Insights Blog

Millennials: the Change Agent to Shape the Workplace of the Future

Posted by Bruce O'Neel on August 3, 2016 Topics: Serving the Enterprise

family-time-small.jpgHow does more vacation or personal time sound?  What about the chance to have more time to spend with family after the birth or adoption of a child?  These benefits are becoming reality for leading-edge U.S. employers today, and of course, employees like the idea of more flexibility when it comes to balancing work with the rest of their life activities. 

In many ways, the United States is migrating employee care practices to reflect benefits like the United Kingdom and Europe have enjoyed for years, and much of the change is designed to appeal to the a new generation of workers – the Millennials.  Born between 1982 – 2004, Millennials in general are known to want more flexibility from their working environment and office hours.  They also crave autonomy and the ability to “climb the ladder” faster than the generations that came before them. This is an innovative group that craves real-time activities and lives on social media.

But what about as this generation ages – how will their needs change?  When thinking about retaining the Millennial worker, today is important, but so is tomorrow.

CNN Money tells us that according to a survey by LinkedIn, the new normal is for Millennials to change jobs four times in their first decade out of college.  Eventually though, many Millennials will start families and may seek to make a longer commitment to an employer while they develop ways to balance the working parent lifestyle. 

For most people, this lifestyle involves a dance between deadlines and daycares, long hours and competing priorities.  As an employer, it’s important to not only recognize these struggles, but to offer a working environment that helps support the worker during the exciting and challenging time in their lives.

Some of the most progressive employers in the country have not only discovered this, but have put new policies into place that offer employees support during the changes in their lives so that they can return to work more focused and dedicated, according to Business Insider.

Are progressive employee benefits such as extended parental leave benefits and unlimited vacation time right for every company?  How do you know if these leave programs make good sense for the business as well as the people who support it?

In January, 2017 our company, CSG International, will put into effect a progressive parental leave and generous vacation policies for our employees.  In championing these programs, we asked three key questions to determine their fit for our business:

  1. What are the key traits of the employees we want to attract? In our case, our company innovates new technologies for revenue and customer experience management in the telecommunications and entertainment industries.  A vibrant workforce with the latest knowledge of working with technologies in the cloud is a critical complement to the current makeup of our teams.  As a result, we prioritized aligning our benefits with other progressive innovators in the industry.
  1. What do we want our company culture to say about us as a business? Our external business is focused on innovation, so our internal culture needs to reflect that as well.  To further build out a culture of innovation, we needed progressive change, and chose policies that are in line with the standout benefits that attract and retain top talent at some of the technology industry’s leading companies such as Netflix, Google, PayPal, Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook and Adobe.
  1. What impact will more generous leave benefits have on the business? Based on annual trends, we expect expanded parental leave benefits to apply to less than 5% of our workforce each year.  Yes, there is a cost implication to rolling out a policy of this kind, but we believe that investing in our employees today can build a longer lasting relationship that will benefit the company well into the future.

In many ways, setting a priority on attracting innovative, Millennial workers will create a ‘lifestyle’ that extends throughout our entire employee base.  Having an innovation mindset shifts how we think and what we do, and has led to expanding opportunities for our employees to balance their working and personal lives.

So perhaps as the Millennial generation shakes up expectations of what a workplace can and should be, they are improving working conditions for us all – building new synergies between work and vacation, between growing families and climbing the ladder.  I look forward to the next chapter they will write in the American workplace.

If you like to drive business transformation, challenge the status quo and be part of an international company that lives its core values, explore the possibilities of achieving your full potential at CSG International (NASDAQ: CSGS) visit our website at www.csgi.com or send me a message directly at Bruce O'Neel.

 

Bruce O'Neel

Bruce is the vice president Total Rewards and HR Operations at CSG International