Research has consistently shown that the ability to create and communicate a vision is a top leadership skill that will drive success in the workplace. Naturally, it is concerning that those same studies also show a skill gap in that same area for emerging leaders.
Why is vision suddenly more important than business acumen, financial acumen, and critical thinking?
By 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce. As a generation, Millennials are like none other. Though they collectively hold $1 Trillion in student loan debt, and face roughly 13% unemployment, they will not accept just any job. And they won’t work for companies that compromise their values just for a large paycheck.
For Gen Y, it’s not about the money.
Millennials want to be a part of something bigger. They don’t want to work for a shoe company. They want to work for a company that provides shoes for impoverished people. They don’t want designer glasses because they look cool, they want to support a company that provides vision care to the poor. They don’t want to work for the world’s largest beverage manufacturer, they want to play a part in providing clean drinking water to third world countries. They don’t want to make cars, they want to be a part of design changes that reduce environmental impact.
Gen Y is smart, educated, socially aware, and wants to make a change.
So, if your company doesn’t follow a One for One business model like Toms, you’ll need to get creative about creating and communicating a meaningful vision for your next generation leaders.
For Millennials, there has to be something more than what happens within the four walls of the company. It has to be more than a paycheck. It has to be more than profits, benefits, and trading status. Working for a non-profit that is making a meaningful impact on the world is significantly more attractive to Gen Y than other generations. The only thing more appealing for Gen Y is taking an entrepreneurial route.
73% of Millennials report that they are seeking meaningful work with an employer whose mission they support.
Purpose matters. In fact, purpose potentially matters more than profit.
For today’s leaders, this is an opportunity. Create a vision. Don’t recruit Gen Y to work for a textbook publisher. Recruit them to build lifelong learners who will become the future leaders of this country. Think bigger. The biggest question Millennials have about the work you do is why. Why does your company matter? Why should they believe in you? Why should they want to be a part of the mission? Why is the mission worthwhile?
When you can answer why, Gen Y will ask when … when can I join you?