Millenials will change your workplace culture

Millennials will change your workplace cultureLots has been said about Millennials, or Gen Y as they are commonly referred to; “they don’t want to put in the hard yards”, “they won’t listen to authority”, “they are entitled”, “always changing jobs”….

So why add more white noise?

Mainly because it was a somewhat welcome surprise to read the latest research from Gallup singing a somewhat different tune…

There are 73 million millenials in the USA alone and last year they surpassed gen xers as the largest generation in the US labour force. By 2025 it is predicted they will make up 75% of the global workforce.

So get prepared for workplace culture to be shaped in ways that suit them.

They are characterised by less allegiance to formal institutions and traditions. They change jobs more frequently and wait longer to engage with many life milestones, like partnering, having children and leaving home.

Gallop’s “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” Report highlights 6 shifts to make in organisational culture to keep it millennial relevant


My Paycheck – My Purpose

My Satisfaction – My Development

My Boss – My Coach

My Annual Review – My Ongoing Conversations

My Weaknesses – My Strengths

My Job – My Life

  1. Purpose before Paycheck Millenials want to be involved in work that has meaning and an impact that matters beyond a paycheck. This is different to baby boomers who were predominantly working to support family and community. Here are some organisations, including one of our clients, founded by millennials, who put purpose and meaning front and centre YGAP, Thankyou Water, The Happy Startup UK.
  2. My Development = My Satisfaction Millenials know they must compete more and more on a global stage for work. This coupled with the GFC, underemployment, a longer than average wait if they are lucky enough to be employed (think Greece, Spain) and the prediction they will have between 15-20 jobs in their lives,  means their career loyalty has to be to themselves and perhaps their “tribe”. So they need to be interested in their development opportunities and NOW. Don’t try and buy them off with a Ping-Pong table and free drinks – they will find it gimmicky!
  3. Coach don’t Command! Don’t tell them what to do, they don’t like it! Instead you need to bring out the best in them and provide an opportunity for them to flourish. Doesn’t mean you can’t set a high bar for performance but if you try and micromanage you will be resisted…they want to collaborate, contribute and be developed.
  4. My Annual Review… you’re kidding right? You will notice some companies have already ditched these as too slow and not effective in a world that expects instant feedback and the opportunity to adjust as you go. Where they are still in place, the emphasis is on “no surprises” and the idea of an ongoing conversation all year; a feedback culture in all directions. No longer can you say, as the boss in ABC’s “Utopia”; “I think I’ll stick with 180 degree feedback thanks”
  5. From Fixing Weaknesses to Optimising Strengths they don’t want to work on closing the gap, or developing weaknesses. They know their best contribution lies in identifying and honing their strengths, so give them the opportunity to play there.
  6. My Job to my Life and this is one of the main shifts that technology has brought us. We are connected anywhere anytime – a mixed blessing – and the line between your personal and work lives is becoming increasingly blurred.

The 2015 Mind the Gaps Deloitte Millennial survey, which interviewed 7800 Millennials from around the world, showed Millennial respondents thought businesses needed to pay as much attention to people as they do to products and profit. Seventy-five per cent thought businesses were too concerned with their own agendas and should be more focused on improving society. Now wouldn’t that be something to blog about?

Millenials/Gen Y – Born early 1980’s – 2000

Gen X –   Born early 1960’s – early 1980’s

Baby Boomers – Born approx. 1946-1964


  1. Really interesting and helpful to understand the next working generation coming through.


    1. interesting how each generation is so shaped by their environment and what is going on globally!


  2. The focus on purpose, meaning and achievement align nicely with positive psychology principles.


    1. yes it does doesn’t it? and this generation will have been exposed to those ideas. The next generation even more so as they are now taught in schools as Postivie Education.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: