Preparing for a Millennial led workforce

June 27, 2016

The impact millennials will have on the global workforce when they soon take over most leadership roles is set to revolutionize the way workplace value is perceived and created. In short – millennials are set to completely change the face of business. The work life of the future is sure to be non-traditional.


Millennials first appeared in the workforce in the early 2000s and will continue to arrive until 2025. One quarter of the U.S. population are millennials and they form the largest section of the workforce, having already eclipsed generation X and baby boomers. Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce by the year 2025. Because they mature with a natural affinity for and adoption of technology, in times when diversity of gender, race, sexual orientation and age are under the microscope, leadership under millennials will incorporate characteristics and mindsets never seen before in business.

Complex Customized Lifestyles

The millennial way is to work hard and play hard. The traditional nine-to-five workday is nearly extinct. According to Dixie Gillaspie in an Entrepreneur article, millennials don’t simply want to maintain a basic work-life balance. They want to design a fine-tuned lifestyle that specifically includes family, friends and pastimes, as well as business. It’s well documented that this new generation of leaders places a high emphasis on company culture. The average work environment will undergo even more change over the next ten years. The workplace of the future will incorporate aspects of workers’ professional and personal lives. They’ll work on whatever device works for them, wherever it feels comfortable, and whatever time of the day suits them. Leaders will enable this rather than restrict it. The element of trust will be backed by technology that logs employee activity and productivity in a way that does not necessitate micromanagement.

Engagement on Many Levels

Although they will be well-paid, millennials will also be more cause-driven than past generations. Millennials aim to make the world more compassionate and sustainable. According to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values. They want to create shared value and make positive social and environmental changes and the survey revealed 90% of millennials want to use their skills for “good.” They won’t stick around with an employer if they don’t feel like they are “making a difference,” or are not challenged or offered opportunities for personal growth and development.

Millennial leaders’ engagement extends to the treatment of their workforce and they aspire to transparency through meaningful and significant work. The millennial generation is by far the most connected generation the world has ever seen and technological advances continue to unfold. According to Forbes contributor and leadership analyst Josh Bersin, millennials “grew up in glass houses and are comfortable with transparency.” Similarly, millennial leaders want to be transparent about how they use company technology, resources and talent. They are team-oriented and believe that if everyone feels included and important, productivity will increase and a shared conviction to work hard and make a difference will form.

Hierarchy Replaced by Teams

Millennial leaders have welcomed the age of social media and capitalised on its growth.  Their embrace of technology has lessened the gap across the world, allowing effortless communication and collaboration. All types of work structures will be formed around technology under millennial leadership. Extensive data, rather than gut-feel, will inform decision making. In their new book, When Millennials Take Over: Preparing For The Ridiculous Optimistic Future Of Business, authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter discuss millennial leaders’ fluid approach to decision-making and organisational structures. They highlight the new organisational and management system that spreads decision-making responsibilities among a set of roles and teams, rather than a hierarchy of people. Millennial leaders value autonomy in the workplace and believe that systems and solutions should always be fluid. This process allows for more staff to make decisions and take ownership of solutions. They value creativity, innovation and input from colleagues and management offices have an open-door policy. Speaking of management: The concept of having a traditional “boss” is out, replaced by “mentor” roles. The use of data, using new technologies, allows leaders to make fair, unbiased calls when necessary.

The new wave of leaders will be more in touch with their employees’ needs and how to help them reach their potential. They will achieve this by: offering regular feedback, tangible benefits and immediate rewards; loosening the reins to allow freedom and reduced micromanagement; bringing employees into decision making processes. Millennial leaders know that old-school performance reviews can easily push employees away – It’s been found that 28% of employees look for another job after a sit-down review – so dialogue needs to be open, regular and fair.

We’ve only had a taste of what is to come under millennial leadership. Over the next two decades, millennial leaders’ dynamic, engaged and innovative leadership styles will become the norm, and workplaces will transform accordingly. Telecommuting, adoption of technology and data, improved understanding of people management, and practical, inspiring work environments are only the tip of the millennial leadership iceberg.

Sources:

http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/ gx-dttl-2014-millennial-survey-report.pdf l
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243862
http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/ blog/2014/04/from-boomers-to-millennials-manageing-different.html l http://blog.helblingsearch.com/index.php/2011/08/16/8-effective-ways-to-motivatebaby-boomers-the-most-important-thing-to-remember/ l http://www.lindseypollak.com/yelling-doesnt-work-give-negative-feedback-millennials/ http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/ft_15-05-11_millennialslargest/
http://study.com/academy/lesson/job-dissatisfaction-causes-reasons-and-employee-responses.html