Millennials — those born after 1980 — change jobs more often than the average worker, and this is just one of the characteristics of the new generation of workers that will force performance management tactics to change in the coming years.
“Reinventing the Performance Review,” a new report by Namely.com, indicates that by 2020, Millennials will make up about 50 percent of the workforce as they replace retiring baby boomers.
This sea change will bring about massive changes in not only the workforce itself, but in how that workforce is managed, since Millennials have a different view of what the work environment should be than the generations that came before. This in part explains why Millennials change jobs about every three years, while the average worker today changes jobs every 4.6 years.
This high turnover rate exemplifies the different mindset of the generation, which is less focused on money, with pay described as only a “secondary concern” for many.
“Millennials concentrate more on doing something they find meaningful; they are primed to do well by doing good,” finds the report. Therefore, one change that must be made in current human resource systems are elements that capture employee motivations. According to a 2012 study by WorldatWork, Loyola University Chicago and Hay Group, the key elements in employee engagement are “career planning, work/life balance and quality of work.”
But how the generation works is different, as well, and the workers expect a different form of feedback. Workers will increasingly prefer flat organizations where they can solve problems in a creative team, as well as on their own. Because of these work habits, 80 percent of Millennials want real-time feedback, and they want it from multiple team members they have worked with closely to receive the most effective reviews of their work, not in the form of a once-a-year review from a manager they barely know.
Though many more Millennials will be entering the workplace in the coming years, their presence is felt already in forward-thinking workplaces. Perhaps the most notable example of the new workplace culture is Google, which has culture guidelines stating that offices should be “designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams.” The company also offers well-known perks, such as free meals and the ability for employees to work on their own projects, aside from their daily tasks.
On the other hand, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer caused a stir recently when she ended all telecommuting at the company, a practice she took from her time at Google. But, according to USA Today, almost 10 percent of U.S. workers work from home today, and the ability to work from home for at least part of the week is an important factor for Millennials considering jobs.
These examples illustrate the push and pull we’ll likely see between the different sets of values and company culture expectations between Baby Boomers and Millennials in the coming years.