Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Offers Insight on Employing Millennials

Friday, May 8, 2015
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Offers Insight on Employing Millennials
This week, global professional services firm EY released new findings from a global survey about the work-life challenges today’s employees confront. It asked 9,700 full-time workers in eight countries, and in companies of varying sizes, about what makes today’s workers tick—and ticked off.
One strong message from the data is that, in the United States, Millennials want flexible work arrangements — and indeed, feel they desperately need some flexibility. But they worry about “flexibility stigma”—the likelihood that they’ll be labeled less than fully committed to work if they avail themselves of arrangements like flex time and paternity leave — and as a result suffer negative job and career consequences.
Experts on workplace flexibility concur, adding that managers should initiate it, reinforce it, and reward it. According to Kathleen Christensen, Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation:
Putting flexibility on a cafeteria list of benefits is insufficient to ensure stigma-free access or use of flexible arrangements by employees. To recruit and retain the talented Millennials they seek, employers have to take flexibility to the next step and integrate flex with their business strategy. Transition from an employee-initiated request system into a proactive manager-initiated program supported by tools and technologies. Gone are the days where an employee seeking flexibility goes out on a limb, risking the potential of stigma, to a new day, where the manager initiates the conversation about how flex can help the employee, the team, and the division to achieve their mutual goals....
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