Why are millennials shifting towards creative careers

Career & Salary

Around a fifth of the population in Germany now consists of the so-called millennials - Generation Y, and the 25 to 39-year-olds already make up a large proportion of those skilled workers that the market urgently needs due to demographic change. The demand is great, the "war for talents" is ongoing.

However, opinions differ on how the specific allocation of the terms is to be assessed. Roughly, it can be said that those born between 1980 and 2000 are counted among the millennials. Derived from the English, "Generation Y for Why", it is considered the generation of the undecided - one that does not want to commit. Anyone who goes further calls her effeminate and unlikely to be critical, and claims she has claims that are supposedly too high.

In everyday coaching, we hear from older executives and managing directors that they find working with millennials difficult. They focus on time for themselves instead of a career, want to have a say and preferably have a say. You question decisions, hierarchies, structures and processes. They demand part-time models and home offices, an open ear for mutual feedback and do not jump on the motivators of previous generations. Status symbols have lost their effect, as has the rise in steep hierarchies.

What is widespread is a lack of understanding among managers who too often do not understand that striving for a work-life balance and the question of meaning are not a sign of arrogance or a lack of interest in the job, but that the perception of work has changed. What has often not changed, however, is the idea of ​​the workplace that managers have.

This is how Generation Y ticks

Generation Y employees redefine work for themselves and bring a new value system with them. They affirm achievement, but see work no longer as a worthwhile purpose in life, but as a way to maintain existence. The job should ideally be meaningful. Millennials also appreciate being part of a vision. Companies that recognize this and create the appropriate framework can look forward to a motivated, well-trained and extremely flexible team.

  1. Generation Y ...
    ... has a different attitude towards work and presents HR managers and managers with new challenges.
  2. Katja Loose, Hamburg management and career consultant, ...
    recommends: "Regular feedback discussions are an effective way to defuse generation conflicts and to understand each other better." She has ten pieces of advice up her sleeve: ...
  3. Prepare yourself optimally in terms of content and personally:
    What is your goal? What would you like to report positively or critically?
  4. Wrap the feedback as a gift:
    Take an appreciative attitude and your message will get across.
  5. Be fair:
    Never criticize the person as a whole, only the aspect that bothers you.
  6. Don't be afraid of tears:
    The Ypsiloner can often handle criticism badly. With serenity and understanding for the new generation, you can also master difficult topics.
  7. Do not infer others from yourself:
    Explain unwritten laws and rules of conduct in the company to the young employee - again and again if necessary.
  8. Personal responsibility through questions
    Bring your youngster into personal responsibility by guiding him through questions and letting him find suitable solutions himself.
  9. Goals and guard rails
    Set goals and guard rails, but let your employees design the way there as freely as possible.
  10. Track down talent
    Concentrate on the talents, because that is where the potential lies: Ask about the Ypsilon's hobbies and interests to find out more about his talents.
  11. Define your role as a manager:
    For example, do you want to be a lighthouse, hostess father, or mother courage for young people?
  12. Not from above
    Stay at eye level and follow the well-known feedback rules: prompt feedback, ICH messages, formulate concrete and constructive!

Those who insist on old structures will lose out and have to reckon with fluctuation: The Deloitte Millennial Report 2016 predicts that 66 percent of employees between 25 and 35 will be ready to leave their current job by 2020. 13 percent even plan to quit in the next six months. The exciting question is: How can you win the War for Talents and how can you successfully lead and keep a team of Millennials?

In conversations with executives it becomes clear again and again that the "old" way of leading is reaching its limits. This realization uncomfortably calls established leadership models into question. But it is necessary to enable lasting and profound change. It becomes particularly problematic when flat hierarchies, communication at eye level and a cooperative management style are propagated in companies, but the reality in everyday business life looks different on closer inspection: Management is instead lived in hierarchies whose authority is based on more experience and information based.

Employees are expected to follow suit. Leadership is measured by how well it keeps employees "on track". Too often, successful performance is still linked to office hours worked instead of the quality of completed projects.

Anyone who now believes that it is enough to screw the general conditions of the workplace into place will have to disappoint. Half-hearted concessions when it comes to home office and attendance times are not enough to convince. The conflict of values ​​is programmed, but goes even further - the harmony between the external vision and everyday life is also crucial for millennials.

A new way of working together

My experience as a serial founder, who himself belongs to Generation Y and whose teams have always consisted mostly of millennials, shows that a supportive management style leads to satisfied employees and mutual success. The principles of this healthy leadership are above all an appreciative style of communication and the creation of a working atmosphere in which problems are openly addressed and solved together. Constructive feedback culture enables learning, the chance for individual further development, which is valued by Generation Y, and thus also mutual growth.

All of this sounds simple in theory, but in practice it can be challenging, especially when the stress level is high. Every manager knows how much energy it can cost not to pass on pressure disproportionately and "knock it on the table", but to be aware of the responsibility that is attached to one's own position. Joint growth is achieved by uniting your team behind you. For this it is important to listen carefully to the needs and opinions of your own employees and to tell the team in a comprehensible way what is important for the project or the company and what role each individual plays. Those who succeed in doing this ensure that everyone is in the same boat and pulling together.

In a collaborative environment in which hierarchical levels are fluid, innovation and creativity are much more likely to arise than in the hierarchical silos of the past. Those who lead with attitude and work on their own role in the team become role models. The resulting respect is significantly more sustainable than that created by hierarchies.

I can only advise every management - to talk to one another instead of about one another. Only with appreciative communication and the willingness to continue learning as a manager - also from one's own team - can a work environment be created in which millennials, as employees and managers alike, develop their potential and commitment. As the boss, I don't have to permanently give up the helm, but I do have to be willing to listen and let others take control. Create an environment with a clear and authentic vision on the horizon. And above all, understand that my team and I are in the same boat. I am also allowed to make mistakes and admit them. Authenticity and an attitude of integrity are more important as a boss for Generation Y these days than perfect performance.