By Etheline Desir | Desir Group
Last year, according to a Pew Research Center poll, Millennials became the single largest generational segment in the United States, now surpassing the Baby Boomers. Additionally, they are the most ethnically diverse generation and are more likely to live in urban areas than previous generations. Though successful, and widely employed across the board, a third of Millennials are still pursuing some level of education, meaning their spending power is only going to grow even stronger in the future. Thus, the Millennials, or Generation Y — born between 1980 and 2000—represent the latest emerging group of employees.
Since effective leadership requires an understanding of work preferences of your employees, you should be intimately aware of the values that Millennials embrace and the impact of these values on the workplace.
1. Millennials are intrinsically motivated. They are typically not on the job out of necessity or merely for a paycheck. In fact, 65% say that personal development is the most important factor in their career. They are generally motivated to succeed, so personal development and advancement are essential to keep them challenged. Evidence points to personal accomplishment and career development, which generally lead to creative and innovative contributions.
2. They are driven. Millennials deeply value the ability to progress in their career and are particularly attracted to careers where they know they will be given more responsibility. Consequently, they are deeply invested in their work. They will give their all to demonstrate their capabilities.
3. Millennials think outside the box. Growing up in an ever-changing and technology-driven world, they are very creative. They are constantly thinking of new ideas to enhance the quality of life. Just look at the rosters of technology companies—many of those leaders do not start out with graduate degrees, but instead they were taught to think creatively, logically and critically. We have seen how innovation can change a power structure overnight.
4. Millennials are team players, operating with a spirit of collaboration. They work well in a team environment as long as it helps them create the best work. They believe that successful teams create perfect balance, fostering a sense of openness to new ideas, people and experiences, coupled with the recognition that everyone is an individual with different values. They view teamwork as a way to grow and widen their perspectives. Nurturing a culture of collaboration will ensure that businesses will not die, based on one individual, but is sustained by individuals working together.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Millennials will make up approximately 75% of the workforce by 2030. Understanding these different generations is essential to ensuring an overall thriving organization.
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