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How Tech Savvy Millennials Are Shaping The 21st Century Workplace

Can you hear it? Probably not. Can you see it? Maybe.

It’s a little like watching a plant or a tree grow. Though you may not hear or see it in real time, it’s been growing over time and will continue to grow well into the future. No, I’m not a botanist or an arborist, and I’m not talking about plants or trees. I’m talking about the growing presence of millennials, the group of people born between 1981-1997, in the workforce. As the graph demonstrates below, it’s the fastest growing population in the workforce.

U.S. Labor force by generation - 1
Understanding and recognizing this demographic is critically important for employers of all sizes for many reasons:
  • Millennials are a major talent pool, and attraction and retention of them should be a major focal point.
  • Millennials are beginning to become leaders of the future.
  • Millennials are highly tech savvy and expect their employers to be so as well.

The graph below demonstrates just how common millennial-aged technology is becoming among all Americans 18 years of age and older.

percent of american adults tech - 2

In fact, I often joke with my kids, ages 16, 13, and 10; each of whom fits into the millennial demographic, about “how it was when I was a kid.”

  • The paper homework I brought home as a kid is no more. Now, most homework assignments are done on a computer or mobile device via the cloud.
  • The assignments I had required that I use my penmanship skills (i.e. writing). At this point, I’m not sure my kids know how to write their names anymore. I’m not alone.
  • In my day, Atari 5200 was the gaming technology of choice (think Space Invaders!). Now, the gaming technology is so advanced, it’s challenging at times to differentiate the real from the make believe (think Pokémon Go!).

I digress; my point is not to talk about my kids or to stroll down memory lane… when I walked miles to school through rain and snow with my red Converse “school bag” full of notebooks and giant books, blah, blah, blah. Rather, my point is that employers of all sizes must do one of two things relatively quickly to keep up with this generation.

If a benefits administration platform including new employee onboarding, talent management, time off, employee self-service, etc., is in place, make sure to use it to its fullest extent.

If a benefits administrative platform is not in place, make sure to put one in place as soon as practicable. Not only will these platforms streamline various processes and save the company money, but also millennials in the workforce will demand them. My kids will demand them. By the time they get into the workforce, they won’t know any other way!

This call to employers for action may seem daunting as change is hard and the number of benefits administration companies is voluminous. Where should one start?

  • Pull in key stakeholders
  • Identify top priorities
  • Evaluate price
  • Review the contract provisions, including term commitment
  • Interview vendors
  • Understand roles and responsibilities on both ends, including ongoing maintenance
  • Have and execute an implementation plan

If you need assistance, contact your OneDigital Representative. We're here to guide and assist in the process, pointing you in the proper direction as payroll and benefits administration are increasingly becoming a core competency of the broker community.