Home Productivity 40 Ways Millennials Have Changed Today’s Modern Workplace

40 Ways Millennials Have Changed Today’s Modern Workplace

Trista May 31, 2020
Millennials see through the veils of what corporations are trying to do and defy them at all odds. Shutterstock.

20. Millennials Value Connection Over Corporate Agendas

The connection millennials have with their parents and other family members carry over into how they view the corporate world and their company’s culture. They want to work in an environment where they can connect with their coworkers and bosses more than they want to advance a corporate agenda.

Some millennials want to go out for drinks with their coworkers and don’t understand why the answer is no. But one challenge of engaging a millennial workforce is embedding the need for human connection into the corporate agenda so that the work culture values positive interactions among employees.

Millennials are more focused on helping each other out rather than trying to screw each other over. Shutterstock.

19. The Kindest Generation In History

Millennials would instead work for nonprofit organizations that promote social justice than for a Wall Street bank that offers a sizeable salary and bonuses. They want to know that they are making a positive impact on the world and that people’s lives are better because of them.

They indeed are the kindest generation in history. Millennials want to solve problems with each other instead of fighting over them. They want to spread out profits so that everyone gets a fair share. Millennials would rather live modestly to make sure those around them have enough. While not all millennials share these qualities, on the whole, millennials are exceptionally kind people.

Millennials are focused on working together to accomplish the bigger goal at the end. Shutterstock.

18. No Cutthroat Corporate Culture

Prioritizing profits over people is something that just will not ever mesh with the millennial mindset. They take massive issue with the idea that a company can increase its profits by laying off workers in favor of automation. And they would instead put in an average amount of work that doesn’t make other workers look bad if doing so would keep someone from losing their job.

For millennials to stay at a job, they need to see a corporate culture that prioritizes people and understands that you cannot outsource creativity or human connection. Otherwise, they’ll start looking for a new job within six months.

They can’t know what to expect or how they should act if no one tells them these things. Shutterstock.

17. Millennials Don’t Understand Unspoken Rules

An employer can hire a 50-year-old worker and a 25-year-old worker at the same time. The 50-year-old Gen X’er will probably go to his or her desk or workstation and quietly get the job done without making any fuss. The 25-year-old millennial will probably knock on the boss’s door and ask questions.

Millennials don’t understand unspoken rules. If bosses want millennials sending emails instead of knocking on the door to get their questions answered, then they need to say so explicitly.

Instead of being told what to do, millennials want someone they can learn from. Shutterstock.

16. Millennials Want Mentor-Type Figures

Back to the relationships many millennials have with their parents. They expect a mentor-type relationship with all of the authority figures in their lives. They want a boss who takes some level of interest in the work they are doing and help them on a path towards personal and professional growth.

Bosses have never before had to deal with these kinds of workers on such a large scale. While asking bosses to mentor every employee is certainly unfeasible, companies can make some changes to help millennials feel more connected and have the support they need to thrive.

Being able to achieve both aspects of their lives is their ultimate dream. Shutterstock.

15. Millennials Want A Work-Life Balance

Millennials prize connections and relationships over anything else. Very few will put in a 12-hour workday unless there will be an immediate trade-off in terms of work-life balance. They won’t be working overtime unless they see that the company makes sure that they do have time to spend with their families.

Millennials may take more days off than other workers, and bosses may not understand why. Usually, they aren’t lazy, they are looking for time to spend with their families. When they don’t have a good work-life balance, they dissociate from their jobs and start looking for new ones.

Outside of work, millennials have goals of their own that they want to achieve before they’re too old. Shutterstock.

14. Pursuing Their Personal Goals

Millennials understand, more than any generation before them, that life is not only about making money. They need money to survive. This fact is indisputable, as millennials graduated college in an economy that had been trashed by the 2008 financial crisis. But they need personal goals to truly live.

Millennials need employers who understand that they cannot stay late when they have previous obligations. Furthermore, while that project at work may appear to be so much more critical than whatever else they have going on, the more significant issue at stake is that millennials need to be able to learn and grow in their personal lives to feel satisfied.

Being flexible in their work style is another of their ultimate goals. Shutterstock.

13. Millennials Don’t Want To Be Tied Down

Griping about how millennials take so long to settle down and buy a house seems to be cliché by now. And those gripes come from not understanding the millennial generation and what their values are. Millennials are different from people in other generations. Period.

Millennials would rather travel the world than buy a house. They would rather have a mobile office or at least some kind of flexibility that allows them to work online so they can travel for extended amounts of time.

Using one’s mind to create something new is the fundamental basis of a millennial’s mind. Shutterstock.

12. Millennials Are Creative And Innovative

Millennials intuitively understand you cannot outsource creativity. They know that creativity is necessary for companies and individuals to thrive. They also wonder why, if creativity is so incredibly important to humanity, it gets stifled with people getting stuck behind desks working spreadsheets.

However, millennials will likely be willing to spend time working spreadsheets if they feel that their creativity is being valued and appreciated. They are innovative people who are continually looking for new and better ways of getting the job done, and they want to work for a company that shares those values rather than perpetuating the status quo.

For all of their hard work, they want some recognition, more than just a paycheck. Shutterstock.

11. They Want To Be Appreciated

All workers need to feel that they are appreciated on some level. Millennials have this need in overdrive. Many of them grew up with parents who made sure that they knew how valued they are. Moreover, those who did not have the fortune of growing up with warm and loving parents saw those relationships with their friends and friends’ parents.

No one should expect that their bosses will become parents and that their coworkers will become family, but companies can make efforts to showing workers that they are valued. Something as simple as an email that notices a meaningful contribution that an employee made can work wonders in improving worker satisfaction and reducing job turnover.

Millennials aren’t against going to work; they want what the workplace is to adapt to something new and satisfying. Shutterstock.

10. They Don’t Hate Working

The myth about millennials is that they are lazy and entitled. While some certainly are those things, the truth about millennials is that they are also kind, cooperative, innovative, and creative. Moreover, they are looking for work cultures that share those same values.

Millennials are not quitting jobs because they hate working. Nevertheless, there is no question that they are leaving jobs in large numbers and costing companies a lot of time, money, and resources. But when they find that they have an engaging and cooperative work environment, they are much more likely to stay put.

With wages not climbing with the cost of other expenses, it’s hard for millennials to want to stay working. Shutterstock.

9. Millennials Quit Because They Don’t Feel Valued

One of the biggest reasons why workers quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. They do not have a sense that they are making a meaningful contribution and think as if they are just cogs in a giant corporate machine.

This reason is particularly exacerbated among millennials because feeling valued and appreciated is connected to their sense of self-identity and purpose. If they do not feel appreciated, they feel lost and like they are doing something wrong, even if they are doing everything right.

Millennials want to see the light of the end of the rainbow that they’re working towards. Shutterstock.

8. Meaningful Contribution

Millennials, on the whole, are not looking for someone to tell them how special they are. They are looking for opportunities to use their skills to make meaningful contributions to a goal bigger than themselves.

When millennials feel they are part of something important, they immediately become much more engaged in the job that millennials are doing and want to ensure they are doing it well. When they don’t feel that they are part of something important, they are looking for new jobs.

Raising their self-esteem as children is what has made millennials the way they are. Shutterstock.

7. Millennials Were Part Of The Self-Esteem Movement

The self-esteem movement was a disaster. Schools, sports teams, and community organizations came up with the idea that for people to feel important, they need to be rewarded for every single thing they did. So kids got trophies for coming in last place.

The result was a disaster. Kids came to feel entitled and expected other people to coddle them instead of working hard and finding worth and value inside of themselves. Those kids were millennials and are today’s workforce. The effects of the self-esteem movement linger.

Because of the way they were raised, millennials are always looking for affirmation from others. Shutterstock.

6. Millennials Need More Affirmation

Millennials do expect more of their bosses than other generations of workers. They want their bosses to mentor them. They want employee evaluations to critique them in such a way that they develop a plan for personal and professional growth.

Moreover, they need more affirmation than other workers. Employers who want to keep their workforce instead of continuing the same pattern of turnover need to be prepared to give more pats on the back than they may be used to.

Working with other like-minded people is how millennials work best. Shutterstock.

5. Employers Can Engage Them Better In Teams

Baby boomers and Generation Xers tend to work well in solitude. Not so with millennials. They went to school at a time when educators were beginning to see the value of group work. To them, nothing was a contest. The rule of the game was collaboration.

This team spirit that millennials have can be of great value to employers, as long as they recognize the need to put millennials in teams. Brainstorming sessions can be incredibly productive, as long as there is a strategy to follow up and make sure that ideas are being turned into reality.

Pay them the attention they deserve and reward them for their efforts with gratitude. Shutterstock.

4. Valuing Their Skills Is Key

Millennials don’t need their bosses to tell them they are unique. They know they are special. They spent the first 18+ years of their lives hearing that from their parents.

What they want is for employers to recognize their skills and talents and put them to use. The millennial who majored in English needs to have a role in drafting corporate communications, even if that wasn’t part of the original job description. The artist needs to be able to use those art skills whenever possible. Giving those tasks to someone else will burn.

Treat them like people, not tools of the workplace. Shutterstock.

3. Valuing Them As Individuals

Millennials need to work for a boss who sees them as more than a worker. They need a boss who calls them by the first name and recognizes them as individual people who have lives outside of work. While the boss may not be keeping up with all of their travel plans, he or she needs to show some kind of interest in their lives.

Many baby boomers and Generation Xers have long been happy to go to work, sit down at a desk, and only interact with people whenever necessary. Their relationships are at home. For millennials, human connection is the key to everything that they do. It unlocks their abilities.

The key to understanding millennials is to put yourself in their shoes, not undermine them. Shutterstock.

2. Millennials Aren’t Really That Bad

Millennials are the kindest generation in the history of humanity, and employers need to adapt in such a way that recognizes the different impulses they have. They’re likely to spend part of their salary on a charitable cause or spend time volunteering.

When millennials realize they are appreciated, they will outperform any other employees. And even better, they will bring other workers up with them. They’ll set a standard and help others rise to it by assisting other people on their teams.

Loyalty is earned through mutual respect. Shutterstock.

1. They Will Commit To A Company

The high turnover rate of millennial workers is due to a lot of factors, some of which simply cannot be controlled. They inherited a bad economy and graduated with an excessive amount of student loan debt. They may quit a job simply because they cannot afford their loan payments and need to move back in with their parents.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways that companies can engage with millennials. Employers that let millennials know they are committed to them will find that, in turn, the millennial workers are committed to the company. There may need to be changes in how bosses engage with workers, but in the long run, the result will be greater worker satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.