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Are You Ready for this Huge Workforce Shift?

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Maren Hogan
on August 04, 2014

[Today’s guest blog post is from Maren Hogan, marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting space.]

I’m talking about the Millennial take-over. Okay, that might sound a little dramatic, but to be fair, we are facing a pretty dramatic change. Currently, in 2014, 36% of the workforce is comprised of Millennial workers. This “Communicating in the Modern Workplace” infographic from Queens University reports a projected spike of Millennial workers up 28% by 2020, bringing the percent of Millennials in the workforce up to 46%. 

That will mean that nearly half of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. Are you ready to accommodate their values, needs and expectations? 

Down with Traditional Performance Reviews

  • 80% of Millennials would prefer real-time feedback over traditional performance reviews.

Employee performance reviews have the potential to increase engagement, lower turnover and create a goal-aligned workforce if done correctly. Formal or traditional performance reviews have proven ineffective for a number of reasons. 

  • They don’t address issues or successes in a timely manner.
  • They tend to skew toward the negative, or what workers can get better at, and leave out the praise part.
  • These large, spread out reviews or meetings end up being a monster of a task to carry out.
  • The large time gaps between reviews don’t foster talent and goal alignment.

For these reasons and many more, real-time feedback is preferred by workers and has proven to be more effective. What good is feedback, 3 months after the project is finalized? Mentorship programs lend themselves to this type of continuous feedback.

Create Mentorship Programs

  • 53% of Millennials feel a mentorship relationship with their manager would improve their value and productivity. 

Most Millennials in the workforce today have what is referred to as a “patchwork career path.” They came into the workforce at a time of great instability, they have job-hopped, been through mass lay-offs and learned to adapt. They need roots and guidance, and mentorships programs are exactly the place to start. 

Make Room for Social, ‘Cause it’s Here’

  • In 2005, 9% of people 18-29 used social networks. In 2013, 89% of them used social networks. 

Social media is a major part of this Millennial generation. Employers need to learn that social media is more than Candy Crush and Tweets. Social networks used as workplace communication tools can be invaluable. In fact, about 40% of Millennials would even pay out-of-pocket for social tools to increase efficiency. The employer’s best bet is to embrace social in the workplace, foster brand ambassadorship and craft empowering, yet safe social media policies. 

Set Crystal Clear Expectations

Millennials need a straightforward dialogue: If you deliver a, b and c, you will receive x, y and z. The entire infographic focused on communication, because Millennials prioritize it quite highly in their workplace of choice. Try to be crystal clear about the these three soft skills that most manager’s find critical:

  • 87% the ability to prioritize work
  • 86% a positive attitude
  • 86% teamwork skills

The landscape of the emerging workforce is looking very different, very rapidly. In order to stay ahead in the competitive areas of attraction and retention, employers have to get proactive about crafting a workplace that will be attractive to their current and upcoming workforce. 

This large of a shift will inevitably require change, which isn’t always met with open arms. However, each of these actions bring with them sound benefits for any organization. Between more effective reviews, improving communication and embracing social, things ahead are looking bright. 

Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment for me!


Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.

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