Ready or not, they are here. A good chunk of the Millennial generation (despite the hyperbolic headlines about most of them being unemployed and lazy) are actually hitting their mid-30s and are poised to take over senior roles (or even C-level positions) at some companies. Unlike generations before, Millennials don't believe in preserving the work-culture of the past, nor do they subscribe to the notion of "we've always done it this way."
This generation care strongly about issues like climate change, poverty and social justice, which not only help to drive their consumption but it also drives their leadership values and focus. We are already starting to see their focus on less bureaucracy and formality, and more on collaboration, working hard, moving fast and all in an informal office environment.
This is highly relevant to the stock market, particularly in the scope of sustainable, responsible and impact investments. It helps to understand how companies will be steered by examining the work ethic and management style of Millennials. Before the older generation rolls their eyes in annoyance, you might actually learn a few things. Below are some pointers taken from an article in Business Insider about the type of world Millennials will develop in business...
1. Free Range
Millennials tend to steer away from dress codes and fixed working hours. Not only do non-fixed hours allow for more personal freedom, it allows them to devote more time to big projects when necessary and not end up burning out on smaller, less significant projects. Additionally, they like being able to share ideas and communicate with all people in the company no matter their rank or department - it's all about teamwork. They hate the term "HIPPO" (highest paid person's opinion counts most) -- if you're on the team, you're most definitely not insignificant.
2. Pointless Rigidity
These days, Millennials are more likely to sidestep responsibility or income so that they can feel like they are making a difference and doing meaningful work. Working in a startup is certainly not as glamorous as a high-paying banking job, but for many it is well-worth the risk to reap the reward of driving passionate ideas forward. Millennials are a generation of changemakers who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
3. Expectations Are Not Unrealistic
There is a big misconception that Millennials have unrealistic expectations, yet this is what enables change to happen at large corporations. Businesses must be open to new ideas, ways of working, and workplace dynamics in order to survive going forward. It is also not true that they lack loyalty to companies -- it may come across that way since they tend to think much further into the future than previous leadership. The more you offer them the opportunity to grow, the more likely they are to stick around and keep growing.
4. Work Should Be Outside Comfort Zone for Progress
Millennials are more likely to work in startups or create them rather than taking 'safe' and 'respectable' jobs where they have a niche but not a lot of room to grow. They are far more globally aware and more likely to connect dots than hope for a management role that will have them sitting in the same chair at the same desk for 30 years until they can collect a pension.
5. Get it Done Now
The business world is moving faster than ever, so putting off projects and ideas cannot wait. That's why typically when you give Millennials freedoms like flexible work hours and unlimited vacation, they still tend to work much harder anyway because they value their work and enjoy it. Plus they understand that it all can change in a matter of minutes if you don't keep working hard. Technology is fast, so you must be faster -- in order to do that, they expect a lot. Despite the flexibility, if you're not willing to put in the time and the energy, there is another Millennial who will and there is no time to dilly-dally. \
Greetings, GradMoney Readers!
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