Millennials… the most mysterious, most prolific and most misunderstood generation of all time. So much so that at WORKshift we just about bought into the hype that workplaces needed to create flexwork friendly cultures to accommodate them. We promoted it. We lied. Well, only kind of.
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe
Millennials are the “generation” that (according to the most widely agreed upon definition) spans about a 30-year period and would include both a bearded, tattooed hipster and a 4-year-old learning to ride her first bike. Wait- what? Yes, it’s one whopper of a “generation”.
So a team of 30 and 40 somethings got together and decided we would take the bull by the horns and try to understand what differentiates employed Millennials (we’ll leave the 4 years out of it for now) from their other peers. We launched a Canadian research study in the spring designed to segment working Canadians into neat little boxes based on employee engagement, drivers, demands and attitudes about the workplace.
Guess what? We did it! We were able to segment Canadian employees into 5 very distinct boxes which are actually quite useful for an organizational leader to use when evolving the workplace. Guess what else? None of them are age-related.
We were not able to identify a single uniquely-Millennial data point in the research.
So what does this mean? It means we kind of lied. We have been saying that employers need to embrace workplace flexibility because Millennials want it. What we should be saying is that you need to embrace workplace flexibility because EVERYBODY wants it.
The research showed us that one of the best predictors for employee engagement is the availability of flexibility and in fact, active disengagement grows by a whopping 50% without it. Here’s what our research lead (and an expert on employee engagement) has to say about it:
So, throw away your “Millennial Strategy” and start working on your flexible work program!