Are you as fascinated with Millennials as I am? Creating the right kind of culture is key to attracting and retaining these young people who are the future of work and the future of your organization. If you’re interested in moving your organization forward, avoiding cultural clash within, then trying to learn all you can about the Millennials only makes sense. My work is focused on understanding the Millennials mindset, integrating the generations co-exciting in today’s corporate world.
Overall, Millennials regard businesses’ approach to leadership as perhaps too traditional or inward-looking. While they believe the pursuit of profit is important, that pursuit needs to be accompanied by a sense of purpose, by efforts to create innovative products or services and, above all, by consideration of individuals as employees and members of society. These ideas are demonstrated by the organizations and sectors Millennials recognize as being leaders.
In many recent surveys, regional and cultural differences are highlighted as yet another layer of complexity to the generational change Millennials are bringing to the workplace. This is where businesses in general are struggling to adapt to. Reports reveals there are gaps in three key areas between the views and aspirations of the millennial group and their perceptions of how business is conducted:
- The impact gap.Millennials believe business should have a clear sense of purpose and focus on the well-being of employees and the wider community. The millennial view is that social responsibility should be at the top of the business agenda alongside the pursuit of profit.
- The leadershipgap. Millennials believe their leaders care more about profit and personal rewards than they do about people. Millennial respondents felt that employees should be a top priority, with employees’ well-being, as well as growth and development, ranking very high as things a business should be focused on, alongside making positive contributions to the community. These areas, though, showed the widest gap between perceived leadership priorities and the prime concerns of Millennials.
- The connection gap. The “super-connected” Millennials – defined as those who use social media significantly for personal and business use more than average – have an even stronger belief that business can have a more positive impact on the community and the outside world. Indeed almost half (47 percent) agreed that the purpose of business is to improve society and protect the environment.
For me, two things stand out from these studies:
- The millennial generation is going to dramatically reshape the workplace ( I believe they are already doing so!)
- There is much work to be done to ensure their smooth integration into business.
Culture within the organization is becoming increasingly important and an integral role, internally and externally. Culture is not a ‘nice to do’ but a strategic business imperative that permeates all the decisions made – from theway business is conducted every day, nurturing client relationships, pursuing new business to the talent hired and to the way an organization present themselves. As companies grow, their culture must remain absolutely central to all they do.