Leaders, not bosses: What millennials really want from their jobs

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Published: March 4, 2018 9:00:17 AM

The 20 somethings, better known in the pop culture as the ‘millennials’, are Netflix-watching, gadget-toting, and the media-dependent generation that is not afraid to hop from one job to another if they feel unsatisfied. Soon to contribute 50% of total workforce, what are the things that millennials really want.

Leaders, not bosses: What millennials really want from their jobs (Image: PTI)

The 20 somethings, better known in the pop culture as the ‘millennials’, are Netflix-watching, gadget-toting, and the media–dependent generation that is not afraid to hop from one job to another if they feel unsatisfied, and the things that they really want from their workplace is not complex and certainly not meant to be ignored.

A few years ago, the startup boom began expounding the workplace culture: A place where millennial would get targets not work hours, bean bags not boring cubicles, and most importantly mentors not bosses.

And among these factors, three most important elements, writer Avik Chanda says, are important to millennials are inspiration, empathy, and mentorship. “Millennials, today, are looking for leaders, and not bosses,” Avik Chanda, co-writer of the book ‘From Command to Empathy: Using EQ in the Age of Disruption’ says.

What’s really significant is the fact that how millennials are being managed: Are they seeing their bosses as leaders, do they get inspired by them, and is there empathy instead of command? And the question really is why are millennials so important.

A PwC survey shows that millennials today form 25% of the total global workforce and by 2021, they will contribute to 50% of the total workforce. For a millennial, it is about multiple cities and multiple jobs and the feeling of doing something new every day. They don’t want to stick to a comfort zone and are always open to exploring opportunities even out of their professional expertise.

Technology — email, social media, phone — which are traditionally considered as ‘distraction’ at the workplace is not more; in fact, they are the facilitator for multitask and seamless communication for the millennial age. Moreover, they show a tendency towards social responsibilities, such as going green or cleanliness and insist on more effort towards the environment and the underprivileged.

But what is changing the workplace dynamics drastically is the fact that for the elder generation, the key motivator has largely been money, bonuses, promotions, but for the millennial, it is training and learning new skills, and the fact that what they expect from their bosses is a leader, an inspiration, and a mentor. “The old command-and-control style of management not only doesn’t produce the best results, it can even be counterproductive.” Avik Chanda says.

While millennials put all of the above at priority, they are also very well working towards achieving growth at work and salary bumps, he adds.

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