Technically, I am a “millennial,” but it is a term that has never truly resonated with me. In my early college years, people would always say things like, “Oh, you millennials and your lack of work ethic,” “Millennials are so entitled,” or my personal favorite, “Millennials all got participation trophies.”
So, as you can imagine, the generally negative connotation of that term made me want to completely disassociate from it. Not only that, but I felt wildly different from all of those descriptions. I felt like I had a stellar work ethic and a desire to thrive, learn, and grow. I didn’t think I was entitled to anything. Everything that I had was because I figured out a way to earn it for myself. And let me tell you, I DEFINITELY never got participation trophies. But as we continue to age, and millennials are now the 30-somethings, the generation under us is getting the same descriptions that were once attributed to us. Suddenly, I am seeing something new arise out of the millennial group. There is an incredible ingenuity and creativity, an ability to make something out of nothing, to create a career without college, to be an entrepreneur, to break the norm, but in a way that adds massive value to society. The more I see that, the more I find renewed pride in the people of my generation, and the happier I am to finally refer to myself as a millennial.
The pandemic had a particularly unusual effect on millennials. While many lost jobs or switched to a work at a home version of their jobs, a huge number of people quit or were planning to quit their jobs. Although on the surface this sounds terrifying, it is actually an extraordinary process that is occurring. The CEO of LinkedIn, Ryan Roslanksy, has termed this “The Great Reshuffle.” In a post on LinkedIn he states, “The world is entering into a talent migration that’s bigger than anything we’ve seen before.”
How To Survive The Great Reshuffle
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that life is precious and every day matters. We should all be doing something that fulfills us and appropriately compensates us for our skills and abilities. It is no wonder that according to a recent Prudential survey, more than 1/3 of millennials are planning to quit their job when the pandemic is over. Out of these, 80% have reported the desire to focus on careers with growth opportunities. Many people discovered that they didn’t like the way their companies handled the health crisis. Now, more than ever, there is a push for workplace culture to be improved. Some millennials are sitting on savings that will allow them to step back from their careers, learn new skills, and attain positions at companies who strive to keep a healthy and happy culture in their workplaces.
The Prudential survey finds that it’s not just about increased compensation: millennials are seeking workplaces that have flexible schedules and work-at-home options, as well as the opportunity to grow and advance. If companies hope to retain their current talent, it will be necessary for them to adhere to these basic components and offer competitive benefits and perks.
In an article called The Wellbeing-Engagement Paradox of 2020, Gallup advises leaders to do 5 key things in order to help their employees thrive in their workplaces:
- Track not only engagement, but the wellbeing of employees as well. This will help avoid undetected burnout.
- Train managers to look into their high-engagement employees and determine if work-life balance is suffering, which may eventually lead to deterioration of performance and overall mental health.
- Make sure that employees are reaping the benefits and flexibility of work at home schedules, without feeling taken advantage of and overworked.
- Consider backgrounds and economic situations where a lack of childcare or other resources may lead to increased hardships. Provide adequate perks and benefits to retain talented employees who may be experiencing unprecedented situations.
- Engage and support teams in a way that looks for signs of burnout. Inspire connection and socialization amongst team members to help foster community and support, in addition to offering necessary mental health days.
Be A Workplace of the Future
If you take advantage of the Great Reshuffle by being a company which puts employee wellbeing first, you will not only keep your current talent, you will attract new talent to your company as it continues to expand, grow and thrive. This surge of millennials who are learning to value their time in a new way will have an extraordinary impact on the workforce and the economy. I can only hope that it also leads to health, happiness, and fulfillment for our generation. Perhaps some day these will be among the adjectives attributed to the millennials, and we will forever be known as a generation which recognized its own value and would not allow it to be taken for granted, and in so doing, became active participants in a healthy economy, bring unprecedented amounts of growth and value to businesses worldwide.