It has been three years since millennials — i.e. people born between the early 1980s and late 1990s — officially surpassed Generation X to comprise the biggest share of the U.S. labor market. And by 2019, millennials are expected to overtake the Boomers as the largest living adult generation.
In light of this seismic demographic shift, over the past few years enterprises have focused on making their workplace more “millennial-friendly”, so they can onboard the talent they need to succeed in the short-run — and survive in the long-run. Yet, while some enterprises are succeeding in their recruitment and retention efforts, many others scrambling. And it’s even more challenging for firms in high-growth industries like IT, healthcare, and financial services, where finding qualified millennials is often more difficult than finding profitable customers.
However, enterprises that find themselves struggling to attract and keep millennials may be surprised — if not stunned — to realize that one of the biggest obstacles they face isn’t based in the external labor market. Instead, it’s rooted in their bulky, bloated and certifiably millennial-unfriendly project management software. Here are the three biggest flaws:
- The project management software doesn’t support flexible working arrangements.f
The Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2017 resoundingly confirmed what has long-since been known: millennials are all-in when it comes to flexible work arrangements. And this goes beyond flexible roles and responsibilities. They also want flexibility over where and when they work. As noted by Deloitte’s researchers: “[millennials] employed where flexible working is highly embedded are twice as likely to say it has a positive impact on organizational performance and personal well-being.”
- The project management software imposes a command-and-control style
Millennials have little tolerance for an old school command-and-control management style, where upper-floor managers make decisions, and on-the-ground workers obediently carry them out day after day, week after week, year after year.
Rather, millennials need (it’s not merely a want) an egalitarian vs. hierarchical workplace that is characterized by inclusivity and transparency, and in which the employer-employee relationship is interdependent vs. isolated. There must a tacit awareness that everyone must succeed to their full potential — executives and interns alike — or nobody can.
- The project management software doesn’t drive engagement.
Millennials are arguably much more down-to-earth than their Boomer and Gen X predecessors and colleagues, because they recognize that engagement sparks an emotional connection that not only makes the work experience better, but it makes employees more capable and valuable.
In other words: millennials know that engagement gives them leverage, leverage gives them power, and power gives them control over a career path that could last another five or even six decades. Demanding engagement isn’t an immature or unrealistic thing. It’s smart, strategic and very shrewd.
The Bottom Line
Millennials are passionately — and sometimes defiantly — idealistic, and they take everything personally. But they’re also pragmatic and calculated, and easily look past what an employer says they’ll do, so they can evaluate what they’re actually doing.
Enterprises that (quickly) replace their bloated and bulky project management software with a millennial-friendly solution can deliver on their promise of a more flexible, more democratic and more engaging workplace — which will go a long way towards recruiting, retaining and developing the talent they need to succeed and grow for decades to come.
Clarizen: Trusted by Enterprises, Loved by Millennials
Clarizen’s cloud-based portfolio and project management solution is trusted by leading enterprises — and loved by millennials — around the world for its award-winning ability to create a work environment that:
- Supports flexible and remote working, while enhancing productivity, performance and results.
- Enables 360-degree visibility and transparency for a dynamic sense-and-respond vs. static command-and-control style.
- Drives engagement through a suite of powerful, yet easy-to-use and customizable tools that can be accessed from any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
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