By Jaye Washington
If I had $1 for every time a boomer made a snarky comment about millennials on social media, millennial work styles, or millennials simply existing, I could pay off the student loans I’ve incurred trying to compete in a boomer-populated workforce. I know change can be uncomfortable, but the workforce is getting bigger, and it’s time to make room for millennials.
Boomer-led C-Suite management might argue, “But we need the institutional knowledge to succeed,” and that is true, but we don’t need it in the form it’s been in for the last 60 years. We need evolution. We need idea cultivation. We need a shift. And whether companies want to acknowledge it or not, it’s happening with the rise of millennials in leadership.
As millennials become the most present population in the workforce, we’re doing so in a transformative way. We don’t want to be seen as “overthrowers” of what’s been– but more so change agents for what’s to come. We get it, boomers busted their behinds to work their way up to only receive a percentage of the praise they deserve for the astounding work they do. But that’s exactly why we lead the way we do. We want something different– and not just for us but for everyone! We’re thinking of the workplace expectations we can set for the benefit of generations to come. We’re changing the game because we recognize boomers’ struggle in the workplace and refuse to follow suit.
As we better understand those who’ve paved the way and we break through the “entitled,” “lazy,” and “microwave-results” stereotypes, here’s how millennials are approaching leadership in the 21st century.
Because why work independently when we’re so much better together? We’re breaking down the “me” and defining the “we.” The more we work together, the more efficient we are as a team, the greater our work becomes! And efficiency means more time for ourselves which we all want.
Implementing More Flexibility
Gone are the days when work only gets done between 9 am and 5 pm. The office is no longer the only place productivity happens. Need to work from the beach? We got you! Want to wear Crocs to the office? Let’s get matching ones! Being flexible means granting everyone autonomy to work the way that’s best for them– this yields the best results!
In today’s society, either you’re getting with the tech times or you’re getting left behind. We know how much more efficient operations run when you use the power of technology. There can be a bit of a learning curve when implementing new programs and systems, but that’s why you have your trusty internet-raised millennials around to help.
Redefining Company Culture and Inclusiveness
One thing you’re going to hear from us is our voice. We’re getting rid of not-so “politically correct” cultural handbooks and performative statements. Instead, we’re ensuring that we speak up on diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice on all fronts –- and with confidence.
Millennials are redefining what leadership means on a global level. The shift is here from utilizing platforms like TikTok to normalizing “wine-downs” and working from home! And one thing we know about change is that it keeps on keeping on– with or without you.
While society adjusts to how millennials do what they do, there’s something to be said about the trajectory of success we experience because of non-traditional approaches. In fact, we’re even rethinking what success looks like. My tenacious generation is shifting priorities and approaching leadership with a more holistic mindset that embodies who we are as people first and employees second. It’s important for us to be people-centric versus profit-driven because frankly, there is no profit without the people; and for too long companies have not thought in this way. While generationally inclusive workspaces will take time to build, as a millennial in leadership myself, I remain optimistic about the future of intergenerational working relationships because I believe in people. I know that at the microlevels of our beings, we all want the same thing, fulfillment in life.