It’s 2017 and with each year that goes by, another cohort of millennials graduates, ready to change the world. With the passing of time, the ‘elders’ of the modern workplace begin to move on, retirement beckons them out, and slowly a shift is beginning to occur. This is when the millennials begin to take control, when they begin to access positions of higher management, with opportunities for direction and leadership. This is when change happens.
The transition from old to young, a complete change in priorities, is the key underlying force behind the changing face of the modern-day workplace. A generation who refutes the motion that they need to quit life to have a career slowly rising to positions of authority. Their values are different, they won’t be another statistic on the drawing board, and importantly, they won’t let their employees be that either.
So, what are this generation of changemakers doing to solve the ongoing trial that is the square peg and the round hole approach to employment? Firstly, they’re changing the way the workplace feels. Workplace culture is a central tenet of any forward-thinking company. This means everything from fruit bowls in the cafeteria to flexible hours that account for everyday struggles in modern society. It means socializing with colleagues, building team spirit and valuing individuals’ strengths.
More than that, however, it means empowering people to think critically in their role and not just allowing, but actively assisting people in achieving their full potential; progressing and developing. This is a generation who says no to mind-numbing busywork. These are people who will look not only at the tasks they need to complete but at ways to do so more efficiently, to streamline processes and to develop products. This is when work becomes so much more than hitting targets, this is when it begins to matter.
Managing the millennials has been an ongoing trial for older employers who were initiated into a generation taught not to think too hard, not to counter their boss or question how things work. This fading cohort of managers expected tasks to be fulfilled, punctually, they never asked for more. They didn’t put trust in their employees or shower them in responsibility because this had a risk of failure, and failure was not an option. As the millennial managers move into their place they demonstrate their understanding, rapport, with employees, one that has never been commonplace before. They see opportunity not defiance, as they listen to their team. The millennial workplace celebrates soft achievements as well as hard, and they do celebrate, rather than just expecting targets to be met. They say thanks and offer praise where praise is due.
This is the time at which creativity is given its position in industry. This is when people are given a voice. This is when everything begins to grow.
For the companies in denial of this transition? They won’t keep up. Staff turnover will be at its highest as the millennial generation seek a nurturing workplace. One that understands their capabilities, utilizes their strengths and offers them a safe and happy working environment.
It may have seemed too much to ask for 30 years ago, but today it is expected.
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