Millennials and the Workplace Culture Revolution

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It might be time to give the much-maligned Millennials a break, considering the strengths and value they bring to workplace culture.

Whether we’re ready or not, Millennials are the future of business. With record numbers of college students graduating each year and the impending retirement of the Baby Boomers, it’s only a matter of time before the Millennials lead the workforce.

Yet the culture clash seems to be a bit hostile at the moment, since Millennials are often described — among other things — as needy, lacking focus, and unable to fully commit to the organizations looking to recruit, hire and train them.

Despite their bad rap among their predecessors, Millennials bring far more to the table than just a Twitter page and a Facebook account (however, those can prove helpful, too.) They’re bringing new skill-sets, innovative ideas and fresh approaches to thinking and working.

Consider some of these key benefits that show the other side of the Millennial story:


In this new era filled with Apple apps and Android widgets comes the necessity to have employees who are well equipped to navigate more than just the basic functions of Microsoft Word. That’s where Millennials come in: these “kids” grew up alongside the warp-speed development of technological applications that are crucial in today’s business world. No more calling “the tech guy” to help make a spreadsheet — the Millennials have it under control.

100 percent digital

Gone are the days of info packets and ten-paragraph brochures begging to be read. With social media, companies can reach more consumers than ever before in a direct and personal way. According to a study performed by UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School and the Young Entrepreneurs Council, social media can reach an audience 34 times larger than traditional marketing methods.

Not just financially motivated

According to Deloitte’s 2013 Millennial Innovation Study, young workers are much less motivated by dollar signs. In fact, Millennials surveyed in the United States said that, in their opinion, creating wealth was actually the least important aspect of business, with the most important being to improve society. That’s an attractive answer for both humanitarians and CFOs.


The 9-5 “cubical farm” culture is fast becoming a thing of the past. More and more companies are experimenting with agile work environments to promote collaboration, efficiency and flexibility, all values that are ingrained in the minds of Millennials. Working in teams often leads to better generation of new ideas and a more engaged workplace. That leads to better performance and a more appealing company culture.

Continuously striving for improvement

The truth is, these young workers don’t enter the job market hoping for the path of least resistance. The UNC study found that 65 percent of Millennials reported that the opportunity to improve themselves was “the most influential factor” of a job. They’re not satisfied with simply maintaining a job; they want to keep learning and growing. With employees working hard to better themselves, they’re bound to better the company as well.

So, Millennials aren’t nearly as bad as they are sometimes made out to be. Young and energetic, they have a lot to offer. No doubt, hiring Millennials certainly does come with challenges and requires new ways of managing, but the value they bring will make it well worthwhile.

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