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Millennials in a changing workforce

Date posted:  6/22/14 12:00:00 PM Millennials are in the process of taking over the workforce.

Business owners and company executives should take note: millennials are set to take over nearly half of the nation's work force in six years, according to Human Resource professionals should start considering how to entice and reward a new age demographic in the work place - especially because there seems to be a rift between generations.

Bentley University recently reported 66 percent of millennials believe that older generations don't understand their age group.

"I've seen numerous articles lately bringing up the age discrimination issue in regards to the older demographic, but not much has been said about the discrimination taking place against younger job candidates," Shaley McKeever told

According to Bentley University, 58 percent of millennials believe that businesses view them as dispensable. McKeever believes this needs to change because the millennial movement is already taking place. Valuing and acknowledging interest in an employee can improve office morale and help a company retain employees.

A healthy life, a healthy workforce

According to a survey from Keas, a health and engagement platform, millennials are becoming more concerned with their health and well being. The survey found that 46 percent of millennials want as much data about health as possible and 54 percent will likely buy a body-analyzing device to calculate their weight, body fat or blood pressure.

There has been strong demand from workforces across the nation to better blend health and wellness programs into the work experience. Fox Business reported that employers must be bold, interact with their millennial work force and provide incentives for employees to participate in a health and wellness program, which can often save a company money in employee insurance plans.

When it comes to juggling their work load and the rest of their life, many millennials seem to want their employers involved. The majority of millennials, 64 percent of them, stated that a tangible benefit or cash would motivate them to participate in a corporate health program. Another 33 percent said that providing money-based incentives would be the single most valuable action in helping them reach their health goals in 2014.

"Health isn't just about policy. Meaningful health is about ensuring everyone has tools they can use to improve their life on a daily basis," Josh Stevens, CEO of Keas, told Fox Business. "Based on conversations that I've had with employers across the nation, most companies offer outdated models of health and wellness programs and struggle to track, report and aggregate resulting data in a meaningful way."

Fox Business reported that one way to garner interest in a health and wellness plan is by providing data in a social or meaningful way to employees, meaning they want statistics explaining how and why they should live a healthier life.

Millennials want workplace flexibility
Millennials want a flexible work schedule. If you're a small business owner, that doesn't mean you should cut your nine-to-five business hours and let employees work whenever they want, but you should be adaptable with your company's start and end time.

If your company can afford an hour swing time, what does it matter if someone shows up and works 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. compared to 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Little things like that can really get a workforce behind a company. If that's not in the cards, you can also offer a late start on Monday or the always popular early dismissal on Friday.

Collaborative vs. competitive work culture
A whopping 88 percent of millennials told Bentley University they prefer a collaborative work culture compared to a competitive one.

"Competition may drive innovation, but it doesn't appeal to the millennial generation as much," McKeever said. "I've always considered myself to be a pretty competitive person, but after evaluating this statement, I find it to be incredibly representative of my experiences so far."