As millennials are advancing through the education system and entering into the workforce, it becomes increasingly more important for companies to comply to the demands and wishes of this age cohort. Right now the workforce is dominated by baby boomers, but since millennials are the future of the workforce, the dynamic of a given workplace must take into account the differences in preferences, attitudes and behaviors that will be present upon mixing different generations together in a productive environment.
Studies have proven that millennials deeply value a work environment where they feel they are positively contributing to society and are respected for their efforts. As employees, millennials yearn to be treated well by co-workers and superiors. These desires are not as strong in the baby boomer generation that currently controls the workforce, meaning that baby boomers, when hiring and evaluating talent, must take into consideration how justly they are treating the younger workers within their company.
Millennials are critical of the short-term, profit-driven and often selfish mindset for which many modern business leaders are notorious. In contrast, they crave a justifiable purpose behind their organization’s decisions and actions. After all of the shady transactions and manipulations that led to the financial crisis of 2008, surveys prove millennials’ distaste for such unethical actions.
Universities, like The University, adhere to the preferences of millennials by offering courses with focuses on leadership and ethics, which are two components of business that millennials value. Courses that establish a strong foundation within these two areas will better prepare millennials to be ethical business leaders and employees that themselves feel valued, value others and recognize the positive societal impact of their work.
Although the transition from baby boomers dominating the workforce to millennials taking over will not be without its troubles, it is undoubtedly possible to get through the awkward phase of mixed generations within the workplace. Most importantly, both baby boomers and millennials must have open minds and respect their fellow employees, irrespective of generational differences. As millennials take over as business leaders, their mindsets indicate that there is hope for a more just business world.
March 27, 2015.