Leadership from the Millenial View

According to a survey by Deloitte, two thirds of Millenials would like to quit their jobs by 2020.[i] This finding causes many to search for the reason why Millenials are leaving the workplace after such a short period. Although they are considered the most stressed generation ever by the American Psychological Association, stress was not the primary cause of Millenials leaving. The strongest predictor for Millenials seeking new jobs was feeling unappreciated at work .[ii] So how can workers feeling unappreciated be prevented? Better Leadership.

The type of leader who is willing to encourage growth within employees in a variety of ways is the type of leader Millenials want. Leadership style is crucial to employee wellbeing because the culture is defined by the leader. [iii] However, maintaining wellbeing of employees or oneself as a leader may not be easy in every situation, particularly with a workforce that want to redefine the status quo.

The organization “Mic” is comprised mainly of Millenials who demonstrate how push the boundaries on what is or isn’t acceptable at work.[iv] This can cause tension as behaviors seen as insubordination become more common in the workplace. Some behaviors may be due to lack of previous work experience. However, the behaviors that may be seen as intentionally rebellious may actually stem from the fact that authenticity is the Millenial virtue. It may seem unacceptable to workplace leaders who expect different, more professional behaviors but the working environment is quite a contrasting picture in the eyes of Millenials.

Why was Bernie Sanders so popular for example? Well Millenials can fact check with the internet that provides millions of ideas per second to see if he was authentic. Did previous generations have access to this information at such a young age? No. This benefitted Sanders as it was clear to see that his points stayed the same throughout the years. He also showed that he cared for all groups including Millenials and allowed their voices to be heard. Authenticity, genuine interest in the wellbeing of others, and a previous record that matches what he was saying was the recipe that made him popular.

So what can other leaders learn from this example to apply into a regular workplace setting? Well either keep the stiff collar approach and do everything according to tradition and continue showing no interest in your workers in order to wave goodbye to them sooner rather than later or adopt a new approach. The wellbeing of workers relies on an employer who can demonstrate wellbeing themselves with authenticity and the ability to adapt to different needs, in order to win the Millenials of the workplace.



Written by Trish McLernon

Trish McLernon is a King’s College London MSc student studying Organizational Psychiatry and Psychology. Her dissertation is on the causes of police brutality within police forces worldwide. To see her blog, which specializes in psychology in current events, relationships, and everyday life, follow this link. http://www.psychnewsnow.co/