In his most recent post, Eugene Fram writes about the change in the work place that is setting in with the next generation of workforce. Eugene is a professor at the Saunders College of Business as well as a frequent blogger for the HuffPost Business section which is dedicated to latest U.S. business and financial news.
Nonprofit Boards Prepare — The Millennial Workforce Is Coming!
By Eugene Fram | 04/19/15 | HuffPost Business
There is no question that the nonprofit workforce mirrors or exceeds the national workforce in percentages of millennials — expected to be 50 percent in 2020 and 75 percent in 2025. Their values center on finding meaningful work, being respected/praised for their accomplishments, and having a flexible work environment. Although these working requirements and values, at first, will puzzle older board cohorts, millennials’ dedication to the mission will be outstanding. But nonprofit directors and the public will have to adjust their views because a new generation’s working styles will require changes.
Millennial managers and staffs are very willing to work hard at their jobs, but they also highly value a work-life balance. On the other hand they do not have a rigid demarcation between work and personal life; working from home, libraries and coffee houses can be seen as desirable places to be productive, locations were never considered desirable by the past generations. Nonprofit directors, more than their for-profit counterparts, need to be in contact with staff members for various professional reasons such as board committee service. But not always having staff available in the workplace from 9am to 5pm initially will present some communications challenges.
A new generation is coming into the workforce and what used to be the unconventional is now becoming the normal. Millennial work environments bring a much more casual appeal with relaxed open workspaces and minimal dress code. Portable is key, laptops are the new desktop computer and having your own office, let alone desk, is no longer essential for every employee.
The days of wearing a bland suit everyday and taking your breaks by the water cooler are long gone.
Comfort is key these days; the key is to not have the workplace seem like an office but better a lounge of some sort with activities such as table tennis and couches to relax in.
Any coffee shop you step foot in these days will usually have some type of millennial face first in their laptop working on something. This open style atmosphere is what millennial these days have grown to work in, so why not bring that to the workplace.
The future of your work force relies on portability and having things on the go.
Laptops and mobile devices are all millennials need to stay connected to the world and complete any task thrown at them. So wouldn’t these also be the channels you use to reach your new generation of donors. If you are not using mobile to gain new donors you are missing out on a large generation of millennials who only use mobile devices, laptops and tablets to stay connected.