Wanting MORE: How Millennials Are Shaping Company Culture For the Better
By / July 25, 2017
Millennials- an often-misunderstood generation- are perceived as a group of young individuals who lack a genuine desire for hard work. The generations before them, mostly of the Baby Boomer age, see their tendencies to hop from job to job to be disloyal and unnecessary. Yet, if you look past the “man buns” and incessant need for screen time, you may be surprised to find that Millennials are creating quite a wave in businesses. Their audacious expectations for “more” may not be so audacious after all, and perhaps, it’s exactly what we needed to push company culture in the direction it has needed to go for a very long time.
Millennials are seeking something that the older generations never imagined nor seemed to want- a work-life balance. Contrasting the Baby Boomers who worked endlessly, with a fierce loyalty to their employers, the generation entering the workforce now seeks to have the best of both worlds- and why shouldn’t they? Having a life outside of the office means more time for passion projects, a focus on health and most importantly- family.
Without a doubt, today’s workforce is the single most educated generation in history. With an emphasis on advancement and technological understanding, Gen Y employees tend to come into a new position with a better understanding of their role, the skillsets needed to do it, and the desire to learn more. Now, employers are quickly discovering- from the generation shaping company culture- that incentives to continue education are major motivators for employee satisfaction and productivity.
Another difference in a predominantly Millennial workforce- How about diversity? Now, with a melting pot-inspired country, Millennials are seeking companies that practice inclusion and emphasize their commitment to equal rights for all employees. This goes beyond race, however, as Millennials fight for equality in all aspects of life: gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. With power in numbers, major companies are getting on board- even going as far as adopting recruiting measures and incentives for people that help to hire women, minorities and veterans across the nation.
While many people feel that the word “Millennial” is synonymous with “lazy”- nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are more entrepreneurs in the Generation Y population than ever before. With that being said, the Millennials that are working for employers find themselves more motivated when they are tasked with important responsibilities or given the space to articulate their opinions and trusted to act on them.
In a welcomed surge is the rise of civic-minded employees that are bringing awareness to both local and global causes. This culture change is trailblazing the path for companies to offer perks that work towards benefiting the philanthropic missions of employees, with some even going as far as to offer paid time off for humanitarian- driven work or yearly bonuses paid directly to the charities of the employee’s choice.
In some regards, the Baby Boomers and naysayers are right- Millennials DO seem to easily transition from company to company without a care in the world, but let’s think about this for a moment. Imagine that you’re in a position with a company that doesn’t offer the above-mentioned desires, i.e.: balance, education, diversity, etc. Now, imagine that another company comes along that seeks your skillsets- the ones you’ve worked hard to learn- and is prepared to use it in a way that truly showcases your talents. You look into this company, and one by one, they start checking the boxes for what you envision as a company worth working for. Should you stay at your previous job- just because? Or should you grow? Excel? And perhaps, truly enjoy a culture, where not only are you recognized and appreciated, but the environment only enriches your lifestyle, skills and desire to help the company achieve success. Perhaps, the Baby Boomers had it all wrong and you should leave a position that doesn’t light you up; or perhaps, they had very little options in the first place- and their decision, was more based on circumstances than options. At the end of the day, you should be working for companies that inspire you to do and be better- and if that means looking elsewhere, then you should do just that.
If more companies adopted cultures that sought to educate, advance, and inspire their team members, then this would no longer be an issue of generations. Maybe this isn’t a millennial problem, but a workforce problem- and it’s the Gen Y population that is finally calling our attention to it. Maybe, just maybe, we should be thanking Millennials for wanting MORE- more from life and more from the companies they give so much to.