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​Millennials not as tech obsessed as employers think: study

​Millennials not as tech obsessed as employers think: study

Robert Walters reports on the workplace habits and expectations of the 'Gen Y' professionals.

Millennials are less attached to technology than employers think, according to a new study by Robert Walters.

The recruitment company found that while 87 per cent of employers think that millennials would leave their organisation if they did not invest in emerging technologies, just over half of millennials would consider leaving their job if their employer didn’t invest in technology.

Despite this, 94 per cent of millennials said technology is extremely important, and 62 per cent of employers have plans to invest in technology.

The recruitment company says it interviewed more than 1000 professionals across New Zealand and Australia for the study.

The Robert Walters study also found that just over half (53 per cent) of Millennials have experienced or witnessed inter-generational conflict in the workplace, and an overwhelming majority (79 per cent) of employers surveyed believe the biggest source of conflict stems from younger generations’ expectations of rapid career progression.

All three employee generations surveyed (millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) agree that the main source of inter-generational conflict was ‘difference in expectations of organisational values and cultures’ (37 per cent, 37 per cent and 42 per cent respectively).

The second source of conflict for Gen X and Baby Boomers is the younger generations’ expectations of rapid career progression (with 29 per cent and 40 per cent respectively). For millennials, the second biggest source of conflict was the older generations’ ‘reluctance to engage with or use new technologies’ (24 per cent).

When assessing the personal characteristics that are most important in a manager, the top three for millennials are: recognising performance’ (70 per cent), ‘being open to ideas and feedback’ (69 per cent) and ‘being accessible and easily available’ (54 per cent).

Half of the millennials surveyed also felt their employer has an adequate plan for career progression.

The survey also found nearly nine in 10 millennials working in New Zealand and Australia want to go overseas to work.

Read more: ‘As customers transition to smartphones, so should you’

A great majority - 87 per cent - said employers should offer international career opportunities as part of their training and development programs, and 88 per cent would value these opportunities.

Despite this, of over 400 employers surveyed, three in four said they do not currently offer these opportunities.

“It is alarming that most organisations aren’t offering these overseas opportunities,” says James Nicholson, managing director of Robert Walters ANZ, in a statement.

“Organisations wanting to attract and retain good talent should look to develop international opportunities for their employees. For local companies, this could mean developing partnerships with likeminded organisations overseas to fulfil this growing demand.”

He adds: “Kiwis are renowned for doing an ‘OE’ in their early 20s, it is almost a coming of age milestone, this coupled with the fact that millennials, or Gen Y, have grown up in a borderless world with greater access to international travel, means their sights are set high to begin with.

Read more: Kiwi execs say digitalisation important, but need to ‘walk the talk’

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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