Tabi on racial matters – Millennials will hold your business accountable for how equitable your brand is

| April 25, 2022

With people born between 1981 and 1996 (the Millennials) are said to be the most educated young professionals in the world with greater awareness of fairness, equality, environmental sustainability, and social justice.

This group of people are eager to make an impact on the world in a positive way.

They also expect their employers to do the same.

But many employers are not aware of the significant impact that Millennials are having on the world, in business or society at large.

Generational Differences
Millennials don’t think like our leaders today.

They see the world through a lens that encompasses systemic inequalities that older generations are now coming into terms with. Sexism and Racism are on their radar. This generation will not take your company’s policies and value statements on a shiny brochure at face value or listen to any propaganda.

They will dig deeper, seek out underneath all of your talk and if there is a gap on what you say, Equality is and how your company behaves, then they will ask for accountability.

It’s that simple.

Yet, we know that the average age of current leaders of this world is around 50. This tells us that leaders of our organisations are likely to be mostly older and therefore their understanding of and need for equality of the Millennials may be overlooked.

Old ways and New possibilities

Some of the organisation’s ways of doing things, have been around a while. In many cases for larger organisations, 20, 30 and even 40 years! Since its inception.

Some of the systemic processes maybe old with ideologies rooted in sexism and racism, that don’t serve us as a society any longer. For example, Shakespeare’s play, “The Taming of the Shrewd” can appear sexist by today’s standards.

Now is the time for organisations to keep abreast of what’s happening in our world to move with the time, upgrade and stay relevant.

This is important if your organisation wants to attract smart people with innovative ideas that support your business now and into the future.

For example: since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in broad day light on the streets of United States of America, many organisations have stepped up to advance racial equity and seriously look at diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics.

Cultural mindset and shift are key here.

So, ask yourself, what’s your business doing to stay up to date and build an inclusive workplace culture to include young ideas?

Millennials want you to walk-the-talk

Gone are the days when societal issues like racism and climate change stayed outside the bounds of business. This generation want to see the company they choose to work for, do what they said they will do.

It is said that the millennials will go to great length to integrate their social beliefs into how they live. And they expect their employers to do same.
Therefore, accountability is one of their top priorities and characteristics which sets this group apart from other generations.

Millennials are smart and across many issues of the world more acutely than other groups. In a recent report by Forbes, here are three (3) things your company can start to do to embed millennial thinking into your business processes, you must consider the following:

1. Examine how practices, policies and actions line up

As a leader of your organisation, ask yourself whether your current practices are consistent with your stated values and whether your policies line up with your values. And do your Company Social Responsibility (CSR) embrace social equality?

2. Enlist employees in conversations.

Talk with your employees often about their views. The collective discussions should be widespread and ongoing. Communicate clearly about company intentions and seek input from millennials, listening and addressing their concerns thoughtfully.

3. Invite employees to be problem-solving partners.

When you discuss the big picture with millennials, also invite them to offer solutions. This gives them opportunity to work with you, side-by-side in creative ways to put your company’s intentions, words, and actions in-line. Avoid a top-level down leadership approach.

Will these three steps be enough to curtail any millennial problems in your organisation? The short answer is, it’s a start.

But if your company fails to include millennials in ongoing discussion with your values mismatching your actions, it will be only a matter of time when they are on social media to broadcast their concerns publicly with or without you. Your brand is more at stake now than ever before.

Millennials are a generation that will keep your business accountable for Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

They are well informed, diverse in their thinking and in their approach, with a passion for humanity and the environment to have the opportunity to thrive.

How are you creating Inclusion to remain relevant now and into the future?

And ask yourself, will Millennials choose to come and work for you?