Millennials have right stuff for employee-owned businesses


Myth of fly-by-night generation exposed in groundbreaking report

The myth of a fly-by-night disloyal Millennial generation has been undermined by a new report.

A groundbreaking investigation into the generation – born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s – reveals that, on many attitudinal metrics, Millennials differ little from the views of their predecessors in Generation X when they came of age in the 1990s. Yet Millennials demand more in meaning and purpose from their work than older generations.

Many employee-owned businesses feared that their talent pipeline could come under pressure from a generation that has been widely cast as footloose to the point of being disloyal; entrepreneurial to the point of being hard to employ.

But the report Busting the Millennial Myth – The Power of Purpose, coauthored by the University of Oxford’s Dr Ruth Yeoman and launched on Friday at FieldFisher in London, says that far from meeting these stereotypes, Millennials are ideally suited to the needs of employee-owned businesses. The purpose and meaning offered by partnership-based firms is perfect for a generation that places more emphasis on generating meaning for work that its more money-orientated Generation X and Baby Boomer predecessors, the report finds.

“At the heart of things there remains a key need,” writes Peter Neville Lewis, who coauthored the report with Yeoman. “Millennials seek purpose and meaning from their work. They also want to develop themselves and receive feedback.”

“Employee ownership seems to be safe in the hands of Millennials,” Graeme Nuttall, a partner at FieldFisher, writes in the report.

The Q2 2017 edition of Dialogue will feature a major exploration of the findings.