Since Millennials make up the majority of the workforce in many companies now, leadership goals have swung towards better managing this sector of the workforce.
But how far does a Millennial-centered strategy really take us? Not far, says a group of researchers who analyzed more than 20 studies on generational differences. You may beg to differ, of course, but these guys say that in the workplace, generational differences probably aren’t as wide as we often think they are.
Their findings are supported by a report issued by IBM’s Institute for Business Value that came out last year. Entitled “Myths, exaggerations and comfortable truths”, it also told the story of how Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers want similar things as Millennials at work.
Millennials aren’t the only ones who want to make a difference.
Many leaders have taken note of the wisdom that Millennials want to work at a company where the values mirror their own values. That means companies who give back in meaningful ways, and which allow employees to participate in giving back, are doing great at attracting and retaining Millennials.
That’s caused a wonderful swing in leadership goals towards a more civic-minded approach to leading, where we recognize that companies don’t exist in a bubble. They’re part of communities, both within and without the company walls.
But leaders whose goals include more charitable work aren’t just pleasing Millennials. Both reports cited above tell us that other generations care just as much about giving back.
Leadership goals for Millennials are really just goals for everyone.
The IBM study measured the percentage of respondents who said they wanted to help solve social and/or environmental challenges. 22% of Millennials has this as a long-term goals, Gen-Xers were right behind at 20%, and Baby Boomers actually felt more strongly about this, with 24% of respondents reporting that this was a long-term goal of theirs.
Same goes for making a positive impact on their organization. A quarter of Millennials stated this was a goal, while 21% and 23% of Gen-X ers and Baby Boomers, respectively, had this as a goal.
So, by aiming to better manage Millennials with leadership goals focused in these areas, you’re actually making a better environment for everyone in your workplace, Gen-Xers and Boomers as well.
It’s one thing to point to surveys, however, and a different matter when it comes to your own organization. How about your workplace? Do you see major differences between the generations that can’t be explained by age rather than by belonging to a particular generation? If so, how do you adjust your leadership goals to better manage everyone?