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The New Age Workplace with Millennials

Updated on May 20, 2015

Eschewing the Corporate Culture & Embracing the Tech Age!

Getting to Grips with Millennials in the Workplace

The corporate world may be something of an anathema to millennials. Perhaps it is the rigidity of old-school business and the seemingly singular focus of high finance that repels today’s millennials. How millennials feel about the workplace is easier to ascertain when you consider that they tend to reject corporate culture in most every way. Now, when it comes to filling vacancies for top posts, recruitment agencies need to carefully consider the prevailing attitudes of this group of people in their evaluations. Millennials know all too well about technology and how to include it in every conceivable aspect of their daily lives. Old school traditions in the corporate world don’t hold water when it comes to enticing millennials to sign on for available vacancies.

Driving Millennials – Key Challenges in the Corporate Sector

There are so many things to consider when enticing millennials into the fold. For starters, these folks are largely of the opinion that big companies are more concerned with their own agenda than on the betterment of society. Millennials are all about the planet, the environment and the social good. Three quarters of millennials are of the opinion that corporations do not consider the improvement of society as a priority. Six of every ten millennials select employers on business purpose. Millennials who are heavily into social media tend to be more concerned about business purpose, with almost eight in every ten focusing on that. Based on these stats, it is clear that socially conscious companies are more likely to attract the most talented employees.

Millennials in the Workplace Training Video

Myths about Millennials

When we think of millennials, we tend to focus on preconceived notions of who they are and what they’re all about. We may believe that they’re narcissistic; perhaps even disloyal to the companies they work for. But the fact of the matter is that they are really not very different to the generations of people who came before them. By 2020, this group of people (born in the 80s and 90s) will constitute 50% of the entire workforce. As part of the burgeoning digital revolution, millennials have a lot to offer companies in this day and age. For these very reasons, it’s essential to understand precisely what drives millennials. Surprisingly, the IBM Institute for Business Value uncovered that there are very few differences between different generations of employees (Gen X, Millennials and Baby Boomers). In other words many of their needs are similar. The manner in which the attitudes of millennials have been misunderstood is notable.

This brings us to several myths about millennials. The first myth has already been addressed – namely that the career goals of millennials differ from those of older generations. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In the workplace, millennials are sought out by many different groups of people including Baby Boomers, Generation X people and others. A second myth about millennials is that they are addicted to all things digital and have no compunction to respect professional boundaries or personal boundaries. However, person-to-person interaction at work is preferred by a great many millennials. In social media circles, they make clear distinctions between their professional and personal lives.

Some people are of the opinion that millennials need the input of everyone before they can make a decision. The reality is that the evidence suggests millennials and their colleagues are equally likely to solicit the opinions of their work colleagues. Another myth that abounds about millennials is that they seek recognition for themselves and their entire team all the time. In fact, this is not the case as millennials seek an ethical manager who is reliable and transparent. Bosses’ who give credit where credit is due are preferred by millennials. Then there’s the lack of loyalty myth with millennials. Many people are of the opinion that millennials will abandon ship if they are not passionate about their job. However, Baby Boomers, Generation X folks and millennials all have a keen interest in wanting to better themselves. Among the many reasons cited by them are career goals, doing what they feel passionate about and making a difference in the world.

These debunked myths provide clear evidence that workplaces need to create an environment that is conducive to all people. Employees from across multiple generations should be welcomed into the fold to enjoy the many benefits of the workplace. Collaboration, enhanced technology and the modification of organizational policies are a good place to start. By utilizing Big Data, it’s possible to ascertain the rewards for valuable employees, and this also allows recruiters to determine who the suitable candidates really are. All the while though, the workplace is also a comfortable place for other generations of workers. These include Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.

Social Trends with Millennials

As it stands, there are an increasing number of millennials not looking to get married. Not only are they marrying later than all other generations, they are also having kids much later too. Even the divorce rate has shrunk but that does not factor in what is likely to happen when this generation of folks decides to get married. Millennials are also more mobile than other generations – they’re more likely to be moving from job to job in search of the ideal balance between work and leisure time. And since they are less likely to have families under the age of 35, they are more likely to keep on searching for the excitement and lifestyle balance to be found by living peripatetically.

Since more millennials are likely to be single parents, there are also likely to be societal changes and even cultural changes taking place. The number of single parents will increase, as will the number of divorced parents. As children are born, the mobility of single parent families will be limited as issues such as custody and caregivers comes into play. Sick children make it difficult for parents to go out to work, without having a trusted childminder present. These sorts of issues are going to have to be factored into the work detail for recruiters and employers. For the most part, this group wants to work in the IT sector, telecommunications or media. Companies that millennials have an aversion to include Time Warner and Comcast. The companies that they are most interested in applying to are Apple and Google – no surprises there.

Male Millennial Goals vs. Female Millennial Goals

In the workplace, it was women who reported less desire for a leadership role than men. In fact, women admitted to having inferior leadership abilities to men. If they were inserted into leadership positions, women would place emphasis on the development of their employees – something missing from the current organizational culture. For this group of folks, there is clearly a different benchmark against which they hold the corporate world accountable. Business culture is increasingly important to millennials and is likely to be a source of contention if old-school ways of companies don’t change with the times.


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