Team Member Spotlight
Millennials + Leadership in the Workplace
A conversation with Neena Abraham
Millennials are a generation that started changing the way we work when they first entered the workforce almost 2 decades ago. Growing up with modern technology, they are extremely tech savvy, teamwork is important to them and they see, or rather demand, a job that has meaning and is an equal balance with their personal life. Campaigning for a hybrid workplace and non-traditional schedules, they are collaborative, authentic, purpose-driven, and inclusive. And as this generation makes their way up the corporate ladder, they are displaying a different type of leadership. According to Zapier, “61% of millennials moved into management to advance their careers.” And it’s a role they don’t take lightly. They are pushing the needle on important issues like equality, work-life balance, and societal concerns that impact the work environment.
To get a little more perspective on the current state of millennials in the workplace, we asked TVMC’s social media manager, Neena Abraham, an actual millennial, to tell us a little more about what matters to people like herself when it comes to how the office dynamic is changing.
Let’s get into our conversation!
TVMC: Millennials have played an integral role in shaping today’s workplace. With all that has happened over the last few years and the new challenges that come with it, what do you think are the most important thing(s) that millennials can do in 2023 to continue to move the needle forward when it comes to inclusion in the workplace?
NA: I think the most important thing that millennial employees can do to move the needle forward in the workplace is to push for purpose-driven and meaningful roles in the workplace and hold leadership accountable for their ethics and values. As millennials step-up and become today’s new leaders, it’s important for them to recognize that everything about work depends on the tone that they set from the top, and millennials can also continue to advocate for inclusive workplaces, especially people who were previously excluded from the traditional workplace pre-pandemic. They will need to pay attention to who’s in the room, and who isn’t and how to ensure everyone is represented in the conversation.
TVMC: What do you see as the biggest challenges millennials face today?
NA: Some of the biggest challenges facing millennials today are inflation, financial stability, racism, pandemic-related stress, and mental health. And I think in between those challenges, millennials wrestle internally with this idea of purpose over a paycheck. They ask, how does my work life, the place where I spend nearly 75% of my life, align with and support my values? Millennials refuse to pretend that things that happen outside of the office, things like abortion rights, gun control, and racism, don’t affect employees while they are in the office. This way of thinking is why you’ll see millennials possess the courage to confront these challenges head-on. Millennials are not afraid of uncomfortable conversations, especially if it means that positive change is on the other side of it.
TVMC: As a millennial yourself, what are you doing to help change the workplace dynamic to become a more inclusive culture?
NA: I encourage myself to be myself and bring my unique perspective around my life experiences and my vantage point as a person from a younger generation. This includes speaking up about work-life balance, remote options for flexibility, offering ideas about social media for efficiency, and advocating for mental health and wellness. I’m also doing my part to promote open communication in the workplace. This means moving away from tradition and empowering myself to speak with leaders and managers directly and contributing my voice to company decisions. Since they are right in the middle, millennials are well-positioned to be people who can speak to multiple generations. I am aware of this, and I use this advantage every day to make our team run as smoothly as possible.
TVMC: What does leadership mean to today’s millennials?
NA: It means leading with values and principles like trust, transparency, integrity, mutual respect, collaboration, and accountability. Leadership means staying open, staying curious, and most importantly, staying humble enough to admit mistakes. It means expressing a commitment to change with the times and being culturally competent. Today’s successful leaders will be the ones who can speak to people across all cultures and backgrounds. So I think an inclusive leadership course is a perfect addition to anyone’s career journey.
And there you have it! Thank you, Neena. Want to better understand how to create opportunities for inclusive leadership in your organization? Head over to our learning platform, TVMCU.com, and register for the course Inclusive Leadership with Vernā Myers.