A Response to Millennials in the Workplace

A Response to Millennials in the Workplace

Brenden Moran 05/02/2018 9

There is much hype about Millennials in the workplace these days. I figure that in five or so years I’ll be reading about Generation Z/iGeneration just as much as they start to enter the workforce.

A recent study done by Lee Caraher sought to figure out just what Millennials want in the workplace. Rather than speculate or make broad encompassing assumptions she went out and collected the hard data.

Here are three things Lee Caraher came up with and my explanations for why they are important:

  • Ditch corporate hierarchy: 

Are we all about skills and competence, while shunning seniority and experience? The short answer, no; long answer, kind of. Let me explain. The days of someone only getting promoted because of their seniority are over in the mind of the Millennial. Rising in the company should instead be a sign that someone possesses the right knowledge, skills, experience, and leadership capabilities.

We understand that corporate hierarchy is necessary, but we reject the age-old idea that “because I’m your boss” is justification for someone making a decision. In fact, decisions should be more democratic or collaborative rather than unilateral and authoritarian.

Hierarchy can also lead easily to favoritism and limited upward mobility. Millennials like to move, even if it is not up. We like accepting new challenges and not doing the same thing every day. Not all of us are like this, but many of us are. When our options at a company are limited and our room to grow and learn new skills slows, then we rethink our employment and start to look elsewhere.

  • Set clear expectations:

There is nothing so aggravating as ambiguity to Millennials. We like structure-and no that does not mean hand holding. Picture this great skill: someone who asks for clarification and guidelines so they do not have to repeat their work and can avoid when the boss says, “That’s not what I asked for.” Our wisdom tells us that doing something right the first time is far better than pridefully going into the unknown alone without proper parameters.

What else does this mean? We follow directions well when directions are communicated well. It does not mean we aren’t creative, in fact, getting us in on the ground floor and being open to new ideas can help us become a part of the process as we seek to help it become even better through collaboration.

  • Give context for why work matters:

For some reason employers think that people asking, “But, why” is such a bad question. I have seen companies that sell fish have more vision and meaning than people who take care of the sick and dying. It is now fairly common knowledge that people work better when the vision and meaning of the work is communicated to everyone.

So what does this mean? It means that sharing where you are going, how you plan to get there, and what each person’s unique role is, matters immensely. Now this does not mean that you can make up absurd or mundane goals and people will blindly follow. This is a matter of the fabric of a company’s culture-it must be tautly woven and intricately planned. This will take time and the purpose must be real and consequential.

When people have a higher reason for doing their work that makes sense, is practical, and touches their everyday lives, you will have better workers who work more passionately.  

Final Thoughts:

Millenials are not just pulling this ‘lovey dovey’ peace, sustainability, and purpose stuff out of nowhere, we are just a generation who wants to make a change in how people work-to do better than those before us, because those before us gifted us with a platform to stand upon in order to make a change-for all.

There is a rhyme and reason to why we do the things we do, and yes, we are fallible and have our fair share of cons in the workplace. We all do.

Knowledge is power; the more we communicate about Millennials and their strengths the more employers will find a reason to employ them and use them to their best potential.

*Disclaimer: no, I am not trying to pull an entire generation into an assumed and unified group. These are merely characteristics of many millennials and does not necessarily speak to the entire group.

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  • Byron Smith

    Truth man!!

  • Neil Rice

    I speak for a lot of millennials when I say most of us aren’t ever even given interviews because we don’t have the 5 years of experience for an entry level position

  • Carmen Worden

    Brilliant because it is true!

  • Steve L

    I am a millennial and most of the peers I know are incredibly hardworking, down to earth people. Its easy to generalize when you see all of the technology we were born with. However, with those advancements, we are expected to learn faster and have a variety of skill sets and experience in order to make it with today's fierce competition in the job market.

  • Chris McDanel

    Salaries have not changed, but everything is more expensive nowadays, not to mention our ridiculously high tuition bills which we will be paying off for the next, I don't know, 30 years?

  • David Abbot

    I am so tired of seeing our whole generation being labelled as these lazy, entitled, stupid adult-children.

  • Michael Dan

    I am so in love with this post

  • Robert A. Hansen

    When you millennials finally get your heads out of your asses and realise you are responsible for whatever happens to your life instead of blaming everyone else, do you implode or explode, and can I had a good seat to it?

  • Frank Amick

    In reply to: Robert A. Hansen

    Your comment was unexpectedly funny! Just admit that our generation is better than yours



Brenden Moran

Society Guru

Brenden is a talented writer, who is passionate about the marketing and digital world. During his previous work experiences, he increased companies’ brand awareness and visibility thanks to his outstanding relational and customer service skills. He is also renowned for his meticulous attention to details. Brenden is currently completing a bachelor degree in communications studies and interdisciplinary liberal arts at the Colorado State University.


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