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Millennials in the Workplace

2017 CWB Multigenerational Impacts on the Workplace Report

In spring 2017, the CWB developed the Multigenerational Impacts on the Workplace report based on a literature review and synthesis of current practical research and media coverage on the five generations in the U.S. workforce. What are the traits and values that define each generation, including key differences and similarities? How do the formative influences of each generation impact their career approach, and what are the consequences of inaccurate stereotyping? The report also looks at the perspective of women, explores the challenges of the multigenerational professional landscape, and offers advice for employers looking to strategically engage and support a diverse employee workforce.

Download Multi-Generational Impacts on the Workplace Report


2011 CWB Millennials in the Workplace Report

Profound change is coming to the workplace. The Millennial generation – those born since 1980 – exhibits a different set of professional values than previous generations. As they enter the workplace and begin assuming higher-level work, Millennials seem to be less motivated by career advancement and more by personal values and aspirations. Women in particular are opting out of the workforce, so fewer are reaching the same senior levels as men, according to many sources. To succeed in the future, employers need to know more about this generational shift and its implications.

In 2011, the CWB conducted a survey of 1,000 college educated men and women born since 1980 to provide a more in depth picture of the career aspirations of Millennials and the values driving those aspirations. By looking only at college-educated men and women, CWB focuses on providing guidance to companies about how to retain and groom the future leaders of corporate America. CWB’s data add important new insights regarding work, career and the men and women of the Millennial generation. View the 2011 CWB Millennials in the Workplace report.

Major Conclusions

The results challenge the idea of an ambition gap that has gained media and corporate attention in two significant ways. First, Millennials have not rejected the corporate world, but they will seek other options, such as starting their own companies, if they cannot find workplaces that accommodate their personal values – prominent among them time allocation, relationships and job security. They are confident in their abilities and strive for career success, but will not tolerate unpleasant workplaces that do not allow them to be their authentic selves in expressing their personal and family values. On the other hand, they are loyal and dedicated to companies that allow them to stay true to their personal and family values.

A second finding of the study relates to gender similarities. The attitudes and aspirations of Millennial men and women are converging. Both men and women are family-oriented and seek a personal life beyond work. While women are still not being treated similarly to men, the findings suggest that the best path to advancing women in corporate America is to see the problem as a generational issue, not a woman’s issue, because both men and women are seeking the same type of workplace where they can be their true selves. Companies risk the loss of men as well as women by not allowing employees to accommodate personal and family values as part of the way they accomplish their work.