Generation Y

Millennials are willing to give up some of their pay and slow the pace of promotion in their careers in exchange for working fewer hours.

Many Millennials are unconvinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life – and if they come into an organisation and find they’re not getting the full life they want, they will look elsewhere. At the same time, they are willing to compromise: give them some say in how they work and where they work, and they will deliver.

Getting the work done in less traditional ways doesn’t mean less quality or productivity – and it’s important for our managers to appreciate this. We’ve been helping our non-Millennials see that Millennials are every bit as committed to the success of the firm and to delivering on their projects – but it might take a bigger leap of faith to allow them some freedom in how they get there. By encouraging our managers to also participate and to model flexible behaviour, we have started to loosen the hold we previously had on the work environment, and we’ve started to see results. We’ve also been looking to involve our clients in our flexibility efforts. In many cases, we have explained to clients upfront that, although we understand their expectations and intend to react quickly to their needs, we can provide a team that will be of service around the clock, without the need to rely on any one individual.

Marketing to millennials: flexible working policies

In a more visible sign of flexibility, many PwC offices have loosened up their dress code policies to make the workplace feel less formal. Many countries that have been more traditional in their business dress requirements are now also considering implementing a pilot around dress code. Signs like this are important in showing our people that we’re open to new ways of working.

The US firm has ‘flex days’ where an individual has the option to work their minimum standard hours in four days as opposed to five, assuming they have agreement from their supervisor. This is an arrangement that is completely flexible, from project to project, person to person, and week to week. In China and Hong Kong, we have been implementing structured pilot programmes around flexible hours and flexible locations – such as ‘Learn @ home’ – and as a result we have been seeing an increase in our people’s engagement.

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How is your organisation engaging and empowering millennials?  Would you give up pay in exchange for fewer working hours?  Share your views in the comments section below.

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