Millennials (1981-1996) get a lot of stick from older generations, who claim they are “lazy,” “unmotivated,” and “too sensitive” in the workplace. However, as they start to take on more senior roles and even run their own companies, it appears that these traits—when viewed in a different light—might just be the key to their success.
Let’s look at it another way, then. Millennials aren’t lazy; they value a work-life balance. They’re not unmotivated; they’re just not motivated by the same things as the generation before them. And what some might call sensitive, others would deem compassionate.
This has led to the creation of more socially conscious companies. But how else are millennial CEOs making a difference in the way business works? Read on to find out.
1. Millennial CEOS have grown up with technology
This generation spans almost 20 years, and in that time, they’ve pretty much seen it all. The transition from landlines and dial-up to smart… well, everything. Even younger millennials have seen digitization in action as we moved from VCR tapes to CDs and DVDs, Blu-ray, and now multiple streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime. Millennials were also the first group to have the internet as children, meaning some younger members of the generation don’t really know what life was like without it.
As a result, millennial CEOs embrace technology. Of course, video conferencing and messaging apps make teamwork so much easier, especially for dispersed or remote groups, but millennial workforce leaders are also looking into utilizing more advanced technologies like AI as well, to help them expand their businesses.
2. There’s more of a focus on company culture
Company culture ranks very highly on the list of priorities for millennial workers. So much so that they are willing to take significant pay cuts to move to an organization that they feel has a better, more inclusive culture than the one they’re currently at.
And when we say this, we don’t mean they want to move to plush offices with games rooms and a bar. Rather, millennials want to work for a company whose values closely align with their own. As we have already seen, this generation is very au fait with the internet, so they know how to research an organization’s online branding and social media. What they are hoping to see is a company that’s collaborative, innovative, and invests in its staff.
Therefore, as CEOs, millennials look to embody and promote these values, as you will discover as we move further down this list!
3. They don’t measure productivity in the same way
The millennial generation aspires to a good work-life balance, so leaders who fall into this bracket tend not to measure productivity in terms of the number of hours worked. Instead, they are more likely to focus on results and the quality of work produced.
In 2020, a FlexJobs survey revealed that 73% of respondents stated that working from home during the pandemic had improved their work-life balance. So, it’s no surprise that most millennial workers believe that companies should have a remote working policy in place. And, as members of this generation start to attain or create CEO positions, the potential for flexible and remote working will only increase.
4. Millennial CEOs are driven by passion and recognize that today’s workforce has different motivators
Company culture and the ability to enact change are both very important to millennials in the workplace. But as you can see from #3, having the time to pursue their passions is also a primary motivator.
By recognizing and prioritizing the things that matter to their employees, millennial CEOs are creating companies that the upcoming generations will want to work for.
For example, their fellow millennials will be looking for the same work-life balance, which might mean introducing a flexible working policy. But, on the other hand, Gen Z workers are looking for job security and a liveable salary, so millennial CEOs might look at attracting talent from this pool with training schemes that will help them climb the career ladder, attain a promotion, and secure a raise.
5. They offer more training opportunities
Although the number of young people applying to university in the UK has gone up since 2019, less than half of all school leavers decided to pursue higher education in 2021-22. This means that there are now a lot of young people out there applying for their very first jobs and facing stiff competition.
To engage with this demographic and help them get ahead, millennial CEOs are ditching classroom-based training and offering more hands-on experiences instead. This makes it easier for entry-level applicants to find work through an apprenticeship, Kickstarter role, or work experience.
And it doesn’t stop there. Opportunities for professional development and growth are one of the biggest drivers for today’s workforce. Hence, as more millennials move into directorship roles, we can expect to see more skills-based training offered to employees at every level.
6. There’s been a significant shift towards corporate and social responsibility (CSR)
Millennials are more driven by the desire to make a difference than they are to turn a profit. Indeed, 79% of employees in this bracket are more likely to stay with a company that is proactive about helping people and the planet than they are to jump ship for a raise.
Therefore, companies that are run by millennial CEOs take CSR very seriously. They have strong convictions, are transparent about their goals for a more sustainable future, and hold themselves publicly accountable by publishing information about their CSR initiatives online.
7. Millennial CEOs encourage collaboration
Creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving are skills that all leaders could use, irrespective of their age bracket. And as the global business environment becomes more competitive and relies increasingly on new technologies, innovation is key to staying current.
It is essential to millennial CEOs that multiple and diverse voices are heard during the idea generation stage. To encourage collaboration and inspire creativity from their employees, they are changing the way the traditional office space looks.
Instead of cubicles—which make teamwork very difficult!—they are introducing communal workspaces and “breakout” areas, where employees can go and work on projects and ideas together.
We think the future of the global market looks very promising in their hands!