As millennials grow to become the largest demographic segment of the workforce, more attention is being directed to their perspectives, goals and desires.
A recent LinkedIn workplace survey revealed that millennials (defined as individuals aged 18–24) are quite different from boomers (those aged 55–65):
- Friendship at work is significantly more important to millennials, who report that such connections make them happy (57 percent), motivated (50 percent) and productive (39 percent). Boomers, in contrast, say that friendship at work has no bearing on their work performance (45 percent). Sixty percent of millennials — more than any other age group — say that socializing with co-workers make the workplace environment better, compared to 40 percent of boomers. And almost one-third of millennials believe workplace friendships will help further their careers.
- Millennials are more likely to discuss personal issues with co-workers. Forty-nine percent of millennials are likely to discuss salary with coworkers, compared to 31 percent of boomers.
- Despite their inclination toward friendliness and openness at work, 68 percent of millennials would sacrifice a friendship with a coworker for a promotion, while 62 percent of boomers would not consider it.
Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey also sheds light on millennials’ aspirations at work:
- Seventy-five percent of millennials believe that businesses are focused on their own agendas, and not on helping to improve society.
- Only 28 percent of millennials believe that their organization is taking full advantage of their skills.
- Six in 10 millennials say that a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose their current employer.
- Millennials have very different ideas about leadership. As leaders, millennials say they would focus on people, while they believe that today’s leaders are focused on profit and personal reward. This leadership gap is most apparent when the specific attributes of leadership are explored. Millennials place lower weight on leaders being visible (19 percent), well networked (17 percent) and technically skilled (17 percent), but consider “true leaders” as those who are strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent).