With the Changing Workforce Comes Changing Work/Life Goals

June 23, 2016
When I was younger my parents instilled in me a life plan: “Do well in high school, get into a good college, get a good job, have a big family, and a good life.” Although I appreciate my parents’ advice (and listened to most of it), somewhere along the line, their dream for me turned into a dream I created for myself. Like many of my peers, I went to high school and focused on my future. I got in to a great college (thank you, art skills) and really created a “dream” for my life that both my parents and I could be proud of. But when college is over, you’re forced into the Real World to finish up on the second half of that plan. At that crucial stage in life, you find out what you really want from a career and what's meaningful to you. I think others my age and in my position (you got it . . . Millennials) can agree that what we want out of life – our career path, our work-life balance, our “goals” – IS different than what our parents had in mind for us. The values and hard work they taught will forever shape us and always remain, but there’s no denying that the workplace and its culture have also changed since then. So it makes sense that our goals change with it. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey goes in-depth on most of what I’m talking about.

“Millennials are less impressed by the sheer scale of a business, its age, or the general buzz that surrounds it. Based on a stereotypical view of Millennials, the profile or ‘positive energy’ around a business might be thought of as being highly important to them.”

  Our work/life goals have shifted. They went from status and “climbing the ladder” to quality of life and meaning both in and out of the office. Success has a whole new meaning. Yes, there are exceptions, but it’s hard to ignore the general shift in what's really important to the majority of the workforce. Research shows that society has shaped most of us into people who want to work for companies we can stand behind; companies that appreciate us and mirror our own values. The most successful companies provide purpose and meaning to their employees. The same Deloitte survey states that almost nine in ten Millennials believe that “the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance.” This means that people are willing to work harder for a company that makes them feel better about themselves and their lives. Patrick Tomlinson, Business Leader for Talent at Mercer said this about their Inside Employees’ Minds research, “The future of successful work relationships between employer and employee will depend on the trifecta of health, wealth and career — and how you make them all flexible to reflect the way people want to work today and what they are looking for in the employment relationship.” Millennials consider businesses to be underperforming by 10% at improving livelihoods and 12% on social/environmental benefits. This shows that these goals matter now more than ever. There are so many aspects that contribute to these changing values and goals. If organizations can recognize the transformation in what employees are looking for in a company, and put into practice methods to keep them fulfilled in their career, employees will be willing to work harder and be more productive. Regardless of age, generation, gender, or any other demographic, seeing the shifting workforce as a whole proves that businesses need to put employees first, and provide them with a solid foundation of trust and integrity – a company that employees can be proud of and can stand behind. After all, that’s what our parents would want!

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