The world we live in is automated. Technology continues to develop at a rapid pace. Companies often outsource needs. And inflation continues to rise. Compared to the world many of us grew up in, our environment today seems anything but stable. To thrive in present circumstances, workers must be flexible and adaptable. Indeed, millennials may be uniquely suited to thrive in the modern workplace.
How is it that millennials are at ease in this economy? Their work habits are different than earlier generations. Here’s how.
- Millennials expect to balance work and life. They have no intention on working for one company during their lifetime. In fact, they expect to be mobile. Working from home, a coffee house, the gym – it all works for them. In fact, they believe they are more effective working from home.
- And work hours? Definitely not normal! Working late into the night outside the normal business hours is just fine for millennials. They actually feel more productive!
- Moving on to the next opportunity is also their mantra. Most millennials don’t expect to be at their present job for more than three years. And many of them plan to work on their own in the very near future.
- This is the generation of free-lancers and entrepreneurs. Many millennials hope to turn their hobby into some kind of money-making venture. At the very least, they expect to supplement their income with some kind of business of their own.
- Millennials like to telework – and they are good at it! In fact, most millennials EXPECT to telework.
- The lines between personal and professional are blurring with this generation. Think about it. Smartphones make work a constant. Social media is used for both professional and casual posts. And research is done almost entirely through the internet!
If the millennials in your organization prefer video meetings, have a “side” job of some sort, prefer apartments to houses and believe office attendance is unnecessary – there’s a reason. Millennials grew up in a changing environment and are completely comfortable in one. Check out our tips for ideas on working with Millennials.
If you would like more information on training millennials and giving them the skills they need to become leaders, please give LMJA & Associates a call at 301-670-0051 or email us at Leah@LMJA.com.
- It’s a one-on-one relationship. If you want to work with millennials in an effective manner, get to know them! Where are they coming from and what do they want to do with their lives? What do they need to get there? Then help mentor or coach them to that goal.
- Provide training. It once was a given in our workforce, that we trained mid-level managers for the job. Diversity training, Communication skills, Team-building, Leadership skills – these are all training programs that were part of our workforce. They seemed to have disappeared over the last decade. And right when we need them the most! Equip your millennials with the skills they need to be leaders.
- Adopt frequent performance management reviews. You’ve heard the comments about how millennials were always given rewards – even when they weren’t on winning teams! Perhaps there’s some truth to that, because indeed, millennials like and need on-going performance management – not just a once-a-year review. Find a way to provide frequent feedback to the millennials in your workforce.
What happens when employees telework? Since telework has become an important organizational change, not only in the Federal Government but also in the private sector, it’s important for all organizations to envision the success of the effort and measure the results. In a recent report, “Status of Telework in the Federal Government – Report to Congress,” the US office of Personnel Management noted an improvement in employee attitude as a result of telework capabilities.
Measuring the Improvement in Employee Attitude. The Federal Employment Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) shows the potential for telework to influence important employee attitudinal and perceptual variables. The survey looked at employees who telework, those who don’t because of a barrier of some sort, and those who do not telework by choice. Demonstrated in the report is the value of autonomy – “I get to make the decision, to telework or not.” When employees have a choice, job satisfaction increases. Those employees who face barriers to telework reported lower job satisfaction scores. Typically, their attitudes toward the organization and their supervisors are less positive.
Academic research indicates that telework program participants are more likely to exhibit job satisfaction and improved performance. The FEVS survey noted similar findings. There was a larger percentage of teleworkers who reported satisfaction with their jobs than those who were not able to telework. In 2011, those figures were 75% vs 68%, and in 2012 the figures were 73% vs 65%. The survey seems to suggest that existence of telework policies benefits the entire workforce in indirect but positive ways.
In the 2012 FEVS survey, 68% of the respondents reported satisfaction with their jobs. And 15% reported dissatisfaction. The results also show that there is a decline in the percentage of job satisfied employees between 2012 (68% ) and 2011 (71%). This general decline is also reflected in a comparison of teleworker job satisfaction data – reporting 68% job satisfaction in 2011 and 65% in 2012.
Please click on the chart below for more information on job satisfaction.
In order for Teleworking to be successful, there should be a plan. When there is, it’s obvious that the agency wants it to work. Certainly, they don’t want telework to negatively impact careers. We uncovered a few tips for successful teleworking.
- Keep your work relationships intact. Touch base with your team members often. Reschedule your commuting days as needed. Get feedback weekly from your supervisor. And make sure he/she knows your career goals.
- Keep your career on track. Make the important meetings, even if it means changing your schedule. Be flexible. And review your emails – be sure they are tactful and diplomatic. Update your status often and take credit when it’s appropriate. Be clear about your career goals.
- Set rules. It’s easy to be too available at home. It’s up to you to set work hours, when and how you can be interrupted and what areas are off-limits. And while you’re setting rules, make a schedule and stick to it. When you telework, it’s easy to slack off without thinking, or you can become a workaholic. Neither option is good. Balancing your work and home life, as much as you can, will make you happier and more productive. And your telework plan will be successful.
In a report to the Congress on the status of telework in the Federal Government, efforts to promote telework were reported. READ MORE on the effectiveness of agency-wide telework efforts.