Inclusion & Isolation ~ Creating a strong team

While working on a podcast series, I have been talking to a lot of Millennials and GenZ’ers (as they are currently being called). Millennials were born between 1977-1994 and were originally referred to as Echo Boomers, then GenY. I have no doubt that the GenZ generation, born between 1995-2012, will adopt a more fitting moniker in the years to come.

Anyway, I have been talking to a lot of individuals in both generations as well as doing research on statistics for Millennials (’cause I am a nerd like that), and the more I research and learn, the better I can serve my clients, listeners (of my Podcast – Check it out!), workshop attendees, and of course you, the reader.

Some of the stark realities that have come to light are these people, in general, feel more isolated and lonely as individuals than earlier generations because of the reality of the way they were raised, the options that are and were available to them, and the lack of a ‘Universal Experience’, or shared cultural experience.

That is why when you create a warm inclusive environment for ‘them’ as a Boss, you are more likely to develop a cohesive, dedicated team that works for you and brings different perspectives.

Some of those sexy stats that I mentioned;

  • Millennials Have seen a large shift in U.S. society and culture and have become more detached from major institutions such as political parties, religion, the military, and marriage.
  • Millennial females have gained a higher level of education than previous generations and both male and female Millennials are on track to be our most educated generation by the time they finish their educational journeys.
  • About 6 in 10 Millennials have never been married, and when they do marry, they are doing so later in their 20’s. Although, 65% say that they would like to marry someday, but when asked why they have not married yet the reasons given range from that they are not financially prepared, to that they are too young to marry.
  • Greater shares of Millennials today live in metropolitan areas than other generations when they were the same age.
  • This generation is the largest living generation by population, but they trail the number of households that they head. Many still live with their parents or in another shared living situation and about half of the cohabiting couple households are headed by a Millennial.
  • More Millennials live in poverty than GenX’ers or Boomers and in 2016 Millennials, for the first time, surpassed all other generations in the number of households who were headed by single mothers.

These stats (from the PEW Institute) unveil some of the possible reasons for the general sense of isolation that these Millennials feel, and they also help us to understand some of the reasons that they crave a more family type work environment where they work together in teams or in a shared workspace. I dive deeper into this in Episode 09: Hiring & Working with Millennials with guest Chris Simms, and in an upcoming episode 10: Millennials in the Middle with guest Lucas Currie.

With this new understanding and awareness of some of the struggles and realities that this generation has, what will you implement in your work environment to help develop, and hire for, a cohesive team dynamic?

Here are 5 quick and easy way’s that you can add a sense of inclusion and cohesiveness to your team.

  • Celebrate successes as a team
  • Deal with failures and loss as a team
  • Have scheduled planned training & mentorship available to your staff
  • Spend one on one time with your employees
  • Thank & appreciate your team members in a way that they appreciate being recognized (for more on this check out the 5 Love Languages of appreciation in the Workplace.)


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