Firms failing to integrate millennials

Despite being the largest cohort in the workforce, it seems employers still aren’t doing enough to support the next generation.

Firms failing to integrate millennials
A new report released by Ontario’s HR regulator has revealed a worrying trend among employers which could put organizations at serious risk in the very near future.

According to the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) only 10 per cent of companies have done anything to integrate millennial employees with their co-workers, even though the generation is now the largest cohort in the workforce.

The revelation comes in spite of the fact that more than half of HRPA members surveyed said their companies have experienced tensions between millennials and other age groups of workers because of perceived differences in values or work habits.

"It's no surprise that companies are facing a 'loyalty challenge' when it comes to millennial workers," said Bill Greenhalgh, CEO of HRPA. "There can be up to four different generations in today's workplaces and if companies aren't taking steps to mitigate the potential tensions that generational differences can make, they will face major problems."

Employers have long known that millennials have unique views when it comes to work-life balance, communication and information intake – a fact which has driven many workplaces changes in recent years.

However, while the millennial attitude may be considered innovative by some, the report suggests it’s actually causing tensions in many workplaces.

"Millennials are the future of the Canadian economy, and it is critical for organizations to understand how to attract, retain, and integrate them," Greenhalgh said. "And that is where human resource professionals can help"

One of the suggestions offered by the regulator included mentorship programs – both structured and informal.

Currently, over 60 per cent of HRPA members said their companies have no mentorship program in place and those that did were typically informal and open to all employees, rather than focused on integrating millennials.  

For the 10 per cent that did take steps to integrate millennials, it seems their efforts paid off and 95 per cent said it made a positive impact.

"By offering flexible work options, ensuring technology is part of your workplace, offering reverse mentoring programs, and even providing generational training, companies can help improve intergenerational issues, their retention of Millennials, and their overall competitiveness," said Greenhalgh.

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