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The Millennial and Generation Z Workforce

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Published on 07 May 2019

By 2020, Millennials and Generation Z will make up over half of the UK workforce.



Millennials (also known as Generation Y), are those born between 1980 and the late nineties while Gen Z includes those born between the late nineties and now. A shift in generations throughout the workforce will drastically change business operations and communication methods in all departments. Although Gen Z has only emerged into the current workforce in recent years, Millennials are well and truly integrated and have demanded changes that all businesses should consider onboarding.


Consider our top four motivators for Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace:

1.Opportunities for Advancement
Millennials and Gen Z almost always need to know that they will have the potential to progress within their company. The prospect of a high salary is no longer enough for our Millennials and Gen Z. With employees demanding change, businesses must adapt by giving these generations a sense of short-term job security, and a clearly outlined plan for where they might see themselves in the upcoming three to four years. Millennials and Gen Z’s desire for constant change means the stereotypical view of job security takes less of a priority in comparison to historic needs of Generation X and Baby Boomers.

2.Recognition and Frequent Conversation
Similarly to having a clear career path, Millennials and Gen Z prefer to work towards short-term goals that allow them to feel that they are making progress. Millennials in particular have a desire to confirm that their workload not only has a purpose but is also being accomplished correctly. Resultantly, regular reviews and feedback on their work is reassuring and helps employees of any age to feel valued within a company.

3.Flexibility for Work/Life Balance
In the past, classic office setups and 9 – 5 working hours were to be expected. Nowadays, younger generations are motivated by fulfilling roles that enable them to achieve goals but also offer flexibility and mobility. Advances in technology mean that catering for this growing need is becoming dramatically easier for businesses. The companies that are willing to offer this to their employees will find that talented candidates are drawn to them and will work more productively knowing their employers are flexible and sensitive to employee needs.

4.Work Culture and Collaboration
56% of Berry Recruitment’s head office employees reported that they feel the greatest amount of motivation when they are on a vocal and collaborative team. Gone are the days where email alone can cut it as a core method of communication between not only employees but also various stakeholders. Although, Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with the convenience of technology, research shows that instant messaging and social media are not these generations’ first choice of communication and face-to-face interaction is much more popular, even if it means capitalizing on the use of video call rather than long email chains.

While changing business practices may seem to be a great deal of work, by 2017, 93% of businesses had already planned to make a design change over the coming years to cater for generational workforce changes. It is true that employees of all generations can adjust their behavior to a degree depending on the employer’s culture and practice; however, businesses that struggle or choose not to adapt to the needs of their employees may eventually get left behind.



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The Millennial and Generation Z Workforce