The Millennial Motivation: How Youth Values will Change the Workplace

It’s nothing we haven’t heard before. The youth of today will radically change the workplace of tomorrow. Having grown up in a technologically-driven and advantaged environment, youth are as entitled as they are aspirational. They will change the way the workplace works simply by virtue of becoming part of it. They are anxious to make their mark on the world; they are bold, impetuous, and most of all, they are young.

It’s as if our age predetermines this “species” we have been defined as: the Millennials. But it’s not a simple a matter of us being young. Nor will we be so easily dismissed over something so trivial as age.

It is undeniable, however, that we have grown up in a society drastically different from that of the previous generation. And so, we cannot help having a different worldview. I will not go so far as to say that our worldview is wider, after all, we do often lack the experience comes with years, but I will say that the number of things possible today run much higher than they did with the previous generation.

AIESEC Canada’s Youth Voice Survey 2014 (link here) was created from a survey to represent the national youth voice of Canada. It showcases youth opinions based on topics relevant to both students and employers. In regards to integrating today’s youth into the workplace, it is largely enlightening with what we Millennials are seeking in a future career or workplace.

As Millennials, what we value in life will create the workplace of tomorrow. Here is a little insight on the top three things we value in the workplace, and how the latter will change accordingly.


Learning and Development Potential

In the survey, 28.6% of the youth surveyed ranked “Learning and Development Potential” highest for Most Appealing Work Cultures. Today’s youth will push for a workplace that will allow for personal and professional growth. They are unwilling to stagnate, and as a result, will inevitably veer towards workplaces that will challenge them. This will then become a self-perpetuating cycle of workplaces run by people who are adaptable and passionate about making a difference.

Diversity & Cooperation

In a country that celebrates differences and so prides itself on this very trait, it’s no wonder that Canadian youth are seeking the same sort of dynamic environment in the workplace.
Diversity paves the path towards innovation by drawing on mindsets and perspectives from differing backgrounds. In a diverse workplace environment, collaboration will flourish, allowing the individual and his/her accomplishments to shine, while allowing them to be a valuable asset to their peers. This, in turn, will allow the workplace or company to grow as a whole, and benefit the community it is situated in as well.

Corporate Value-Alignment

Innovation, Integrity, and Community

In the Youth Voice survey, for the Most Attractive Values of an Organization, “Innovation” was ranked highest at 49.8%, while “Integrity” was a close second at 49.5%. “Community” rounded out the top three with 43.2%.

Innovation is most valued by Millennials because it applies in all aspects of the workplace, even in the two values mentioned previously. Youth leaders are eager to drive change—and what’s more, pure profit is no longer the main goal. They are recognizing their part in social responsibility, and want to see organizations do the same.

The workplace of the millennial moves beyond the traditional hierarchy or “follow the boss” mentality. Youth are more willing to take risks, and thrive most in environments where they are engaging with their coworkers; they should be valued and given the opportunity to step out of their original role to better maximize their own potential.

This one is actually quite simple. Millennials want to work for a company whose values align with their own. The impact that businesses and organization can have on society and its issues is quite obvious. However, with the data demonstrated, it is clear that they are not the only stakeholders—youth, or Millennials, too, have an opinion, as well as the initiative to voice it.

If youth are to engage in changing the workplace to better society, it is also the responsibility of the companies to collaborate with youth, in order to drive innovation, productivity, and perhaps push for the maximization of society’s potential as a whole. You can find more information on the Youth Voice Survey on AIESEC Canada’s website here.

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