How millennials are forcing companies to rethink their culture


The modern workplace is changing rapidly due to a confluence of factors: technology, globalization, and the Millennial Generation entering the workforce. Of increasing influence, millennials currently constitute the largest population in the U.S. workforce. For many companies, millennials already represent at least 50% of their employees.

One of the areas in which millennials are differing from previous generations is in their remarkable absence of loyalty to the companies that they work for. A recent study by Deloitte reported that 44% of this age group expects to quit their organization within the next two years. This has forced companies to revisit, rethink, and – in some cases – reset previous practices to remain relevant.

Through the work we do in partnering with thousands of companies to help run their employee perks programs, as well as through working on our own culture at Next Jump, we have gained interesting insight into the wants and needs of this generation. What’s clear is that hundreds of companies across various industry verticals struggle to attract and retain millennials, and it’s a big concern. Why? Because millennials are an important aspect in building a culture of innovation within a company. To keep up with this complex, rapidly-changing world, millennials are being heavily relied on to help keep up with the disruption.

This generation has grown up with the technology that is spurring so much innovation and disruption; it is second nature to them. Yet, oftentimes they are not given an opportunity to apply their knowledge in the workplace and actually add value in those areas.

Compound this with the fact that millennials are prioritizing their personal growth and the desire to do meaningful work above other traditional forms of compensation. No longer are salary and core benefits enough – employees want to feel invested in as a person. Perks are the new income.

At Next Jump, while we have been successful at attracting high-quality engineers from top universities, we have always faced the formidable task of retaining them. In 2008, our turnover was at nearly 40%. But, as we invested more and more in our culture, that number dropped into the single digits.

We have found that, above all else, millennials want more mentorship, coaching and development. Deloitte’s survey highlights this across all industries; millennials, by and large, feel underutilized. They are not being invested in or developed as leaders.

A few months ago, a new book was released by Harvard Business Review, titled: “An Everyone Culture.” The book features three leading companies (including Next Jump) that embody a breakthrough approach to creating a Deliberately Developmental Organization. The book demonstrates a whole new way of being at work. It suggests that the culture you create is your strategy, and that the key to success is developing everyone. It argues that development is a collective responsibility in an organization, not just a manager-to-employee responsibility. The authors believe that work can be an ideal environment for individual’s growth, evolution, and flourishing — and that such personal development may be the secret weapon to winning over millennials (and for business success in the future).

Redefining culture and perks is a driving force for us here at Next Jump. We are committed to changing workplace culture and sharing our insights along the way to help other organizations upgrade their organizational talent and culture.

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