Workplaces must adapt to expectations of new workers

Human Capital BulletinImplementing the cultural goals at a business can be jeopardized when employees and executives aren’t effectively aligned. As a result, an executive’s lack of insight into what employees need and want can be a serious impediment to building a strong organizational culture.

As the workforce is changing, it’s more important for the C-suite executives to stay abreast of the needs of their employees. The workforce continues to change as baby boomers retire and millennials are hired. The younger generation requires a different experience to achieve employee satisfaction.   
This need to shift employee experience to meet the millennials' needs for a happy and healthy work environment is the largest concern facing chief HR officers today. The younger workforce is looking for flexibility, time off and -- with new technology -- the ability to work remotely. Much different from their baby boomer predecessors, millennials don’t crave the 9-to-5, cubical lifestyle but rather a more relaxed work environment. They like open floor plans and unassigned, hoteling cubicles.

The more flexibility in the work environment, the more the younger workforce seems to flourish.  They want the option to work different hours on different days. Aside from a day-to-day flexibility, the younger workforce looks for more flexible schedules as well. Companies are shifting from “paid time off” structure for vacation time to a “flexible time off” one, allowing unlimited days off to employees. The FTO structure removes the liability of paid days off from the employer’s books, and it also allows the employees more control over the vacation time they use.
The last thing millennials are looking for is the ability to work remotely. The younger generation knows better than most the capabilities of new technologies. With evolving technology, working remotely is possible for the workforce. Communication doesn’t need to be face-to-face anymore. Now you can hop on a phone call, Skype meeting or video conference from anywhere in the world!  The younger generation is more likely to utilize new technology to communicate in an office setting so they value being able to work remotely.

Grant Thornton has been making HR changes along our culture journey to bring flexibility, time off, and remote working to our employees. The FTO policy implemented a few years ago really encourages our teams to work hard but take the time off when they can. Grant Thornton had also made efforts to improve our technology so that working from home is easier and more convenient for employees. With as much as our workforce travels, working remotely is more and more important.  Grant Thornton will continue to search for the best enhancements to bring our ever-changing workforce job satisfaction.

Sharon Whittle
Principal, Human Capital Services
T +1 704 632 6884

Megan Meyer
Senior Associate, Human Capital Services
T +1 704 632 3965

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