How Millennials Fit into a Diverse Workplace

March 02, 2016
Diversity and Inclusion are more than just hashtags and buzzwords; millennials believe they are essential to being successful. The workplace is becoming more diverse; and finding a way to manage the different generations is a growing concern for organizations. Millennials (those born between 1984 and 1996) see diversity in the workplace as a critical factor when considering employers. In fact, diversity and an inclusive environment rank high on the list of organizational characteristics desired by this generation, and they value highly an employment culture that emphasizes respect for employees and individuality.

Characteristics of Millennials in the Workplace

The unique characteristics of millennials demand a different strategic approach to the recruitment and retention of employees. Millennials are looking for more than “just a job” or a steady climb up the corporate ladder. They want to do something that feels worthwhile, they take into account the values of a company when considering their role, and they are motivated by much more than just money.

Millennials’ Needs in the Workplace

Millennials have particular needs and expectations when it comes to learning and career development. Many respond well to mentoring by older employees – in an ideal world, they would like to see their boss as a coach who guides them through their personal development. However, they generally prefer to learn by doing rather than by being told what to do. One of the strongest millennial traits is that they welcome and expect detailed, regular constructive criticism and praise for a job well done - 51% of those questioned in the Universum Global study said feedback should be given very frequently or continually on the job and only 1% said feedback was not important to them. The companies that are most successful at managing millennials are those that understand the importance of setting clear targets and providing regular and structured feedback. Working for a diverse company also ranked high on a list of importance to millennials in the workplace. Millennials view diversity as the blending of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives within a team, which is known as cognitive diversity. They also use the word to describe the combination of these unique traits to overcome challenges and achieve business goals. Millennials view cognitive diversity as a necessary element for innovation, and are 71% more likely to focus on teamwork. For millennials, inclusion is the support for a collaborative environment that values open participation from individuals with different ideas and perspectives that has a positive impact on business. Leadership at such an organization is transparent, communicative, and engaging.

Why is This Important?

Millennials will inevitably be the major leaders in corporate America within the next 10-20 years; so learning how to not only manage them, but helping them flourish in their line of work is essential to the longevity of a successful corporation.

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