In recent years, one generation has become the voice for change in the workforce. A kind of change that all generations can get behind.
The millennial generation has just recently become the largest population within the workforce. This generation has a generally poor reputation due to the pre-established notion of their work ethics, however they have also become the force for change in how we work. Lindsey Pollak, a New York Times best selling author on the multigenerational workforce organized five workplace advances that the millennial generation is pushing for, but all generations will benefit from:
- Work/Life Flexibility – previously only a perk to those who put in their time, the expectation now is that everyone benefit from the flexibility of this plan.
- Training and Development – Pollak sites a Gallup study that found 87% of millennial’s desire professional growth and development opportunities in their job. Compared to previous generations, millennials are significantly more engaged with their career growth and demanding opportunities for the workplace.
- Variety – Similarly to point #2, millennials desire variety in their careers and the ability to cross-train to develop new skills for short-term rotation.
- Good Bosses – The command-and-control style of leadership is a thing of the past, the millennial generation is demanding more people-centered leadership. Taking notes from the influential and transformational leaders, they want the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., or Barack Obama as their supervisor, not drill instructor.
- Meaning and Purpose – Possibly the most important to millennials, purpose represents the desire of meaning over paycheck. Some will recognize this as the millennial asking “why” when told to do something. Note this is not entitlement, but a search for meaning.
Understanding the needs, beliefs, and desires of your teams will make you a more effective leader. The millennial generation just happens to be the most vocal generation to get what they want, so take notes and execute!