The Millennial Influence: Say Hello to the New Workplace

Canadian Management Centre says organizations not prepared for new generation of leaders

TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Organizations need to start embracing changes that are already transforming the workplace or they will struggle, according to Canadian Management Centre (, a Canadian talent development company that trains over 15,000 people each year to be better leaders and managers.  

For the last decade, leaders and organizations have been trying to figure out how to communicate and collaborate with their Millennial employees.  In a recent survey conducted by Canadian Management Centre, over 54 per cent of respondents indicated they felt Millennials are the most challenging to engage and lead effectively.  Characteristically defined as ambitious, tech-savvy, collaborative, and confident, Millennials are rapidly rising into leadership positions.  They are integrating their values and attitudes towards work into their environment, ultimately influencing and impacting the teams they lead.

"Millennials are plagued by negative stereotypes that unfortunately overshadow their true strengths," said John Wright, president and managing director, Canadian Management Centre. "Millennials bring fresh new values and perspectives to the workplace and they want to make an impact.  As they leap-frog over other Gen X and Boomer employees into leadership positions, they're going to get their chance - and few Canadian organizations are ready."

Millennials will represent 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025
Millennials or Gen Y, born between 1981-1995, are the fastest growing segment of Canada's workforce at 29 per cent and as of next year they will start to outnumber Baby Boomers.  By 2025, Millennials will represent 75 per cent of the global workforce according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The eldest of the Millennial generation have been in the workforce for 10 years and are moving up the leadership ranks very quickly.  Research from EY indicates that 87 per cent of Millennial Managers took on a new management role in the last 5 years compared with 38 per cent of Gen X managers and 19 per cent of Boomers. (source:

For some Millennials, traditional workplace structures and outdated approaches to leadership have stifled their desire to openly share information, collaborate across teams and try new things.  The 'Build a Better Workplace' study of 1,200 Canadian employees released in 2013 by Canadian Management Centre and Ipsos Reid, found that only 24 per cent of Millennials identified themselves as highly engaged.  If their work environment hasn't been set up to tap into their full potential, what will happen when they are catapulted into roles where they are responsible for inspiring and leading others?

What Organizations Need to Do: Engage, Prepare, Impact
According to Mr. Wright, leaders and HR professionals need to find better ways to engage their Millennial employees, prepare them for future leadership positions and manage the impact from Millennials essentially, re-writing the leadership rule book and transforming the workplace.

  • ENGAGE: Explore ways to increase employee engagement and opportunities to integrate what Millennials value into the workplace, such as providing a forum for the voice of the employee to be heard, as well as strategies that promote collaboration and sharing of new ideas. Regardless of their career path, Millennials also expect support and access to resources to grow their career.

  • PREPARE: Millennials are ambitious and confident and may not know what they don't know. Organizations need to focus on defining what is expected from these emerging leaders and invest in leadership programs to develop the skills that will prepare them for the opportunities ahead.  They can help them understand the landscape that currently exists and how to navigate within it by creating mentoring opportunities and providing regular feedback.

  • IMPACT: As Millennials move into leadership positions, they may end up managing individuals who have more experience and expertise. Organizations need to support all their employees with the tools and training they need to understand the dynamics of the people they work with and strategies for collaboration. At the same time, Millennial leaders may need to modify their approach to accommodate the values and expectations of their peer groups from different generations.

"The Future of Leadership: The Millennial Influence"
In an effort to help Canadian organizations prepare for these changes, Canadian Management Centre is hosting a series of panel discussions as part of its 2014 National Thought Leader Series entitled "The Future of Leadership: The Millennial Influence."  Millennials who are currently in leadership positions will be participating as panelists at each event to share their experience and provide insights about the aspirations and expectations of their generation. The series kicks off in Ottawa on February 27 and then travels to Mississauga, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. The events are complimentary but advance registration is required by visiting the website at

About Canadian Management Centre
Since 1963, Canadian Management Centre has been helping thousands of corporations across the nation close the gap between where their business needs to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With over 300 open-enrollment sessions regularly scheduled per year, Canadian Management Centre offers the largest range of critical skills required for business success in Canada. Its annual National Thought Leader Series was developed to establish a platform for individuals and organizations to benefit from hearing the latest research, news, and information on major issues affecting organizations today and the trends that are shaping our future.  Canadian Management Centre is part of the American Management Association International - a world leader in professional development advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. For more information, visit the website at: or on Twitter:  @CanadianMgmt #CMCevents.

SOURCE: Canadian Management Centre

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Tel: (416) 461-5270 or (416) 402-4880.  Email: or on Twitter @thesirengroup.

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