How This Generation Is Making Corporations Less Corporate
We want diversity, inclusion and support for social causes.
The list of things this generation has killed are sundry and plentiful; if we haven’t already crushed it beneath our socks-with-sandals heel, we’re on our way to bringing about the demise of Buffalo Wild Wings, marriage, golf, cereal, napkins, and the American Dream (oops).
But what about what we’re bringing to life? We’re super committed to supporting small business, we’ve singlehandedly established a market for fidget spinners, and just for the record, despite our murderous proclivities, we’re actually pretty faithful to our jobs. In fact, we’re striving to make them a lot better. Largely because we’re such special snowflakes, when it comes to corporate work environments, we’re pushing to make things more “we're all humans with human needs” and less “we're all robots that live to file TPS reports.”
And while some might be tempted to credit this rejection of the status-quo corporate environment to watching Office Space a few too many times, as it turns out, we want better the environment for our own sake, yes, but for other people, too:
We want the company we work for to have some moral backbone.
According to a study conducted by Omnicom Group’s Cone Communications, 70% of millennials will spend more on brands if the brand is tied to a social cause or benefits another group. And this attitude as consumers also carries over into who we align ourselves with in our careers: A study last year showed that two-thirds of millennials were at least somewhat more likely to want to work for a company that contributed to a charity. In contrast, workers ages 45 to 64 were only 47 percent motivated by the same thing.
We want diverse workplaces.
Though we of course still have a ways to go, this generation has acknowledged issues of gender inequity and a lack of diversity in the workplace like no other before them. We also have an increasingly nuanced definition of “diversity.” Whereas previous generations thought of it in more clinical, definitive terms—race, religion, gender, sexual orientation—millennials value “cognitive diversity,” which is defined as the blending of individuals with different experiences and backgrounds. Another way to put it: labels don’t tell you much; it’s the experience behind them that brings innovation to the table.
We want more feedback and more collaboration.
A 2015 study from Deloitte showed that this generation is 71 percent more likely to focus on teamwork, behind the belief that diversity of experience and background is essential to broad-sighted progress. We strongly believe our voices deserve to be heard, regardless of seniority. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said that differences of opinion allowed them to excel, whereas only 59 percent of leadership said the same.
We want to live our lives.
With an economy that has in many ways stabilized after the recession of the late aughts, this generation is ready to ease up on the all-work-all-the-time mindset. We value work-life balance a lot (despite the fact that we suck at taking vacation), and as studies increasingly show, flexibility in our careers when it comes to where we work, the hours we put in, and how we’re able to experience life events like starting a family are all emerging as very important topics.
Disrupting industries from the inside and out, in other words. Get on out there and keep blowin' stuff up.
Words: Deena Drewis
Photo: Daria Kobayashi Ritch