Feb 172016
 

Melissa Claire Handley: “Millennials look for innovation and creativity, professional growth, flexibility and rewarding work environment”

Melissa Claire Handley is the EADA Alumni and Career Services director.

Melissa Claire Handley is the EADA Alumni and Career Services director.

In the quest facing companies today to find and retain talent, what do employees need to see in their ‘ideal’ employer? Data in publishing on millennials and employees working in corporations all over the globe indicate the following aspects are critical:

Purpose and innovation: Top employers are those who help employees align with the organisation’s values. Apart from this, top employers tell their stories in a meaningful way and give the space to be innovative and creative by contributing to the future story of the organization in which they work. In line with this, employees will be attracted to a company because of its reputation. In Spain, a company’s reputation and image represent 20% of overall importance to employees whilst people and culture of the organization account for a further 25%. Renumeration and the job characteristics largely make up the remaining 55%. This illustrates the importance of values and a meaningful job for employees.

Professional growth: Ideal employers encourage employees to grow. This is essential to the millennial generation who expect a career path, good leadership and more constant and informal feedback , including more frequent recognition from managers than seen in more structured evaluation set-ups. Ideal employers encourage and indeed expect their employees to self-manage, show a collaborative spirit and work transversally in multi-disciplinary projects and are tending towards less hierarchical management structure.

The millennial generation expect a career path, good leadership and more constant and informal feedback , including more frequent recognition from managers

Flexibility: This continues to be key for 2016. Ideal employers should provide flexibility in the workplace. This means employees working remotely from home as part of their dedication, working hours ceasing to be the standard 40-hour week. In addition, more flexibility with maternity and paternity leave and more awareness in general of a work/life balance.

Perks and rewarding environment: Ideal employers offer perks including free food, gym, medical facilities, discounts on products, team lunches and innovative activities to engage workers. They also offer seminars, continual professional training, coaching and opportunities for employees to learn other skills or partake in language classes or yoga for instance. 2016 will apparently see bigger financial raises for top employees as a way of compensating the best performers.

Freelancers and different formats of working

According to Melissa, Ideal employers will ideally match with values and career growth paths of individuals.

According to Melissa, ideal employers will ideally match with values and career growth paths of individuals.

So far so good then. However, what about trends for 2016 and beyond indicating that more and more of us will be working on a freelance basis in the future? In the US already, freelancers account for a third of the workforce and this trend is on the up. What about smart contracts and technology to watch where, similar to the bitcoin phenomena, contracts of the future will operate on a much more agile basis, cutting out middlemen?

Will a greater percentage of the ideal employer be the individual themself? Surely then, more than ever, in the bid for freelancers to ‘sell’ their skills, their values and personal relationship building potential will become increasingly important. Ideal employers will ideally match with values and career growth paths of individuals where the key will be the relationship, the cultural ‘fit’, the project at hand and the rewards, financial or other. Back-to-basics of good management/leadership, opportunities for personal growth and compensation will continue to prevail in this new culture.

Back-to-basics of good management/leadership, opportunities for personal growth and compensation will continue to prevail in this new culture

It is clear that different formats of working will be able to co-exist for 2016 and, whether the ideal employer be a large multinational corporation or a self-employed freelancer, all these trends are a major move forward and a far cry from conditions experienced in the industrial revolution where flexible hours, personal growth and company values probably didn’t even exist as concepts to dream about for many adults and children. Ideal employers have come a long way since then and will continue to do so in the future.

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