Millennials are demanding employees

The generation of millennials, that is 18-33-year-old people, is strongly concentrated on work. It appreciates flexible work conditions and when something goes wrong – eagerly changes the employment. It is difficult for employers to follow the needs of this generation.

The authors of the report prepared by EY and titled Global generations: a global study on work-life challenges in the area of balance between work and private life analyzed needs of three generations: generation Y, that is millennials (aged 18-33), generation X (aged 34-49) and so called boomers – people born during an after-war increase in birth rate (aged 50-68). According to 33 per cent of all surveyed and 35 per cent of people of the youngest group, the maintenance of the balance between private life and work has become more difficult within last 5 years. Almost half of surveyed point out a significant increase in taxes and little rise in payments as well as increase in scope of professional duties because of this situation. At present, Germans (49 per cent) and people living in Japan (44 per cent) have the biggest problem with balance between working and private life.


Week = 40 hours? 


Nearly half of surveyed work over 40 hours per week. According to 40 per cent of interviewees, the amount of time spent at work has increased within last 5 years. Among this group, ca. 2/3 participants reported that working time increased by 2-4 hours per week and 1/3 indicated that it raised by 5 or even more hours. More than half of managers in Mexico (61 per cent), USA (58 per cent), Indie (55 per cent) and Brazil (51 per cent) spend over 40 hours per week at work. It is worth pointing out that this proportion amounts to barely 19 per cent in China. Half of representatives of the boomers' generation work over 40 hours per week which constitutes a greater proportion in comparison to the generation X (45 per cent) or generation Y (44 per cent).


Changes at labor market are driven by economy


More and more people in the world are making decisions concerning employment consciously and on the basis of macroeconomic factors. Ca. 1/3 surveyed have changed their jobs due to changes in economy within last 5 years. The biggest group among them constitute representatives of millennials (37 per cent). Over 1/5 participants of the survey encouraged their partners to come back to work and 1/4 – to not leave their jobs or to not cut working hours. 23 per cent of employees declared that they did not decide to have more children due to economic instability and 20 per cent delayed the moment of parenthood due to economic reasons.  


Reasons for leaving a job 


Among main reasons for resignation from job pointed out by respondents are low wage increase (76 per cent), lack of prospects for promotion (74 per cent), overtime (71 per cent), lack of atmosphere favoring team work (71 per cent) as well as superior who does not agree on flexible working conditions (69 per cent).  


First three places are dominated by elements related to job appraisal of certain people. Employers often do not follow the increase in competences of employees – they cannot properly use their experience and potential. They also frequently lose contact with the market – they do not see that there are attractive offers for employees from new companies on the market or companies which prefer aggressive salary politics in order to gain the best employees at the cost of their competitiveness. Therefore, employers who are the most dynamic on the changing labor market and know well the value of their employees benefit from this situation – believes dr Karol Raźniewski, Chairman of the Human Capital team in EY Poland.


The „flexibility stigma” is on the next position. It means omission of people who benefit from flexible working time at promotions and rises. The generation Y is more responsive to unfavorable factors and more eager to change a workplace. They especially care about flexible working conditions. A modern employer is an employer who provides their employee with freedom and hold them accountable for the effects of their work and not becoming attached to the working place – adds expert in EY.


Expectations of modern candidates 


People of the youngest generation, who search for work, paying the greatest attention to competitive salaries and benefits, flexible working conditions and lack of necessity to work overtime. All frequently mentioned elements constitute a widely understood motivation system which helps employers to attract valuable candidates and keep the most talented ones at work.  


Among the most important factors indicated by employers are also combination of flexible worktime and prospect of promotion as well as cooperation with team and superior enabling achievement of private and professional goals.  


Moreover, millennials appreciate (more than older generations) the possibility of obtainment of a payable maternity leave (74 per cent). Interestingly, 2/3 of surveyed declared that they would be able to change their workplace or move into other department of the company so that they could be closer to their family. This factor is higher than limitation of business journeys with accommodation and possibility of relaxation from business calls or mails.


In EY we are trying to response to changing needs of present and future employees – says Anna Woźniak, Manager for Recruitment and Employer Branding, EY Poland. – Among other things, it is exactly why we are creating a new kind of space in our offices which favors individual and team work within the Workplace of the Future project. Meeting halls with walls covered with a layer on which it is possible to write, large and fully equipped kitchens and specially prepared playrooms are only some of many elements of space which were created by our company mainly thanks to the ideas of employees – adds.  


About research


The Global generations: a global study on work-life challenges in the area of balance between work and private life research of EY was conducted on the group of 9699 people aged 18-67 who are full-time employed and live in eight countries: USA, Germany, Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, Indie and Great Britain.  


Full report in English is available below.  


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