Top HR Trends Part 1: Harnessing the Millennial Effect

HR Trends

Globalization and digitization are reshaping workplaces, workforces, and work itself. This means organizations as a whole, and in particular HR departments, are undergoing a significant transformation. This three-part series examines the HR trends revolutionizing the modern office environment—and how your company can adapt to, and even harness, these times of change.

Part 1 in the series introduces the demographic at the forefront of this workplace revolution and highlights the HR trends it is helping to set.

New Challenges. New Opportunities.

A key driver behind the evolving HR landscape is Generation Y—a demographic comprising those born between the early 80s and the year 2000. These digital natives, otherwise known as millennials, are now coming of age. In the US, they already account for 25% of the working population—a figure set to double by 2020[1].

As the proportion of millennial employees increases, so too will their influence on organizations. This poses new challenges for businesses of all sizes—challenges they must overcome to remain competitive. Should they succeed, they will open the door to a wealth of opportunities.

The “Always-On” Generation

Digital natives are so-called for a reason: they were born and raised in the digital age. As such, the majority have grown up with modern technologies. In fact, 92% of millennials in the US own a smartphone[2] and 75% have a social networking profile[3].

Mobile devices grant owners permanent, remote access to information, while social networks enable free communication between users around the globe. A challenge facing enterprises today is that Generation Y employees are increasingly demanding these functionalities at work.

Companies that offer their staff access to highly secure mobile technologies and social networks may promote creativity, collaboration, and round-the-clock productivity. Furthermore, because millennials are inherently skilled in these tools, employers can benefit from their ability to leverage them for fast, well-informed decision making.

Forward Thinking

However, these are not the only expectations companies need to meet in order to remain competitive. Aside from embracing the latest technologies, it is equally crucial that organizations accommodate more modern mindsets and lifestyles.

Indeed, flexible working practices, work-life balance, corporate social engagement, and employee diversity are key themes in today’s HR landscape. But what does this mean for enterprises like yours? The next installment in the series has the answer.


[1] “Millennials at work—Reshaping the workplace”, Pew Research
[2] “Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies”, Pew Research
[3] “Millennials—Confident. Connected. Open to Change.”, Pew Research

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