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Gallop's six workplace trends. Are they new? Are they correct?

I've been reading a wonderful book from Gallop, (the polling/data people,) and they cite six "epiphanies" they have had about how the workplace has changed now that it is filled with Millennials and Generation Z. As I read through them, I thought to myself; Some of these are very similar to things we talked about during my baby boomer years. Others stuck out as topics of conversations from countless management seminars I've attended.

Here they are. Please tell me if they resonate with you! Are they new? Even if they aren't new, are they correct for you and your workplace? Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Millennials and Generation Z...

  1. ...don't just work for a paycheck - they want a purpose.
  2. ...are no longer pursuing job satisfaction - they are pursuing development.
  3. ...don't want bosses - they want coaches.
  4. ...don't want annual reviews - they want ongoing conversations.
  5. ...don't want a manager who fixates on their weaknesses - they want managers who focus on their strengths.
  6. ...think "It's not my job, it's my life."


  • I'm pseudo-millennial, depending on which version of millennial we're talking about, so I'm more than happy to share my thoughts.

    1 - I want both. I need enough of a paycheck to survive, and I want to not just survive, but be comfortable and not be living paycheck to paycheck. I also want a purpose. I know I'm not going to go out and cure cancer or solve all the problems of the world, but if I have the ability to see an impact that I have helped create, that is incredibly rewarding.

    2 - To quote Angelica Schulyer in "Hamilton" - "I will never be satisfied." I must continually learn and grow in order to be satisfied. I don't the two are mutually exclusive.

    3 - I want a mentor and a coach, but I also want someone to help go to bat for me when I need it. I do not take micromanaging well (High A!), but if someone has enough faith in me to give me a task, let me do it, and coach me through when I need help, I'm happy.

    4 - Again, i don't think the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. I think that an ongoing conversation is better in the long run. It's better to reinforce behaviors closest to when they occur, however I do think an annual review is also helpful. Sometimes we get so caught up in the continuum that it can be hard to recognize accomplishment. Looking back to see where things were a year ago can often times be enlightening and rewarding.

    5 - I want balance. I want to know what my manager thinks I do well, and I want to continue to enhance those skills, especially if they are important to my career growth. However, I also want to know what I could improve. Some of those things may not be as relevant to the job so they do not become areas of focus, but sometimes they are key pieces that are inhibiting me from taking the next step. I want both, so long as both are helping me improve.

    6 - I don't think this is a generational thing. I think you'll find across all generations people who work to live vs those who live to work. I love what I do for work, but I love a lot of other things too. Work/life balance is different for everyone, and level of engagement in different areas of life can ebb and flow throughout the course of time. Let's just never hate what we do - life is too short for that. :)

    Great discussion, thanks, Dottie!



  • This is such a great topic and I'm glad that you brought it up! I see posts about Millennials everywhere, and I think the one major flaw that they are all missing is that Millennials are an enormous group of people, and as such, any kind of classification of them - what they want, what they need, etc. can feel like a stereotype based on age. After all, we are basing people's workplace preferences on age, which is a demographic! Many of the items listed by the Gallup article are things that Millennials and Gen Z may like, but other age groups may like them as well. Likewise, not every Millennial or Gen Z person is going to be a fan.

    So, while the workplace trends presented by the Gallup article are certainly very valuable, organizations should look at these trends as a way to increase the engagement and potential of all of their employees, not as a way to target employees by age group. If leaders aren't sure, the best way to find out what the employees want is to ask them, whether through a survey, through focus groups, or through one-on-one discussions.

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