‘Millennials’, like ‘disruption’ is one of those words that are thrown around so loosely these days to try and make us sit up and take notice, as if we were all going to learn something new every time they are uttered. ‘There is a revolution happening.’ ‘The Millennials are a different breed that have the anthropologists stumped.’ ‘They are not like us.’ ‘Ignore them at your peril!’
When it comes to the business world, I’ve read studies recently that claim they are ‘a breed apart’, and that unlike me, they have different needs – millennials want to be coached at work, they want to have meaning in their work, and want to feel they are part of something.
Well, guess what? I am a generation Xer and when I am looking at my work, I want the same thing.
The difference between my generation and the millennials is that they won’t put up with the shallow advice that “if you play your cards right one day you will become supervisor”, and if you are really good, “see that guy in the corner office who was crap in the 90’s and totally useless in the 2000s, well he might retire one day and you are one of many who might get that job”.
They want a reasonable explanation why people who are not good at managing, communicating or keeping up to date, can be in a position of authority and held in high esteem. They are thinking, if that’s what I am working with then I am out of here.
We are being called on the shallow structure we helped create.
For all our sakes, organisations need to snap out of the miasma of privilege and embrace the idea that everyone can contribute, and flourish, in the right environment. They need to work hard to create a setting where managers are professionals charged with the task of getting the most out of people while working towards common goals. Where competition is created to maxamise individual talents and enable exponential growth, not become survival of the fittest.
We all want organisations who are truly sustainable and see human endeavor as an integral thread to the fabric of society. Fair pay, recognition and growth should be a foundation to the creation of every business.
Don't just leave it up to the billion dollar tech set, we can all embrace this change no matter what size of or type of company, or level of the organisation.
It’s not a new concept, it’s just that the millennials are making a stand and if I could find the fountain of youth I would certainly join them. Viva la revolution!