Millennials in the Workforce

There has been no shortage of conversation about the entrance of Millennials into the workforce and the cultural shift that creates for organizations. There are variations but it seems that most research organizations define the millennial age range from the early 1980’s to mid-1990’s. This means that for the next few years we will still have a wave of younger millennials entering the workforce as they graduate college. While at the same time, older millennials already in the workforce will begin to assume more strategic leadership opportunities. Many millennials will still be coming out of college through 2022, it is going to be crucial for organizations to be able to recruit this young talent and retain employees that they have invested in cultivating and training.

A great way for employers to attract and retain millennial talent is allowing them to use the mobile devices that they have become accustomed to using for everything in their personal lives for work. Pew Research Center published a study in January 2017 about different demographics and their use of mobile devices. The study found that 92% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 have a smartphone. That number decreased to 88% for the 30-49 demographic and then even further for the age ranges approaching retirement or currently retired – 74% for those 50-64 years of age and 42% for the 65+ age range. Additionally, the study found that the number of Americans who owned tablets increased from 10% to 51% from 2011-2016. More informative statistics from the study can be found at http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/.

These numbers show that individuals who are reliant on smartphones personally will be entering the workforce in quickly increasing numbers while others who may be used to a more traditional desktop experience are leaving. Smartphone users have come to expect the ability to use their smartphone to accomplish nearly every task and access information whenever they need it and wherever they are. Through a mobile phone we can now make a reservation, bank, call a ride, manage personal email and the calendar…the list goes on and on. Those same expectations are spilling over into their work lives and they are demanding to be able to work in the same way that they live. Employees are happier and more efficient when they are able to work on the go with their smartphone from any location instead of being stuck in a cubicle working on a desktop computer.

Employers who are not able to deliver that capability to their employees risk losing their young talent to organizations who enable their employees to work on mobile. Smartphones have created a dynamic shift in how we operate in our personal lives and it’s time for the enterprise to catch up.