By the year 2020, Millennials (now aged between 21 and 35) will make up 35% of the global workforce . Generation Z, or i-Gens as they are sometimes referred to – people currently aged 20 and younger – will make up another 24%.

What it boils down to is this: in a little more than 5 years, half of the planet’s active workforce will be made up of younger workers, with different attitudes and expectations about work.

A younger workforce creates a knock-on effect for your entire business. As an employer, you need to adapt to meet the expectations of new generations of employees. Particularly for i-Gens, you’ll be managing employees who’ve grown up using the internet via a smartphone. They’re digital natives, having never known a world without it.

Millennial Workforce

How Do I Prepare?

Take for instance payroll. With payment technology constantly evolving, millennials have become the fastest adopters of mobile and digital payments. I’m 26 and I can say I’ve never done a paper timesheet! This generation is only looking for digital options to payslips and asking for leave.

Recently, employees are making use of holiday time differently. With the average leave duration now just 2.34 days. This fact alone creates new challenges for HR & Payroll managers as shorter and more frequent bursts of annual leave tend to be requested last minute as opposed to being asked in advance. It’s important for employers and HR personnel to be able to quickly review and approve their requests.

Another added stress for an HR manager is turnover, with research showing average tenure in a workplace being 8 months. Luckily we exist in a mobile world where online platforms can enable HR to manage and approve leave requests on the spot, with more time given to focus on attracting and retaining the best talent.

Mobile payroll solutions like Aurion 11 are an ideal way to add to your efficient, especially as new generation workers are integrating smartphones into every aspect of daily tasks.

New Leadership Standards

There are three important factors that’ll culminate in millennial leadership. Firstly, baby-boomers are starting to retire earlier, creating a power vacuum that’ll be filled from the bottom up. Secondly, they’ve taken over as the largest workforce population. Lastly, they’re getting older – with the oldest members of the millennial generation hitting their mid-30s. And with that age comes experience.

Millennial leaders will prioritise values, flexibility and feedback more than those before them. And, while likely to be less timid they’ll hold stronger convictions. Either way, your leadership team needs to begin defining a succession plan to ensure a smooth crossover.

Millennial Workforce

Harder Push For Diversity

The result of mass globalisation is the most diverse generation the world’s ever seen. Meaning, millennials are more enthusiastic about their political stances and philosophies. And it’s generally felt inclusion has been handled poorly by generations past, with many workplaces still playing catch up. With millennials taking the helm we’re bound to see a push for inclusion.

Again, this is something your leadership team should be putting in place now in order to keep ahead of your competitors.

Millennial Workforce

The Automation Dilemma

It’s no secret the last few years has heralded the presence of machine learning and AI automation. Sophistication continues developing daily and more automated solutions are available now in 2018 than ever before.

This poses a conundrum for a millennial workforce taking the leaf as do they embrace automation or is it in the business’s best interests to regulate it? Surveys show that millennials have both a great hope and a fear about the automation wave, making this one of the most polarising issues seen in the workplace.

Sit down with your leadership team and try and outlay a rough ten year that focuses on your inclusion policies going forward. A diverse workforce is a creative one!

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About the Author:

Kyle Connolly is a trained writer with a background in film and television. After making the switch from TV screen to PC screen, Kyle's helped create and develop content for a multitude of businesses from a variety of sectors across Australia and South Africa. He shot both the sheriff and the deputy.