The term Millennials has been scoffed at, analyzed, criticized and quantified to no end over the last few years. For a while now, as a 23 year old in the workplace, I’ve often wondered what my generation had done to earn a term with such a frequently negative connotation. Sure, I grew up with texting, Facebook and learned to read with the help of computer programs. Yes, we tend to prefer an email to a hand written note (much to my dismay) and sleep with our iPhones next to our pillow. While this presents its own set of hurdles, especially when we are clocked in from 9-5, we are bringing a new perspective and outlook on how to do business in the 21st century into the workplace.
Millennials, adults born January 1983 and onward, have proven to be an enigma to business leaders around the globe. Facebook may tell marketers what we “like” and Spotify what we listen to, but the concept of marketing jobs to millennials is something organizations are beginning to see the importance in.
Therein lies the question: What does the millennial generation want to be when in grows up? Below are a few insights into the latest wave of faces entering the working world and what they expect:
1. Millennials expect businesses to care: While millennials recognize business’ impact on societal growth by generating jobs and increasing wealth, the generation also places a high level of importance on a business’ social responsibility. Does the company address resource scarcity in other areas of the world? Are their processes environmentally friendly? Do they make income equality a priority? The majority of millennials don’t value a business purely because of its economic success; the potential impact they have the ability to make is much more of a factor in choosing their next job.
2. Millennials want to be creative: A recent survey of Millennials revealed that 78 percent of those in the workplace were influenced by how innovative a company was when deciding if they wanted to work there. However, most feel creatively restricted in their current positions due to: management attitude (63 percent), operational structures and procedures (61 percent) employee’s attitudes and lack of diversity (39 percent.) Long term, millennials want to work for organizations that inspire and support innovation.
3. Millennials want to be leaders: According to the same survey, nearly one in four millennials are “asking for a chance” to show their leadership skills. Additionally, 75 percent believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.
4. Millennials want to make a difference: Millennials as a whole are charitable in nature, and expect businesses to be the same. When looking back upon the previous year, 63 percent of those surveyed gave to charities, 42 percent actively volunteered or were a member of a community organization and 52 percent signed petitions. These qualities lead millennials to care about more than just the financial success of an organization.
5. Millennials are ready to go their own way: Perhaps the most staggering (and impressive) statistic to emerge from the survey is that 70 percent of millennials working for businesses that fail to address these concerns see themselves leaving their organizations in the next five years to work independently, instead of being employed within a traditional workplace structure. Therefore, knowing and addressing the needs if millennials has never been more important for businesses worldwide.