Debbie Lovewell: Engaging the generations

Meeting employees’ expectations can pay off.

Sitting on the cusp of generation X and the millennial generation, I can appreciate both sides of the findings from research published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Southern California last month.

It found that millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, put more value on work-life balance and flexible working than on financial rewards. This contrasts with non-millennial generations, which typically favour pay and development opportunities.

While the latter have certainly been key factors in my career choices to date, the ability to achieve a good work-life balance would win out every time. I can’t think of anything worse than earning the highest salary, but then not having the time to enjoy it with loved ones.

The millennials’ way of thinking has been driven, in part, by the changing nature of work in so many industries. Developments in technology and increasing globalisation mean the typical nine-to-five day is no longer the only option.

Taking media as an example, the demand for information around the clock has opened up new working patterns.

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Judging this year’s Employee Benefits Awards, I was impressed by the number of organisations that have taken steps to offer staff from all generations greater flexibility. Initiatives such as holding fitness classes for staff in an on-site gym throughout the day or awarding sabbaticals for long service can go a long way to boosting morale and commitment.

Follow Debbie Lovewell on Twitter: @DebbieLovewell