“Working to Live, Not Living to Work”: Sneak Peek into the Millennial Minds

July 6, 20168:02 am417 views

The world is adapting to an entirely different kind of workforce. What can we learn from millennial entrepreneurs and their approach to work, and how do we hire, engage, and do business with our next generation of leaders?

Young entrepreneurs are driven by a desire for independence, a belief in social good and a commitment to employee happiness. Sage’s Walk with Me report, closely examines the key characteristics, attitudes and behaviours of millennial entrepreneurs around the world.

Despite sweeping generalisations about how this generation behaves, the study shows that these business leaders have diverse traits which align them with five workplace personality types:

  • The Principled Planners  extremely methodical in their approach to work, they enjoy carefully planning for success. With an ambitious streak, they never take anything at face value and always ask a lot of questions.
  • The Driven Techies – love their work and can’t bear the thought of sitting around twiddling their thumbs, they trust in the power and efficiency of innovative technology to keep them one step ahead of the competition. They have a strong belief in the ability of technology to accurately target their existing and future customers.
  • The Instinctive Explorers – cavalier, they love the unknown, as well as exploring uncharted territory. They trust their gut instincts and stick to their guns. A modern image is extremely important to them, as is leaving a legacy behind to be remembered by.
  • The Real Worlders – resourceful, but likely to say they rely on technology in order to succeed. When it comes to their approach to work and making decisions, they tend to alternate between going on gut instinct and taking a more methodical approach.
  • The Thrill-Seekers – easily bored and always on the lookout for the next challenge, they couldn’t care less about appearances. They work best around others and believe that making a social impact is overrated. Thrill Seekers choose highly social ways of working, work best around others, and enjoy bouncing around with people. They are as likely to leave employees to their own devices as they are to know what’s going on.

More general trends from the study include a desire to make a difference. Doing social good is especially important to young entrepreneurs in South Africa (80%) and Brazil (81%) compared to other countries.

Respondents in Switzerland (24%), Australia (20%) and France (19%) say employee happiness is what gets them out of bed in the morning, while 34% say they started their own business in order to be master of their own destiny.

Key findings from the study:

  • 61% will sacrifice profit to stay true to their values – rising to 78% in South Africa, 71% in the US and 72% in Singapore.
  • 66% say life comes before work, with the biggest gaps in Spain (79% versus 21%), Portugal (75% versus 25%) and France (65% versus 35%).
  • One in three (34%) are driven by a desire to be masters of their own destiny, rather than make money (21%).

See: 8 Startling Facts You Must Know to Hire and Work with Millennials

  • Doing social good is especially important in South Africa (80%) and Brazil (81%).
  • For respondents in Brazil (71%), Australia (70%), Belgium (70%), Singapore (73%) and Switzerland (70%), reducing the amount of hours they spend working and retiring early is a key focus for them.
  • 62% of young entrepreneurs globally believe they’ll be a serial entrepreneur, starting more than one business – with 52% saying this is because they have lots of ideas they want to share with the world.

Kriti Sharma, Director, Product Management – Mobile, Sage, explains, “As a millennial entrepreneur myself I know first-hand that this business group are shaking things up. We’re rejecting established patterns of working and making technology work for us. We see business through a new lens. We’re willing to work hard, but want flexibility in how, when and with whom we do business.”

“Millennial entrepreneurs have a huge role to play in the start-up economy and are shaping the modern workplace at great pace,” explains Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage.

“But they can’t be grouped together as a homogenous stereotype. Our research shows that they fall into distinct camps with specific hopes, fears, concerns and ways of working. They will be our next generation of business builders, the heroes of the economy, and understanding what makes them tick now stands us all in good stead for the future. That’s true of the people that want to do business with them, buy from them, hire them or create policy that helps them to grow.”

Entrepreneurs of this generation start their own business for three key reasons; a desire to be master of their own lives, to turn their ideas into a reality and to make money. Being their own boss is particularly important to those living in Brazil (46%), the USA (40%), Portugal (40%), France (38%) and the UK (36%).

Millennials don’t just want to be successful; they want their work to be fulfilling too. They see working for themselves as a way to stay true to their values; over a third say they started their own business so they could be master of their own identity.

Forty-three percent of millennial entrepreneurs say they find bureaucracy demotivating, with those in Brazil and Poland finding this particularly difficult. Meanwhile, 36% of those surveyed, most notably in Singapore (46%), South Africa (43%), Spain (44%), and Australia (43%), say receiving late payment and worrying about cash flow is disheartening.

One of the ways that governments across the globe can support these entrepreneurs is by minimizing their challenges. Small businesses need government support to reach their full potential, which will also significantly benefit the wider economy.

This generation of entrepreneurs want to build a culture of innovation. They’ve grown up with the technology at their fingertips to make processes efficient and allow instant access to real-time information, whenever and wherever they are. They are therefore less accepting of outdated practices that slow things down and hold them back. Let’s help them to really fly.

Also read: World’s Most Attractive Employers for Millennials in 2016

Image credit: information-age.com

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