How important is workplace atmosphere to a millennial?
This post is a companion to the Voice America interview with Cam Marston to air on March 8, 2016. Cam is the President and Owner of Generational Insights and an expert on the Demographic Trends and Generational Bias Impacting Work & Sales. How important is workplace atmosphere to a millennial? Apparently it was important enough to at least one of them to blow off one of the premier employers in her desired profession. âMy visit,â she concluded, âmade me realize it was sterile journalism.â Gordon did not give examples of work produced by the Times that she considers sterile, but seemed more concerned with the newsroom environment, saying she knew she âwouldnât fit in with the cultureâ in a place where she couldnât âfully express my creativity and quirkiness.â She illustrated her point by noting that an internship coordinator at the Times may not have appreciated the âshooting stars and flying batsâ on her portfolio. While Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers will laugh this off as a millennial living down to the stereotype (and wonder what kind of journalism student would show up to the New York Times with stars and bats drawn on her clips), we also must assume that Gordon isnât alone. Finding a collaborative atmosphere and an outlet for their creative passions is important to millennials â and finding talented millennials is important to employers. So who should give? Should employers like the Times reconfigure their workplaces to cater to the desires of millennials like Gordon? Or should Gordon realize that not every office is going to feel like the campus newspaper? Thereâs no one right answer here, but my hunch is: perhaps a little of both. As more millennials flood the workforce, many workplaces are moving toward environments that foster the kind of collaborative atmosphere for which Gordon seems to be looking â and one day, even the Times may join them. It makes sense for companies that want to attract and retain the best and brightest to make sure their office environments are going to be seen as an asset. But millennials like Gordon also need to understand that it isnât the job of a workplace to fulfill their every desire. Itâs to get work done. Very few of us, no matter the generation, are fortunate enough to find a job that feeds all our ambitions and interests. Many of us find other outlets for our creative and quirky sides that arenât satisfied at work. Hannah Gordon, a journalism student at St. Bonaventure University, recently shared her thoughts about a visit to the New York Times in a letter to TAPinto.net. The Times is considered by many journalists to be the pinnacle of the profession, a place to which the most ambitious reporters and editors aspire. Gordon, however, saw it differently, noting her disappointment at finding a ânear-silent newsroomâ instead of âthe bustling, comradery-filled (sic) newsroom I imagined.â Perhaps Gordon will find a job that meets all her expectations. Or maybe sheâll have to temper those expectations to find a job. This show is part of the show Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations. To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills. To learn more, please visit www.metcalf-associates.comÂ www.metcalf-associates.com/blogÂ Â http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2472/innovative-leaders-driving-thriving-organizations