How Can Employers Adapt the Workplace to Engage the Millennial Workforce?

31st May 2016

Mobile HR and payroll software

There has been a shift in the workforce over recent years so that Millennials, the generation aged from 18 to 34, are now in the majority. They are now predicted to make up more than half the workforce by 2020. Employers are asking themselves how they can fully engage this generation, and one way is to make full use of technology, including mobile devices. Mobile HR and payroll software, such as IRIS FMP’s Amity solution, is likely to appeal to this age group in particular, due to familiarity with other applications they may use or have used.

Since computers have become an ever greater part of our everyday lives in recent years, Millennials are a generation which has grown up with technology. They have quickly become accustomed to making full use of the wide range of apps available for smartphones and tablets, and often use email, texting and social media messaging as the quickest ways to keep in touch with people.

Partly as a result of the growth in social media and texting, the younger generation also tends to take a more informal approach, both in and out of the office. This means it can often be off-putting for this generation if companies are unnecessarily formal, for instance by making colleagues call each other “Mr” and “Mrs”, or requiring staff to wear three-piece suits in the office.

Ways to Engage Millennials

Trust and Respect – Younger members of the workforce are generally keen to feel there is a culture of trust in the workplace. It is motivating for them to feel that their efforts are being recognised, rather than there being an old-style hierarchy in which younger employees’ views are not given due weight. Obviously salaries are one key element here, but it also drives engagement if you feel that you are a valued member of the team and being given responsibility and consulted about your opinions and ideas.

Training – Being offered in-work training on an ongoing basis is likely to encourage younger employees to stay with an organisation and make progress in-house rather than moving on. In the current jobs climate, it is important for Millennials to feel they are gaining new skills and giving themselves scope to take advantage of opportunities which may present themselves in the future. Few of this generation will expect to stay in one job for life, so it is essential to keep developing in a way which will “build their CVs” for when they do move on.

Technology – Because they have grown up using digital technology, younger people tend to be experts in using all kinds of devices and are often more skilled in these areas than older colleagues. Employees in their teens and 20s may prefer using email to phoning or attending meetings, because of the way it saves time and gets straight to the point. It is often a good idea to get input from younger people on which apps and programs could be particularly useful in their work, and be prepared to take their opinions on board when arranging workflows and systems.

Depending on the type of industry they work in, Millennials are frequently happy to work on the go, embracing mobile technology and checking work emails while out and about. This means that employee self-service and mobile HR solutions are likely to be something this age group is enthusiastic about using. IRIS FMP Amity provides cloud based HR systems including payroll software with a high degree of flexibility, which is completely device independent and can be used via a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The only requirement is that the device provides access to a browser.

Flexibility – Flexible working often appeals to younger workers, who may prefer to do a different shift pattern which fits in with other elements of their lives rather than the traditional 9 to 5. This may be helpful if, for example, they are taking a course at the same time as working. The use of mobile technology can also make it easier to operate this type of arrangement.

Informality – Many Millennials prefer to work in places with a more relaxed atmosphere, where they can dress informally. Obviously, individuals differ and so do workplaces, and for some types of job, for instance in roles where you meet the public, it is essential for staff to wear smart clothes. Some young people will be motivated by dressing up and working in a fast-moving atmosphere, but many will still enjoy having the opportunity for “dress-down Fridays”.

However, informality is not just a case of dress, but also the whole approach of a workplace. This could include more informal meeting styles, perhaps having shared desk areas or part of the office laid out with beanbags and soft seating for brainstorming sessions, rather than traditional meetings. It is also about a mindset, being open to new ideas and willing to do things in different ways, rather than sticking to the way in which they have always been done.

IRIS FMP Amity is geared to assist this age group as well as to staff of all ages, to make it easy to access mobile HR and payroll software from wherever you are. For more information on how IRIS FMP Amity can work for your company or organisation, see our product guide.