Millennials Want Ownership and Accountability


“Millennials want ownership,” says Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Senior Manager of Social Media and Online Branding for Cornerstone OnDemand, who knows this employee market firsthand being a GenY employee himself.

According to Charney, Millennials no longer have the desire to work for one company their entire lives. Growing up, Millennials saw the downside of working a lifetime at one corporation through their parents’ experiences – it appeared to be lots of trouble with little return.

Charney says instead, speaking for himself and other GenY professionals, “[We’d] rather build our sense of identity and wrap ourselves around a more entrepreneurial sort of project.”

“That can happen inside a company, but it’s really about taking ownership in work and accountability for outcome. It’s having a little bit more ability to set your own direction and course within the context of the larger work that needs to get done, rather than a very narrowly defined, narrowly scoped, and often limiting job description and responsibility,” said Charney. “That’s what’s ultimately going to harm retention.”

Charney cited his previous work experience as an example. He worked as a line recruiter for a Fortune 500 company in a transactional type role. When it came to layoffs, everyone he had hired was let go. It was frustrating to see all of his hard work being undone.

Now with the advent of social media, Charney can do his job and have an external presence across the industry. It affords him the opportunity to do the things he loves within his work environment. His new role, no longer replaceable, requires ownership in work accountability and builds his sense of identity within his company.