Our latest thinking

The Millennial Invasion


By the year 2020 over 80% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials (persons reaching adulthood near the year 2000). Will this new generation have an impact on the way business is conducted?  And if so, how can companies be on the forefront of this change?

A few years ago, PWC began to wonder why their younger people didn’t seem to be motivated by the same things that motivated the generations before them. Why didn’t they want to work in the same way? In the accounting and professional services industry, it has long been assumed that fair pay, a stable upward career path, a chance at financial security and the prestige of partnership would be enough to attract and retain bright young talent. However, they started to find that this was no longer the case. In order to get some answers they conducted this study.

The result of the study were interesting.  The survey conducted captures the various forces at play that are influencing the experience of Millennial or “Generation Y” employees. These include: workplace culture, communication and work styles, compensation and career structure, career development and opportunities and work/life balance. The study revealed that work/life balance is one of the most significant drivers of employee retention and a primary reason this generation of employees may choose a nontraditional professional career track. Just as notable, however, are the widespread similarities between Millennial employees and their non-Millennial counterparts, all of whom aspire to a new workplace paradigm that places a higher priority on work/life balance and workplace flexibility. The research shatters commonly held myths about Millennials in the workplace, uncovering attitudes and behavior that largely mirror those of their more senior colleagues.

Various studies have concluded that there are 4 areas of consideration for Millennials, and while the four elements themselves are not that shocking the order of which importance is placed is:

  1. Balance and workload
  2. Engaging work, development and opportunities - Work that is interesting and meaningful
  3. People and teams
  4. Competitive pay and job opportunities

After considering the results of their study PWC decided that instead of revisiting their traditional human capital approach, they implemented new policies, and looked at alternative, more sustainable business model options to address the shifting needs of their workforce.

Here are some recommendations for organizations to consider, and some examples of how PwC has been addressing the same issues.

  • Create a flexible work culture.
  • Fully leverage technology.
  • Increase Transparency around compensation, rewards and career decisions.
  • Build a sense of community.
  • Invest time, resources and energy to listen and stay connected with your people

We here at EPOCH Pi feel believe that the Millennials are the future and that building strong businesses which provide a quality product or service, make money, and serve the needs of all their stakeholders including their employees will be the prescription for success in the future.  Therefore, we are committed to helping businesses find the capital they need to grow through aligned relationships.