“The Millennials are coming! The Millennials are coming!”
This is the cry that has been reverberating around human resources departments for the past decade. Currently, the workforce is predominantly composed of three groups:
- The Baby Boom Generation (born between 1946 and 1964)
- Generation X (born between 1966 and 1980)
- The Millennial Generation (born after 1980)
For the past several decades, Baby Boomers and Generation-Xers have dominated the workforce. But in 2015, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, Millennials surpassed both Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers in the workforce for the first time. This is a trend that will only increase as more Millennials enter the workforce and more Gen-Xers and Boomers leave it.
The implications of Millennials’ rise are significant and widespread, from healthcare to management to foodservice choices. This blog has already discussed Millennials’ preference for fresh foods, as well as some more general HR trends for Millennials. As USConnect keeps tabs on the most up-to-date trends among Millennials and other workers, we share them here. Some current trends include these:
- Office and workplace design that allows for flexibility encourages collaboration. Break rooms, in particular, should reflect the fact that work is rarely a 9-to-5 endeavor and that employees may use these spaces for important “water-cooler” discussion that improves productivity.
- Food perks. Some think that free food is less important than a collaborative environment or opportunity for improvement. Others, however, point to a study that found that 67 percent of Millennials would feel more valued at work if food perks were increased.
- Social responsibility. Millennials value working at an organization that makes a positive difference in the world, and that value extends to the food brands they buy. A study by the National Marketing Institute found that Millennials are more likely to buy brands that are transparent about their sustainability and charitable giving, with 65 percent recognizing the Fair Trade Certified label.
Here’s the buzz on America’s favorite beverage – coffee!
Plain Drip Coffee Consumption Is Declining.
According to the National Coffee Association’s 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, generic coffee made in a standard drip coffeemaker is losing popularity in favor of gourmet coffee drinks, especially those make with espresso. Here are some stats from the report:
- Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages has nearly tripled since 2008, according to the latest data from the 2016 NCDT.
- Between 2008 and 2016, past-day consumption of gourmet coffee beverages soared from 13% to 36% among 18-to-24-year-olds, and from 19% to 41% for those 25-39.
- For espresso-based beverages alone, the jump become 9% to 22% for the 18-24 group and 8% to 29% for those 25-39.
Millennials Are Leading the Charge.
As this blog has noted multiple times, Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) are at the forefront of many workplace and nutritional trends, and coffee is no exception. The NCDT report found that “Millennials are drinking coffee out-of-home, turning coffee consumption into a public expression of individuality.” Millennials also crave a connection to the products they purchase, and tend to be willing to pay more for fair-trade-sourced coffee.
A Looming Coffee Shortage?
From its first use in the sixteenth century to today, coffee has been a mainstay of many people’s days: especially their mornings. Many of us find it difficult to start the day without coffee’s caffeine and bitter flavor. A recent report, therefore, may strike terror in the hearts of many coffee drinkers. The Climate Institute recently released The Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee, which suggests that wild coffee could be extinct by 2080. Want to make sure that our children and children’s children get to enjoy coffee too? Check out things we can do to mitigate climate change and issues for coffee growers.
HR Focus: Engaging Millennials in the Workforce
For the past decade, attracting and retaining Millennial workers—those born between 1981 and 1997—has been the focus of HR departments across the country and even the world. According to The Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials enter the workforce later, prefer to communicate and work electronically, demand purpose from their work, and expect a decent work-life balance.
Mary Faulkner, head of talent at Denver Water, notes that rather than measuring “employee satisfaction,” as they used to, HR departments are now more interested in measuring “employee engagement.” This emphasis on engagement reflects concern about Millennials’ loyalty and their willingness to jump ship to find a better or more fulfilling job. A recent Deloitte survey found that a majority of Millennials expect to leave their companies before 2020, and a 2014 Gallup poll found that Millennials are the least engaged group of employees in the workplace.
But how to create engagement? The Deloitte survey found that work/life balance is the most important aspect that would make Millennials stay at a job, but for HR professionals, it can be challenging to provide this balance in a cost-effective way. USConnect’s Bistro To Go!™ fresh food kiosks, with their easy connectivity to the USConnectMe app, provide the kind of lifestyle complement that Millennials crave. Fresh, healthy food choices are a must for most Millennials, and USConnect’s The Right Choice… For a Healthier You™ program makes sure these options are front and center. To satisfy Millennials’ craving for connectivity and visual learning, USConnect’s staff nutritionist provides interactive videos on issues relating to health and wellness.