News this week that millennials are on track to be the first generation to earn less that their predecessors is another blow for 15 to 36 year olds.
In fact, according to research by The Resolution Foundation, so-called Generation Y workers will typically earn £8,000 less than Generation X workers, who were born between the mid-1960’s and 1980.
Whilst the research found that static wages are due in part to many millennials joining the job market during the recession, it also found that generational pay progress had actually stagnated before this.
Earning less that their predecessors is a double blow for a millennial who willl already been hit by rising house prices and increasing rental costs. According to The Resolution Foundation, the housing situation alone means that millennials will have paid £44,000 more on rent than the baby boomers did by the time they reach 30.
What is more, with student grants being scrapped in favour of student loans, those Generation Y employees that opted for higher education are entering the labour market with more debt that any previous generation before them.
So are there any positives for the working millennial?
Whilst pay has become a concern for millennials, other changes in the workplace over the last twenty years have opened up opportunities that many baby boomers could never have dreamed of.
Gone are the days where younger staff had to call their elders Mr. This and Mrs. That, whilst waiting until they were the eldest member in a team before they could hope to be promoted to that coveted senior position.
Being the oldest employee in a team no longer entitles staff to the top roles, giving millennials access to more meritocratic mobility than many employees from previous generations.
Add to that the changing structure of the modern workplace, which in many organisations is evolving from hierarchical to flat and there is a greater sense of people being valued for their skills and abilities, rather than the nameplate on their door.
So what do millennials want from their workplace?
There is no doubt that for some millennials saddled with student debt and rising house rentals, the size of their pay packet will always be critical.
That said, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, millennials are not hugely interested in accumulating great wealth. Instead, the survey showed that millennials espouse quite traditional values such as having a good work/life balance, their own home and financial security.
In addition, the survey found that many millennials purposely seek out employers that share their ethics and values. In particular, they judge a business’s performance less on its size and profitability and more on how it treats people, with areas such as employee satisfaction, integrity and customer care seen as particularly important.
As such, even businesses that struggle to pay the best salaries are likely to prove attractive to millennials who feel the organisation’s values align with their own.
That said, employers that fail to nurture and develop those employees are at very high risk of losing them.
In fact, the Deloitte survey found that two thirds of millennials are hoping to leave their current employer by 2020, with a staggering 71% citing a lack of leadership development as the cause.
As such, whilst concerns over reduced income might be hitting the headlines this week, it seems that a focus on leadership, rather than the payslip, is the key to stemming millennial migration.
Want to improve your millennials’ leadership skills?
As we have seen, if you want to retain your Generation Y employees this is simply a must-do.
There is a host of leadership training that you can tap into to help millennials feel more motivated and engaged. What is more, encouraging staff to request training through training management software such as Myhrtoolkit can help demonstrate your company’s commitment to professional development.
Just click here for a free trial of our training management software or call us on 0845 225 0414.