Although statistics vary on the number of jobs Millennials are projected to hold in their careers, one forecast is very clear – Millennials will change jobs far more frequently in their lifetimes than previous generations did.
Obviously, Millennials want to make career progress during these changes and not make “mistakes” by joining companies whose corporate values do not align with their own. Adam Grant, considered one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers, says that considering company culture is just as important as focusing on title, position and salary. He states, “The culture of a workplace—an organization’s values, norms and practices—has a huge impact on our happiness and success.”
I was fortunate to hear this and other inspiring messages from Adam Grant when he spoke at the 11th Annual PSPS Leadership Forum in Philadelphia on “Building a Culture of Originality, Generosity and Resilience.” Grant is a professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. (We are pictured here together.)
His message on diagnosing culture match is particularly important to Millennials as they apply and interview for new jobs on their career trajectory.
Grant recommends that job seekers ask company representatives to tell stories to illustrate the organization’s culture, allowing the applicant to see how it might compare with other organizations being considered. It’s critical to weed out toxic behaviors that cause the most employee grief. Three issues are crucial to consider:
1. Justice – Is the big boss human?
2. Safety – Does the organization have my back?
3. Control – Can I shape my own destiny and can the “little people” rise to the top?
In my experience and according to research, it is extremely important for Millennial job satisfaction, engagement and retention that they work within organizations whose values align with their own. Doing a deep dive into organizational culture is an excellent first step for Millennials to connect with the right organizations from the start.
To read more about Grant’s philosophy and recommendations, read The One Question You Should Ask About Every New Job, from The New York Times (December 19, 2015).
If you are a Millennial and have other suggestions for culture alignment, please pass them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will share them with readers.