The Millennial Workforce – Why Businesses May Need to Change Their Current Strategies

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Gen Y is not like any generation before them. They have different values, different motivators and a completely different view of the world. However, as Generation Y continues to take over more of the workforce, understanding what makes them tick may be the key to future business success.


An article was recently posted on LinkedIn that brilliantly sheds a little light on the Millennial mindset. Written by Ashley Caldwell, a Gen Y entrepreneur, the explanation is given as to why Millennials don’t subscribe to the mindset of just doing your job or keeping your head down and appreciating that you have a job at all. “When choosing a job, the most influential factor for Millennials is personal development. If we aren’t growing as individuals, you better believe we won’t be happy growing your sales numbers. If you want your Millennial workforce to take their job more seriously, offer them more learning opportunities and be upfront about how their role can grow in the future.”


Whether traditional or not, businesses will eventually need to evolve…or dissolve. By 2025, Gen Y employees will make up 75% of the workforce. On the same note, a recent study shows that “85% of Gen Y employees want work that makes a difference and is enriching to themselves but also enriching to the world.” Caldwell goes on to say that the reason many from older generations view Millennials negatively is due to their defiance in adhering to the established norms of the professional workplace. “We seek a better work/life balance and don’t understand staying at our jobs from 9-5 just for the sake of it. Millennials are very prepared to complete their work in a creative and out-of-the-box way and don’t see a reason to be micromanaged. If you have no explanation for why we should be doing something other than ‘this is the way it’s always been done,’ be prepared for a lot of resistance and questions. We are extremely flexible and always looking for ways to do work better.”


The conventional mindset of ‘my company, my rules’ or ‘it is what it is’ may not keep your Gen Y workforce around. “Gen Y isn’t interested in building your dream – they are interested in building their own for a stable and fulfilling future.” Unless you can find a way to make the mission of your organization align with the goals of future Millennial hires, you may be looking at high future turnover.


Keep an eye out for next week’s article, Millennial Workforce – Money or Power, for information on keeping Gen Y workers fulfilled and engaged.


Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.


  1. Derrick Feldmann on August 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    We’ve conducted firsthand research on Millennials for five years now, and we agree they certainly don’t “subscribe to the mindset of just doing your job or keeping your head down and appreciating that you have a job at all.” We’ve found that Millennials choosing a job are also significantly influenced by a potential employer’s involvement in cause work, and in the job seeker’s ability to become part of that effort.

    In our nationwide survey, 43% of female Millennials and 33% of male Millennials researched a company’s cause work before a job interview. Then, a company’s cause work influenced 63% of Millennial females and 45% of males to accept a job offer. Companies would do well to consider their CSR program and how they’re communicating it to potential hires! (You can find all our research findings in the Millennial Impact Report at

  2. Nina Rodriguez on August 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    The underlying factor is they want both; or,are motivated by one,money OR two, power. There is a broader underlying factor occurring here. The things that 20 or 30 “somethings” dream about for their futures hasn’t changed all that much and that’s the ‘nature’ of it. The ‘nurture’ is comprised of the upbringing and values taught at home; or, not. The ‘work ethic’ has changed over time and across cultures. The challenge today is they know what carrot they want, let’s call it ‘the American dream’ per se. The way to obtain the carrot is the greater question. That is: How can we inculcate a consumer oriented generation with good ole’ fashioned grit and stick-to-itiveness to realize their dreams?

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