Company culture a prime concern for Gen-Y

By Hannah Geise


“My mama told me when I was young. We are all born superstars.”


These words are more than just the beginning lyrics to a pop song by Lady Gaga. They reflect the attitude of an entire generation – Millennials – who have grown up with constant, positive reinforcement from their parents, teachers, mentors, and coaches.


Most millennials have been raised in an era where parents constantly praise their children and tell them how special they are.


Often stereotyped as being impatient, demanding, and feeling entitled, the Millennial generation (also known as Gen-Y), will make up 46% of the US workforce by 2020 according to the Young Entrepreneurs Council. As millennials start to enter the workplace at a more rapid rate, it is important for employers to recognize the differences of this generation.


Simply put, members of Gen-Y value a work environment and possess a work attitude that strays from what their parents and grandparents experienced.


“Millennials value a parallel life, so company culture is important,” said Brad Karsh, president of JB Training Solutions, a workplace training and employee development company. “They want to be happy with the work they are doing, and happy in the environment in which they are working.”


In the Young Entrepreneurs Council study, researchers found that millennials valued meaningful work over high pay and company culture definitely played a role in their sense of accomplishment.


Many organizations are beginning to realize the amount of weight company culture has in the value system of millennials. In response, they are working to help recent graduates navigate the perfect career path.


Part of including JB Training Solutions’ mission is to help recent graduates transition from college to the workplace. Karsh explained that he believes the transition from student to young professional is one of the most difficult changes in a person’s entire life.


“Through our ‘Millennials Mean Business’ initiative on Twitter, we tweet daily blogs, articles, tips, etc. all geared toward millennials,” said Karsh. “We will often highlight companies who have a great culture for millennials, and we love answering questions from our followers.”


Other companies like and DreamChamps focus on pairing job seekers with pre-researched businesses that seem like a good fit for the applicant.


DreamChamps primarily focuses on companies in the Chicago area that adhere to a specific list of attributes such as paying every employee a living wage and creating a positive and healthy work environment.


The site allows job seekers to watch a video on a certain company that highlights the culture of the company including interviews with staff and the CEO. A button next to the video indicates whether or not the company is currently hiring and then applicants can directly apply to jobs that the company had posted. differs slightly with a more advanced ranking system that analyzes the unique characteristics of each applicant and delivers personalized recommendations for a company and position that would seem compatible with the job seeker.


Like an e-Harmony for the job search, pairs top talent with exciting opportunities in technology and design based on passion, personality, experience, environment, culture, and position.


So is Gen-Y entitled and demanding? What they want is a positive work environment, one that allows them to contribute ideas, do meaningful work, have clear communication, and enjoy the job where they will spend the majority of their waking hours.


Karsh concluded, “Millennials are not better. Millennials are not worse. They are just different.”


Featured image courtesy of

In the News
August 27, 2012