Every organization is adjusting to the generational shift that has welcomed millennials into the workforce, but the reason for that is that they are now the largest group represented. According to Pew Research, “More than one-in-three American labor force participants (35%) are Millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.” So if innovation is now an organizational objective – what do we need to know about how millennials innovate?
Well, Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant wrote a great book about the future of the workplace with Millennials called When Millennials Take Over that outlines some of their employment expectations and we’re looking at how they might relate to innovation.
Millennials expect a digital environment.
In other words, if you want a millennial to know about it, it’s got to be available online somewhere. So if you’re expecting them to share and build ideas, there has to be an online suggestion box for them to do so.
Millennials love transparency.
Millennials know the power of their own voice and they want to hear the voices of others. Instead of making decisions behind closed doors, find ways to communicate publicly. This might be an expectation that has been set by social media, but it also allows for more collaboration and force multiplication of support and resources.
Millennials don’t want to be put in a box.
If, in the past, employees were defined by their job description – millennials instead prefer for their job to defined their purpose. That means even if they work in marketing, they’d like the freedom to help folks in product, operations, and beyond. The barriers between departments are dissolving and that is allowing for more collaboration and diversity.
Millennials love the ability to move fast.
It’s not that they want to change everything. They want to test concepts and iterate – take what works and leave what’s already working as it is. So don’t change everything today, but try new ideas as soon as possible and then learn from them.
So how are you empowering millennial ideation at your organization?