Consumer Insights

Millennials Are Making Companies Think Twice

Companies have had the better part of six decades to get to know their Baby Boomer employees and give them what they need to stay happy, healthy and, most importantly, as productive as possible. But how are those same businesses doing with millennials?

According to Reuters, that's asking the wrong question because most companies are just now starting to adapt to a workforce that's comprised of a majority of millennials. Kip Kelly, director of public programs at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, told Reuters that the dynamic of retiring Baby Boomers and graduating millennials is producing a rapid change in workforce demographics across the country.

"[Millennials] are already having a dramatic impact on companies, forcing changes that I think are long overdue," Kelly said. "When millennials first started coming into the workforce, companies knew that they were different, but they didn't have to adapt. Now, as more Boomers leave and more millennials work their way in, they have to adjust."

How have companies been adjusting to the preferences of their suddenly younger employees? Added amenities seem to be a popular choice, including travel stipends, paid maternity and paternity leave and generous relocation assistance packages, like Facebook's $10,000 pleas to get more employees living near its Silicon Valley HQ.

However, some think that millennials are attracted by more than simple creature comforts that may have assuaged their parents' generation. In fact, Claudia Healy, vice president of global talent acquisition and development at Verizon, told Forbes that companies need to adopt a top-level worldview if they ever hope to approach millennial employees on their terms.

“What attracts anybody, but in particular millennials, is feeling like you are part of something bigger and that you can make an impact," Healy said.

Adjusting employee benefits packages is one thing, but if companies are suddenly confronted with the need to adjust their corporate philosophies to attract top millennial talent, there may be some growing pains along the way.

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