Millennials: The Purpose Driven Generation
Last full month was bliss with Swiss origin company looking to RE-purpose their values, why they do what they do, what business they are in…
Yes, it was a Corporate Purpose Online Workshop — Ikigai Mana Corporate we did with a total of 24 C Level leaders looking to expand their influence through digital leadership. Especially the impact of COVID 19 and recent researches on “Resilient Generations” — a dip in stress levels, shifts in personal and organizational concerns led them to look into new ways of motivation, wellness, and happiness styles.
Gen Z holds the vision for a better norm: Even though they faced many concerns about the environment, their families’ well being, long term career, and financial outlooks, also together with younger millennials they reported either losing their jobs or having been placed on temporary, unpaid leave — working fewer hours — they showed greater optimism and were able to draw a compelling future comparing to historians.
Could all this be related to the historic events they were exposed, that somehow they had to find a way our for survival, and later to evolve to a better version?
Looking from the lens of the Millenials and Gen Z, their life, soul purpose got stronger — it was us the historians who had to RE-purpose not them! What does this mean?
Younger generations are way more conscious about the needs of the world, contribution, and devoting their life’s work to something greater than their own individual one. And they want to work in organizations that do the same, old way of “me only” — “let me lead the market”, “let me be the one” concept is not working for them. They want to lead but not the market, they want to lead the change in the world. New generations do focus on larger societal issues, before and after the onset of this pandemic.
Their first 3 concerns are:
1. Climate Change / Protecting the Environment
2. Health Care / Disease Prevention
3. Welfare / Employment, Distribution of Wealth
In a recent survey, 63% of millennials — essential workers under 35 — said the primary purpose of businesses should be “improving society” instead of “generating profit.” A study from the Society for Human Resource Management tells us that 94% of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause and 57% wish that there were more company-wide service days.
Here are some ways that millennials “individually” taking action toward their first concern of “climate change” and therefore expecting their organizations and governments do the same:
So YES! They live by their values and a purpose to serve the World.
So, is the purpose just a millennial value? What happened to all of those outspoken baby boomers who seemed so purpose-driven in the 1960s and yet are sometimes characterized as clueless about it today?
Maybe older folks are being mischaracterized, too. Imperative, a purpose-based consultancy, and LinkedIn conducted a study showing that purpose-orientation actually increases across generations, with baby boomers in the lead. “There is a common misconception that millennials are unique for wanting to do purpose-driven work,” Sjoerd Gehring, vice president of talent acquisition and people experience at Johnson & Johnson, recently said. “In fact, 70 percent of U.S. adults say it is important to them that their actions help make a positive difference in the world.”
Still, that doesn’t take away from the importance of millennials being the ones who will drive purpose in the workplace. First, there is a good chance millennials will become even more connected to purpose as they age. In his eight-stage theory of development and identity, German psychoanalyst Erik Erikson points to a distinct shift in identity around the age of 40. From 18–40, his theory states, our identity is built through our relationships, particularly finding a healthy intimate relationship. After 40, ideally, we move towards generativity and begin associating our sense of self with what and how we contribute to the world.
“If millennials want a purpose-driven workplace, then organizations would be remiss not to deliver,” says Daniel Goleman whom I have worked on his “Emotional Intelligence” Coaching teachings as well.
Last month combining it all Cambridge Purposeful Leadership program, Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Tony Robbins Business Mastery content we a team of total 26 (24 attendees, 1 Facilitator, 1 Assistant Facilitator) we all agreed that “the best is yet to come”. And until then we will be sharpening our tools to serve, love, better, and heal our ways of busineesing.