Millennials prioritize different things than past generations have when it comes to business success. In fact, 81 percent of them think that a business needs a genuine purpose that resonates with people in order to be successful, according to a recent survey from American Express and Kantar Futures.
The survey, Redefining the C-Suite: Business the Millennial Way, featured responses from more than 2,300 millennials who are leaders and managers in businesses across the U.S., U.K. and France. It featured a number of topics, ranging from personal success to the changing business landscape.
But one of the most prevalent themes seems to be how much millennials value having a purpose behind their work. Sixty-eight percent said they want to be known for making a positive difference in the world. And slightly fewer respondents, 62 percent, said they recognize the importance of maximizing shareholder value and profits.
For Millennials, Business Success Means Having a Purpose
So it seems millennials put having a genuine purpose above the ability to make as much money as possible. This can have a major impact on the future of business, and on how today’s businesses might market to millennials or manage millennial employees. In fact, 78 percent of respondents believe that their employer’s values should match their own. This could mean businesses with a social or charitable element may be more appealing for millennials. But it could also lead to even more of an emphasis on things like flexible scheduling, fair pay, family leave and other work-life balance issues. Additionally, it could mean they’ll be less likely to overlook things they don’t see as aligning with their own values in favor of a big paycheck.
Overall, this study seems to show the business landscape is on the cusp of change. It’s unlikely the majority of future businesses will simply dismiss the importance of profits altogether. But they could start to value profits and purpose on a more equal level.
Image: American Express