Beware the millennial march: organisations must meet young parents’ workplace needs – or risk failure

Talking Talent’s new digital coaching experience will help businesses engage and retain millennial staff

18th September 2019: Organisations are about to be hit with a problem that could impact their very survival. Millennials, a generation leading the charge for a fairer society, and soon to make up 35% of the global workforce, have grown up during the recession. They choose value over loyalty, which has filtered down to their work habits. They constantly get approached for – and change – jobs, in a bid for more money and a better work/life balance. Nearly half of millennials plan to leave a job within two years, and – rightly – believe that business’ priorities should include enhancing employees’ lives and careers. Many are now in mid-senior level management positions and are becoming parents themselves. They want to be supported by their employers, but businesses are currently ill-equipped to deal with their parental leave, or to keep them engaged throughout it.

In recognition of this, Talking Talent, the global coaching consultancy leading the inclusivity and gender diversity agenda, is today releasing Talking Talent Online: a digital coaching platform that enables employers to support parents-to-be throughout their parental leave. It does so at three crucial stages: preparing for leave, preparing for return, and recently returned – supporting parents through a crucial transition to establish and maintain a sustainable and rewarding work-life balance. The digital coaching support helps businesses keep new parents and their managers engaged and successful during all stages of parental transitions ultimately boosting performance, talent attraction and retention.

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The first offering of its kind, Talking Talent’s digital platform makes working parent coaching economical and scalable – as well as for working parents of all ages. It provides users with access to specialist coaches, 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, even whilst on leave, and includes a guided checklist for each stage, as well as downloadable templates. It also assesses users’ ongoing confidence levels, automatically offering extra help when needed. The release follows successful trials by several blue-chip organisations.

The need for millennials to receive this level of organisational support is backed up by the demands of parents of this age range, particularly when compared to other generations. Talking Talent research has found that more than one in five (21%) parents aged 25-34 want the ability to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL), compared to only 13% of parents aged 35-44. Younger parents also think that making SPL more attractive to fathers is key for mothers to progress in their careers: one-in-three people under 35 believe this, compared to less than one-in-five over-35s.

They are also a generation welcoming professional help. Three-fifths (63%) of 25-34-year olds, compared to a quarter (25%) of those aged 45–54, would value receiving specialist coaching on managing the transition to becoming a working parent. That’s because they worry that juggling work and kids will hold back their career – a feeling becoming more pronounced with each successive generation. Only one in 10 (10%) 45-54-year olds strongly agree that their careers slowed down after having kids. Amongst the 25-34-year olds, 29% strongly agree. With 18-24-year olds, more than one in three (36%) strongly agree.

The employers that ignore the needs of their staff – and fail to retain them as a result – will pay heftily for this: the average fee for replacing a departing staff member stands at £30,614.

Chris Parke, Founder and CEO of Talking Talent, comments: “Younger parents, particularly millennials, are less torn than their predecessors when it comes to the double duties involved in being a working parent: they are less willing to absorb the sacrifices that were once believed necessary to have both children and a career. We’ve created Talking Talent Online to enable organisations to equip millennials – as well as all of their working parent employees – with parental leave support, as part of a blended coaching experience. With a growing proportion of millennials making up the average workforce, forward-thinking leaders must provide adequate support now –  or face failing to retain employees.”

For more information on Talking Talent Online please visit: To request a demo please get in touch, or email