Millennials make up one quarter of US workforce and half the general population of India. By 2020, 1 in every 2 workers worldwide will be a millennial, and this will go on to increase to 75% by 2025. Research suggests that this generational shift in the workplace will drive innovation and cultural change, even profit. Leading companies such as PwC, Google and Microsoft have recognised the importance of developing millennial leadership within their organisations to remain dynamic industry-changers. Millennial leadership stands out for translating the needs and expectations of their generation into innovation of service, product, and delivery. Organisations benefit when they invest in millennial talent early and offer them significant roles where they can make a difference.
Impact-driven, Millennials engage with broader workplace policies and strategies around management and social impact as they often aspire to make a broader difference with their work. Having grown up alongside technology, Millennials help to create an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship as they both intentionally and incidentally shape outward-looking workplace culture. By contrast, past generations who entered the workforce with different ideas and attitudes were likely to adopt existing corporate values to move up the ladder. As Millennials flood into offices, it’s more likely that other employees will shift their attitudes to become more like the newcomers. Based on a recognition that millennials are uniquely placed to use technology to drive innovation and growth, cultural norms and attitudes will evolve in their image.
Millennials are goal-driven and achievement-oriented with high professional expectations, making them ideal candidates to forge new opportunities for companies. The unprecedented mobility amongst this ethnically and culturally diverse generation contributes to a freer flow of new thinking within the workplace and across companies. As this generation shares ideas and builds networks across all kinds of borders, the cross-fertilisation of attitudes and practices will produce exciting new possibilities for growth.
As life expectancy increases this group will work to support a significantly larger and older generation and they will likely need to stay in the workforce much longer than previous generations. We need to reimagine workplace design, role definition and career profiles in order to give the best opportunity for Millennials to prosper and lead into the future.
Although there are differences between generations, there is much crossover between the expectations and attitudes of millennials and the needs of other generations. Ultimately, Millennials want the same thing that every employee wants: meaningful work relationships, work-life balance, stimulating projects and learning opportunities. In focusing on the needs of the next generation, companies that invest in creating better places to work for everyone will be the ones to thrive.
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