Why HR Software is Crucial for Managing Millennials


The talent in businesses, from SMEs to big corporates, is increasingly made up of Millennials. But why are many businesses struggling to hang on to their greatest assets? Millennials get a bit of bad press as being lazy, fickle and narcissistic. As a general rule, Millennials are laid-back, but have a rebellious nature. The facts is, they move on easily.

There are many complex arguments about why Millennials behave in this way. Businesses need to better understand them and develop strategies to boost loyalty if they want to hang on to the talent required for success. Millennials will after all make up the majority of the workforce for the coming decades.

So, who are the Millennials, and what can businesses do to keep them on board and get the best out of them? HR software is just one tool essential for managing a Millennial workforce. Read on to find out more about Millennials, their work behaviour, and why HR software is crucial for managing them.

The Millennial workforce

Much has been written about the generation of workers termed the Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000). They have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a different outlook and a different set of expectations than any other generation before.

Technological advancements and globalisation have given Millennials a different set of experiences than their parents. They have a strong affinity with technology; they are plugged-in 24/7. They shop differently. They want access (services) rather than ownership on big-ticket items such as cars and luxury goods. They also care about where their food and other products have come from.

Millennials are living at their parents for longer; they're not in a hurry to settle down and buy property. Employment wise, they are more inclined to work for employers that engage with social issues. They want to contribute to society.

Millennials' behaviour

Millennials have a thirst for knowledge. They are creative and full of innovative ideas. They are optimists, risk takers, and are naturally in tune with technology. They've grown up with fast-moving technological change like no other generation before them. They don't like set schedules and prefer flexible working hours. They are fast-paced and appreciate that quality is better than quantity.

Millennials behave differently to previous generations in the workplace and they have different needs. Many businesses are finding it difficult to adapt. There are reasons why organisations like Apple and Google are so popular with Millennials. These corporate giants have transformed their company culture into one that acknowledges and nurtures the needs of Millennials and allows them to breathe.

The growth in CSR (corporate social responsibility) is also being driven largely by the Millennials. They care more about social issues. Millennials are a generation looking for more than just a salary. Corporate social responsibility is important to them. The Millennials socially responsible ideals are driving CSR from within businesses and in the market place. Millennials are socially responsible consumers too. Businesses need to understand that in the future ethical policies will be expected as standard.

The role of HR software in managing Millennials

Out of date, paper heavy HR systems don't cater to Millennials' needs. Rigid set procedures and standards are a mega turn-off for Millennials. Innovative HR systems, such as that offered by BreatheHR online HR software, are forward thinking, automating HR tasks for greater efficiency (a definite plus for Millennials), and creating a company culture that encourages feedback, praise and staff development.

An article in the Huffington Post on Why Adapting to Millennials Could Give You a Competitive Edge, the argument for managing Millennials in a different way is compelling. “Millennials want frequent feedback and expect opportunities based on merit, not length of tenure. Although this can seem needy, even entitled, to some older workers, there's growing evidence that the traditional review system is broken.

"Some companies like Microsoft and Kelly Services are moving towards more flexible, employee-driven systems which get rid of ratings and include regular dialogue throughout the year." Forward-thinking HR software has the capacity to support this change in direction.

Research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP predicts the role of HR will undergo fundamental change by 2020 as a result of flexible working and the rise in the importance of social capital and relationships. HR will become the heart of the organisation with a wider remit, including being the driver of CSR. It needs a system that has the capacity to connect to other systems, streamlines tasks, and provides an easy self-service interface if it is going to keep up with change.

The future needs of Millennials

Millennials aren't just in work for the salary. They expect to be able to learn, improve their skills and develop expertise. Employee development initiatives attract Millennials as much as the level of pay. Millennials don't do stagnant, which is the future of HR is in providing more innovative development programmes with improved feedback and communication.

Up until now, Millennials haven't been in any rush to buy property. But with peak home-buying years set approximately between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five, there could well be a surge in home sales in the near future if Millennials make the choice to settle down.

This could have an impact on the current flighty behaviour of Millennials in terms of work. Nevertheless, businesses and HR should adopt an ITN (Individually tailored need) approach if they have any hope of developing lasting professional relationships with the workforce of the future. Businesses ignoring the needs of Millennials do so at their own peril. The development of HR and its systems is crucial.


Comments 1

Karen Keeley on Wednesday, 01 November 2017 08:01

Good article, as a ‘millennial’ (just about!) this makes lots of sense...understanding the motivation and making life simple & straight forward is key!

Good article, as a ‘millennial’ (just about!) this makes lots of sense...understanding the motivation and making life simple & straight forward is key!
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