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‘Workplace flexibility’ and ‘employee empowerment’ emerge as themes at RPC hearing on millennials and the workforce

Nov 16, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Millennials and their role in the workforce were the focus today as the House Republican Policy Committee (RPC) Taskforce on Millennials hosted its second hearing on Capitol Hill.  Its objective was to examine how the millennial generation is shaping America’s economy and the essential role millennials are playing in informing workplace culture and hiring practices.  The hearing was hosted by Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, Luke Messer (IN-06), and was chaired by Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) who heads the RPC’s Taskforce on Millennials.

“The issue of how we attract, engage and develop the youngest members of our organization is something we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about,” said Terri McClements, Market Managing Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who testified that by next year millennials will make up 80% of that company’s workforce. “When we started paying attention to the workplace motivations and interests of millennials, we ended up with a fresh perspective on the work experience for our entire firm.”

PwC found that millennials value workplace flexibility, community engagement and open communication.  They also found millennials care more about the company’s “purpose” or “reason for being” than previous generations, meaning that millennials are more willing to leave a company if its organizational values do not align with their own.  

Witnesses from Google and Uber also testified before the Congressional panel about how millennials have impacted the employee-employer relationship and company culture.    

“Mission, transparency, trust, and inclusion have paved the way for Google to be considered a top employer by millennials,” said Masie Clark, Government Affairs Analyst for Google.  That includes allowing Google employees to pursue “20% projects”, where they can spend 20% of their time working on side projects that they think will benefit the company internally or consumers externally.  

Google employees also have direct access to Google’s founders through weekly company-wide question and answer sessions. “This open dialogue allows each employee to make her voice heard, and have access to people at the top of the company who make important decisions for the business,” said Clark.

Congresswoman Stefanik, a millennial herself, said companies like Google, Uber and PwC are at the “cutting edge of fresh thinking and adaptive policies to attract millennials to their workforce.”

“We also heard how technology is empowering individuals to support themselves economically and is giving people the flexibility they desire,” said Rep. Stefanik.  “I thank Chairman Messer for his dedication as we continue to work to support and grow the empowerment economy.”

Rep. Messer pointed out the importance of empowering millennials in an economy that seems to be stacked against them.  He emphasized how companies like the ones that testified at today’s hearing are giving millennials “a fighting chance”. 

“Student loan debt has eclipsed $1.2 trillion. Wages have stagnated. Young people are being forced to live at home longer,” said Congressman Messer. “But, millennials aren’t asking for us to give them a free pass.  They’re just asking we give them a fair shot.  We can start by getting government out of the way of businesses that are giving millennials a fighting chance.   The businesses here today have taken an uncommon approach to fixing common problems. And, by doing so, they have truly changed the world.” 

To watch a full recording of today’s hearing, please visit the House Republican Policy Committee’s YouTube page by clicking on this link

114th Congress