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Working with Millenials

Audit and Improve / Monday 4th of September 2017

As part of an ongoing project to keep our Knowledge Base up to date and relevant, we have been re-looking at each clause of the ISO 9001:2015 Standard and challenging our interpretation of them and how we might add more value to understanding.

But please don’t just stop reading because you are not interested in ISO 9001.

One section is about Resources, and of course the most important resource for any organisation is its people.

Simply, the standard asks whether you have adequate numbers of competent (educated, trained and/ or experienced) people to work in your operations to provide goods and services to satisfied customers.

Maybe you do, maybe not. But that’s an internal discussion!

But it is interesting to also think about, in addition to their skills and experience, what your employees needs and aspirations are from you as an organisation. Particularly, the younger members of your teams.

For a start, half the worlds population is under 30 years of age. So, this group represents not only 50% of the market for goods and services, but a significant proportion of the global workforce. For example, even in a developed economy such as the USA, by 2020, 46% of the workforce will be “Millenials

They may be lacking in decades of experience and so perhaps have less ability with craft based skills or complex decision making. But, they will have grown up in a world of computers (email, spreadsheets, smartphones, apps) and are prepared for the next technological advances (robotics, autonomous vehicles and an increasingly joined up world “the internet of things (IoT)”.

After all, millenials will represent a significant slice of competent (educated, trained, experienced) employees during the 21st Century.

In addition to the skills they have, they also have aspirations about lifestyle, opportunities and the world in which they live. And the evidence shows that these views are challenging the world of work.

They have a clearer view what they want to do and the corporate culture in which they work. Figures here from the USA, suggest that they are prepared to forego some $8000 a year to work in an organisation which meets their cultural expectations.

The organisation, its workplace and culture may appeal to employees; or it may not. If it doesn’t then they are unlikely to contribute fully or even stay. Research shows that as a generation, Millenials are generally more disatisfied with their jobs than previous generations, the Baby Boomers and the Generation X.

But, they also have a broader view on how an employer should act and outside work, what is important to them from society. Putting something back into society comes high up their agenda.

More recently, the World Economic Forum has looked at what issues in society are important to Millenials and young people. There are some really interesting insights, here.

So, when it comes to attracting the right young people for your organisation, regardless of role or responsibility, it looks like they will have a personal worldview and opinion of what the world of work and society looks like for them.

As the introduction to a Report by Achieve Consulting Inc stated,

“We don’t study Millennials because they’re a part of the culture, we study them because they’re defining the culture.”

But while your organisational recruitment, career progression and culture may or may not take demographics into account currently; if you want the right young people, perhaps you should try and think like a millennial?

At Spedan, we believe that sustainable organisations are those that innovate and continually improve. That is why we Inform, Support and Sustain.