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Today, most millennials have graduated college and joined the workforce. Older generations are quick to describe them as entitled — the kids who got trophies for merely participating now expect lots of pats on the back at work, too.
The truth is, that's just a cliché: What most millennials are looking for is a more personalized approach to leadership. TODAY teamed up with health and wellness site Greatist and surveyed nearly 4,000 millennials, aged 18-34. Here were some of the key findings about work and success:
- About 57 percent feel that they have a good work-life balance
- Over 30 percent plan to own their own company one day
- Roughly 75 percent agreed that finding a sense of purpose in their work is more important than salary
- Over 60 percent said that social responsibility plays a significant role in choosing where to work
"They're not lazy at all. They're actually really, really hard-working," said Ben Kirshner, CEO of Elite SEM, a digital marking company, a popular workplace for millennials. "It's just that they like to work on their times. They like to have a flexible work schedule."
Which is consistent with what the millennials we surveyed said: 87 percent don't think they should be expected to answer emails on the weekend or at night.
Here are a few more surprising findings:
One unique thing that the New York-based Elite SEM does with every potential new employee is a culture interview, where they meet with their peers, people they might be sitting next to (if they get the job), and employees ask more laid-back questions.
"The work force is so different. So I think the problem was, is that employers didn't adapt," said Zach Morrison, president of Elite SEM. "And it made millennials say 'Well, wait. This isn't the way the world works. Forget about the way the millennials work. This isn't the way the world works.'"
"This is becoming the new norm," he continued. "Employers are gonna be successful (and they're) gonna have happy employees. Because happy employees will be successful in their job(s). They love the work that they're doing."
"I think it's the Gen X and the millennials that are going to shake things up and change the world for the better," said Simon Sinek, author of the book "Leaders Eat Last."
For more on millennials, tune in Wednesday for our survey findings on love and relationships