engagement and innovation to surface.  Over 30 million Americans work from home at least one day a week, and millions of others are answering emails from coffee shops, parked cars or other personal settings. Collaboration tools link virtual teams creating more learning opportunities that increase competitiveness and the bottom-line.

What do you think are the best ways to meet the workplace challenges of the future?  How is your company shifting to accommodate the unprecedented number of millennials entering the workforce?  I look forward to your comments.

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Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner is an experienced change agent and Senior Vice President with Roberts Golden Consulting. She helps global Fortune 500 companies solve organizational issues and manage major changes to drive achievement of bold business objectives. Lisa is passionate about football, fitness, decorating and raising twin boys. Connect with Lisa.

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