Millennials – the Untapped Innovators?
While innovation is reserved for specific generations or only for the young and restless, it is no secret that millennials are responsible for a shift in the way companies operate as well as their vision for future success.
We continuously talk about young entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg or Kevin Rose driving innovation but rarely do we talk about the millennials that are inside the companies, driving change and introducing an innovative culture to their respective workplace.
Getting through to millennials isn’t always the easiest thing as their priorities and professional values differ from preceding generations. Getting the most from this enigmatic generation requires management teams to switch up the traditional approach and emphasize a strong work-life balance and a collaborative environment rather than relying solely on decent pay.
Here are some key findings and tips that managers should keep in mind when trying to utilize millennials in the workplace and adopt an innovative culture:
Empower the entrepreneurial spirit
- 92% of surveyed 21-24 year-olds said entrepreneurship education was vital in the new economy
- – 30% started a business in college
Provide quality feedback
- 80% of millennials said they would prefer feedback in real time rather than via traditional performance reviews
Let them grow
- 65% of millennials said personal development was the most influential factor in their current job
I realize that many of you already understand this, since we are a community of innovators but this is an overarching issue that organizations are scrambling to fully understand as they are being forced to adopt a faster, more nimble company culture. As seen in the infographic below that my team at MBA@UNC produced in partnership with the Young Entrepreneur Council, there are different approaches that an organization to maximize the potential that Gen Y has and enable them to be passionate at their work and ultimately bring an innovative mindset to their teams.
infographic: mba@unc & The YEC ; image credit: massingenuity.com
Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the new online program which allows students to receive their aacsb online mba degree from the University of North Carolina. Harrison sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive.
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