The Millennial Workforce Is Here
There are many stereotypes associated with the Millennial generation. Entitled, lazy, and narcissistic are a few common labels. Regardless of the stereotype, Millennials are creating huge waves in the workplace as we know it. From demanding a new definition of work-life balance to expecting rapid promotions, the youngest generation of workers is challenging the status quo, and in many cases, making it difficult for executives, business owners, and companies of all sizes to find common ground.
Unbeknownst to many, the landscape of the American workforce shifted nearly two years ago. As of 2015, the Millennial generation now holds the lion’s share of the workforce, surpassing both Baby Boomers and Gen Xers at a rapid pace. It’s safe to say two things. Millennials are here to stay and it’s time for the more experienced workforce to accept this shift and embrace change.
Good Leaders vs. Great Leaders
Having the ability to drive change in any organization is one characteristic that sets good leaders apart from great leaders. Change requires leaders to identify challenges and to overcome those challenges all while keeping a team motivated and moving forward as one unit. Patience, a new perspective, compromise, and understanding that change for the betterment of the team trumps avoidance are all key to being a great leader.
A New Leadership Perspective
Data on the preferences of Millennials is easily accessible and supports the notion that work as we know it will look much different in the future than we’re accustomed to. Finding purpose will be more important than a paycheck, personal development will be preferred over satisfaction, bosses will become coaches, annual reviews will disappear and become ongoing conversations, pointing out strengths will be more ideal than identifying weaknesses, and life will be far more important than any job.
By viewing Millennials with a stereotypical eye or looking at them from the perspective of the way things have always been, the thought of embracing how this generation views work can be overwhelming. It’s different, it’s challenging, and it’s uncomfortable. However, changing one’s perspective by taking time to break down labels, understand working needs, and having the ability to identify and drive change will help solidify the continued success of any business for generations to come.
This article was originally published in the 2016 Social Register’s Society Fall Magazine.