Why Are Lived Values Important to Millennials?

By: Maria Schaab

Author

To answer this thought-provoking question, we should first define what a “value” is. By definition, a value is a principle or belief that influences the behavior and way of life for a group of people or a community.

So what is it about the “lived values” craze and its importance among Millennials? It turns out, Millennials are the generation that greatly surpasses all others in placing importance on values. This trend is seen with anything from brands and their content or products, all the way up to the organizations they become members of. For example, when it comes to shopping, Forbes found that 7 out of 10 US Millennials actively consider company values when making a purchase. That’s a whopping 70%! Now, think of that number in terms of your organization and its values. How would you feel if 70% of your applicants and employees were monitoring the values by which your organization lives? Would you be content with what is demonstrated?

Millennials are actively reshaping what is important within a corporate culture. Let’s take Titus Talent Strategies for example. Our organization was built on the foundation of our lived values: Passion, Excellence, Integrity, Accountability, Results, Servanthood, Entrepreneurial and my personal favorite – FUN! This is a culture that values their people, something that sets Titus apart from other firms within the industry. Cultures that represent lived values such as these typically see higher retention rates, more engaged employees and increased performance and work productivity overall.

At 23 years old, born in 1996, I am right on the end cusp of calling myself a “Millennial”.  I recall my active job search following my graduation in 2018. The statistics I mentioned earlier may have been a shock to some, but they were more than relevant to me and my experience when exploring post-graduate opportunities. I had two initiatives. First, find a job to start my career. Second, find a company with a culture that resonated with my values – a company I wanted to be a part of long-term.

I know what you may be thinking… but no, Millennials did not receive a textbook on the importance of company culture or values in college. However, this was a big shift in thinking within recent years and something that played a big part in my own personal job search. I interviewed with multiple companies for similar positions but could not recall one that asked about what my desire for a company culture looked like. I usually ended my conversations with these companies asking about the values of the company and how it sets them apart from other organizations within the industry. To my surprise, not all could answer that question and many responded with “that’s a great question, I’ve never been asked that before”. Answers like these played a role in my decision, making me among the 35% of American workers that would pass on a job if the culture or values were not a good fit.

So what was I, along with many Millennials like myself, looking for from these organizations?

Teamwork

A common trend among my peers revolves first around teamwork. As Millennials, we are a generation looking for the chance to be a part of something larger than ourselves and express and share our ideas.

Balance and Flexibility

Second, we stepped into the workforce at a time when work life balance became a large shift among organizations, offering opportunities such as remote work, hybrid office positions and additional time off for rest.

Growth

Third, we are looking for a company that values our growth. Starting from scratch in a career or industry can be daunting – you’re not sure where you want to go or who you’re going to be, but you’ve taken the initiative to start the climb. We are seeking organizations that care about growing and expanding our skill sets, offering opportunities and challenges that better us in our professional lives.


Truthfully, the list could go on and on. It is constantly changing and evolving as workplace culture continues to shift and organizations adapt to these sought out and highly desired values of the younger workforce. We are a motivated and driven generation, breeding top talent for the future and we know what we need in order to be successful within an organization.

With so many things shifting in our world, there is also an abundance of active job seekers looking for their next opportunity. If there was ever a time to place an emphasis on lived values and what sets your organization apart, it would be now!

After all, are you willing to sacrifice top talent for a lack of demonstrated values?

If you’d like to dig deeper with our team on how to identify, define, and truly live out your organization’s values, we’d love to connect with you! Simply click the button below to get the conversation started.

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