By Joeri van den Bergh and Kristof de Wulf 

Four years from now, Millennials (born between 1980 and 1996) will make up over a third of the global workforce[1]. Raised in different times and different ways, Millennials clearly differ from previous generations, both in their attitude and in their approach towards work.

Older generations often accuse Millennials of being ’entitled’, ’less accountable’ and even ’lazy’. No less than 61% of seasoned HR professionals believe Millennials are hard to manage and unprepared for the workplace[2]. Millennials themselves also seem unhappy, with only 29% of the employed Millennials currently feeling engaged with their work[3]. As a result, 6 out of 10 Millennials leave their companies within three years at an estimated substitution cost to the organization of $20,000 per person[4]. As the retiring Baby Boomer generation needs to be replaced in the upcoming years, many CEOs fear they will not find the right talent to succeed[5]. It is therefore critical for organizations to understand Millennial’s workspace-related drivers.

Millennials are more individually empowered

Millennials are raised and educated with a less hierarchical parental and educational approach. They were taught to form their own opinions and develop an own perspective. Strongly stimulated to self-develop, they often enjoyed ample attention and appraisal on their journeys. As a result, Millennials often showcase an abundance of assertiveness, self-confidence and ’can do’ mentality. Similar to the games they played in their childhood, Millennials strive for mastery and aim to continuously ’level up’ their performances. They embrace an entrepreneurial mindset and desire ownership of their work and ultimately their careers[6]. As they enter the workplace, Millennials therefore desire and expect:


[1] Manpower Group, (2016). Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision. [online] Available at: 660ebf65 -144c-489e-975c-f838294c237/MillennialsPaper1_2020Vision_lo.pdf?MOD=AJPERES [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].

[2] Designed Learning, (2013). The New, New Hire. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].

[3] Gallup, (2016). How Millennials Want to Work and Live. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].

[4] Millennial Branding and, (2013). The Cost of Millennial Retention. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].

[5] PWC, (2011). Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace. [online] Available at: documents/millennials-at-work.pdf [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].

[6] Jenkins, R. (2016). 6 Millennial Motivators: A Guide To What Motivates Millennials At Work. [Blog] Dale Carnegie. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jan, 2017].


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