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Let’s talk: Generational Gap



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By Loren Webb

How can we show the value that millennials bring to the work place?

With millennials (currently people aged around 23-37) starting to fill up the majority of work spaces, there is a definite change of culture that is shifting the way businesses operate, work and think.

A desire for flexibility, autonomy and social inclusion brings in a creative way of working that may challenge leaders of other generations, and this can present ‘generational gap’ challenges if leaders fail to embrace the new workforce priorities.

Wendy Born, Author of The Languages of Leadership, believes that there is an “expectation of leaders to be a mentor” now, rather than a traditional manager. This is leading to, in Wendy’s opinion, more employee empowerment and a change towards thoughtful leadership.

Heidi Rossi, Chief People Officer at Ansarada, says that “millennials push hard for diversity and inclusion in the workplace”; catering for this type of want is something that Ansarada is already actively doing for their millennial employees.

EJ Guren, Head of Marketing & Communications at Pureprofile, describes millennials as “natural innovators” and highlights that “innovation, diversity and collaboration are vital for a company to thrive;” millennials are at the forefront of driving diversity and creativity at work and this can push businesses further in terms of their success.

Nicola Scott, Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Employsure believes one of the key characteristics this generation of workers possess is that they “consistently question inefficient processes” and “think from a different perspective.” This could be interpreted in either a negative or in a positive way – which one, of course, is dependent on the leaders within the organisation.

To close the generational gap and ultimately ensure a successful business, employers should not only be aware of how millennials like to work but they should also be adapting to it too.


Wendy Born, Author of The Languages of Leadership

Millennials are changing the shape of traditional leadership.  Their expectation of leaders to be a mentor and no longer the traditional boss, is helping leaders to empower more by letting them get results in their own way.

They’re also creating more conscious and thoughtful leaders through their need for meaning and purpose in their jobs as well as from their employer.  And finally, their tech savviness is helping to drag some of us self-confessed tech illiterates into the 21st Century.  That alone is value enough!

Heidi Rossi, Chief People Officer, Ansarada

By 2025, the majority of the Australian workforce will be made up of the millennial generation and the value of this group in the workplace is undeniable. As millennials progress in their careers, they will shake up leadership roles as we know them.

Millennials push hard for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which will benefit businesses organisation-wide. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, fostering a positive work culture and enabling flexible working are essential for gaining and maintaining millennial loyalty.

To ensure we’re attracting the best talent, we’ve created an environment that allows everyone to reach their potential. We know millennials want more from work, so we have weekly team breakfasts, lunch and learn sessions, gym training sessions, and a modern office design that promotes collaborative work and lots of fun. We realise the potential of millennials and their value to our business, so we prioritise internal initiatives that encourage inclusion, learning, leadership coaching, and career development.

Seeing the incredible work millennials are already doing at Ansarada and beyond makes us excited for the future.

EJ Guren, Head of Marketing & Communications, Pureprofile.

It’s important to recognise that millennials have a more diverse set of values than any previous generational group. This means things like diversity and inclusion, work-life balance and sustainability or charity are front of mind well before they decide to join any organisation and should be considered as part of the regular pay packet.

Millennials are better educated than earlier generations, with more university and college degrees than their parents and grandparents put together.

They are natural innovators and thrive in a collaborative, open workplace. They are not afraid of tackling challenging tasks, as long as they get an opportunity to learn in the process and can achieve a definitive sense of accomplishment.

Innovation, diversity and collaboration are vital for a company to thrive. According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies with more diverse management teams achieve 19% higher revenue and excel in innovation.

Employers must create millennial-friendly workplaces to attract and retain this group of future leaders and thinkers as they will change the way we do business for the better.

Nicola Scott, Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Employsure

In a recent podcast episode about managing millennials, guest Katie Acheson, CEO of Youth Action says while older generations may have had one or two jobs in their lifetime, millennials are projected to have 17 jobs and over five different careers. Consequently, the millennial experience, mindset, and perspective adds value to our daily workplace in a number of ways:

  • Questioning traditional ways of doing things. Millennials consistently question inefficient processes. They often flip everyday assumptions so that they think from a different perspective, which is a critical part of being innovative.
  • Understanding emerging trends. Millennials are really strong with understanding emerging consumer trends. Because they are so plugged into social media, they are aware of topics that are trending, and they might have a wider view on where certain industries are headed.
  • Purpose-driven contributors. Because of their devices, millennials have had a window into the reality of the rest of the world for their entire lifetime, and they bring that perspective and emotional connection into the workplace. They desire more than an eight-hour workday and paycheck; working for a business that allows them to contribute to meaningful work.

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