Posted by: healingtheworkplace | May 31, 2015

The Millennials are Transforming Our World!

The Millennials are Transforming Our World! By Lesley Taylor

I’ve been fascinated by Millennials for a while now. According to some experts this generation, which was born between 1980 and 1997, will make up 75% of the total workforce in North America by 2025, and they are already moving into leadership roles. In fact, they will be in charge of most of our organizations in the very near future.

Some people will tell you that the millennial generation is selfish, overly confident, lazy and demanding. This is why they are called the “me” generation.

But, I believe that Generation Y is worth getting to know. Their values are not unlike the values of their parent’s generation in that both generations value their independence and believe that they can change the world.

But this is where the similarities stop. When the Boomers were coming of age the use of technology as we know it today was found only in science fiction books and the workplace was pretty much static. Loyalty was big and most Boomers stayed with their employers for years if not for their entire careers.

Fast forward to today when change is the only constant in the world, workers are no longer guaranteed jobs for life and technology is every present.

One thing that hasn’t changed though is the fact that many businesses push their employees to the limit by demanding extended working hours and unhealthy working conditions. Earlier generations fought long and hard to reduce the workweek and ensure fair and safe working conditions. But there are constant attempts to erode earlier gains in labor standards.

A recent example of this can be found in this week’s Fast Company blog in which Jay Zagorsky writes about a future in which employees are paid exorbitant salaries to work extremely long hours. Not only will employees be working long hours according to his report but they will be working long hours without needing to take time off for breaks!

In order to accomplish this feat, employees will be provided with free meals and other services (dry cleaning) so that they don’t have to leave their desks, and all of this with the goal of increasing efficiency. There are some obvious problems with this scenario of the future of work including the fact that people are increasingly working from home or other remote locations. In addition we know from years of experience that people become less efficient after working for 40 hours or more. Not to mention the negative impact on our health!

This is where the Millennials will make their greatest contributions!

In a recent interview in Business in Vancouver, author Dov Baron said, “The Millennial generation cares much more about the values and purpose of a company they work for than about the money they make.” Of course, this doesn’t mean that this generation doesn’t care about money or advancing in their careers but it does bode well for the future of work.

Perhaps these young people are seen as being lazy and demanding because they want more out of life than just a job. Not unlike earlier generations they are concerned about having a work/life balance that allows them to enjoy time with their friends and time to pursue the things that they enjoy doing. For this reason many are choosing flexible work hours over pay when considering a job offer. They also want to work for businesses that have a “social conscience”.

The Millennials I know are hardworking, assertive, and passionate about what they are doing. I can’t wait to see what great things they accomplish in the coming years.

What do you think?

The Dynamic Introvert!

 

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