Millennials and Transparency – what do millennials care about in the workplace? Millennials are born after 1980. They’re the young generation in the workforce.
I recently interviewed a millennial who just made a job change. I asked him why did he leave his previous employer. His answer was that he wanted his work to be meaningful and he wanted to know that what he does within the organization matters.
I thought it was a great answer, however, I asked him how does a company do that? How is this organization demonstrated to him that his work is meaningful?
His answer was very simple. He said: “My leaders are transparent.”
Millennials and Transparency
Yes, we’re talking about transparency.
And I will be honest, it wasn’t so transparent to me what transparency really meant. Especially when it comes to the millennial generation, because to me, transparency was always brutal honesty. But after further digging, I discovered that true organizational transparency gives Millennials insight into the decision-making processes and opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways.
It’s not just being told what to do, but it’s also understanding the why.
How to Demonstrate Transparency in the Workplace
So… What actions can leaders take to demonstrate their transparency?
One is honesty – with good info and bad. It’s easy to be honest when the info is good, but it’s a little trickier when the info is bad.
Another millennial I spoke to that was laid off said to me that she understands layoffs happen. However, what was so discouraging was that the process was not transparent. One day they received a letter that made it sound like everybody was going to be laid off. Three days later they received another letter that made it sound like some of the jobs were going to be saved. It wasn’t transparent. When it was all over, her manager said that he didn’t know what was going on. She didn’t believe him.
How to Demonstrate Transparency
Another way to be transparent is addressing conflict – not letting it foster transparency. Being seen and available.
One of my clients holds weekly meetings and the day before the meeting she encourages everyone to post questions they would like addressed in the meeting. She said they can post the questions anonymously or not, as they wish. If there are multiple questions, she asks the team to vote on the questions that they want to be addressed first.
According to the Deloitte survey, open communication and transparency are one of the guiding factors of job satisfaction for Millennials.
What Can Leaders Do to Demonstrate Transparency
Leaders need to welcome candid feedback from their millennial employees if they want to to foster this transparent communication.
One of my clients asks their millennial employees different questions each and every week.
The questions range from:
- How can the company make their work-life balance easier?
- What can they do to make them more productive?
- On a scale of one to ten, how would they rank this place as a place they would recommend working?
Transparency builds and increases trust within the organization. It builds and increases trust with managers and employees.
How Millennials View Transparency
Millennials view transparency as a confirmation that they have an opportunity to be heard and make a difference.
Transparency is the new currency within a company, so don’t come up shortchanged.