Millennials – the Untapped Innovators?

by Harrison Kratz

Maximizing Millennials in Your Workplace [Infographic]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.

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC

infographic: mba@unc  & The YEC ; image credit: massingenuity.com

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Harrison KratzHarrison 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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  1. These are great tips, and I love this infographic. It is critical to mentor, train and retain these younger workers. 3 out of 5 Millennials feel they will switch jobs in less than five years (http://visual.ly/millennial-takeover), and we need to adjust to properly encourage them to perform in our organizations.

    Check out one of the Millennials@Work webinars Red Tree is hosting. One tomorrow and one on the 21st.
    http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4048352732
    http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4048326654

  2. Great infographic. Can you tell me where the research came from? How was it gathered and is it a global millennials or just USA. I’m interested in whether there are similarities/differences in different countries or in different sectors?

  3. Millennials seem set to become the most educated generation in American history, with 40% attending college and 50% of those in college saying they also plan to pursue graduate degrees.
    Is this trend towards higher education a sign of the changing financial times, or perhaps simply evidence of the remarkable smarts and ambition that define this generation?
    http://wp.me/p2z2yi-2o

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