The New Normal in Corporate America


We are seeing a huge paradigm shift in corporate business culture where companies are embracing the mindset of Millennials – flexibility, culture fit, community, collaboration and team versus the “way it’s always been is the way we are going to be.”  In fact, I believe that shift is our new normal.

What use to be Casual Friday is now wear jeans or a 3-piece suite on Monday if that makes you feel more comfortable and confident and therefore more productive in your job.  Really, does it matter if you wear khakis, a suit, or jeans, especially if you are sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day?  I doubt it.

What I’ve also found quite interesting is the myth of Millennial job hopping.  It’s rare that I meet with an individual who has a goal of working someplace for a year or two and then looking for something better just because.  Looking for a job is mentally, physically, and often financially exhausting – no one WANTS to be in a job search. Most people want to find a home where they feel they are respected, valued, and they have an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way… for a very long time.  This holds true for any demographic and any generation.

I found an interesting article on Forbes about this subject – it turns out that Baby Boomers job hopped more than Millennials.    In 1983 the average length at a job was 3.5 years compared to 2014 where it rose to 4.6 years.

Millennial job hopping myth BUSTED.

In the end it all comes back to Leadership.  In my experience people leave jobs because they no longer feel valued not because of money.  Given the choice between working for an amazing company, amazing leadership, or making a few more bucks at a job they hate – 99% of the time the great organization and culture win over the almighty dollar.

Leaders that are tuned into their culture recognize when things start to go awry – reduction in  team production and/or revenue, water-cooler banter that is less than stellar, and an overall malaise around the office.  Good leaders take action – identifying employees who are struggling or unhappy and finding solutions to fix the problem.  Poor leaders ignore the red flags until the situation becomes critical – employees leave – aka hop from their job – to find a better place.

Personally, I like the “new normal”.  Thriving companies allow their employees to spread their wings, be innovative and collaborative, wear what they want, have flexible work schedules and embrace the power of time off.  They no longer live by the pyramid org chart where the CEO is at the top and revered, and those who are in direct line with customers at the bottom are second class citizens.  The inverted pyramid is a shift we needed.  Empowering the largest part of your work force to show up, contribute, and not be micromanaged.  Yes – the “new normal” is refreshing – perhaps this is the ONE thing that caused the shift in the amount of time people stay at their jobs?  Let’s say – it can’t hurt!