Honesty–A declining virtue?
We had a young millennial colleague call today and discuss a matter that was very troubling to her. She is working for a new start up firm. Her owners are Baby Boomers, both successful business owners.
The whole team got together the other day to talk about corporate values. My millennial colleague identified that truth and honesty were values and virtues that she felt strongly about and should be included in the corporate ethos. Interestingly, the owners of the firm did not agree– and said that they would not be included in the final set of corporate values.
OK, no big deal, right? WRONG—- this is one area where the generational gap is significant. Millennial employees are very strongly focused on truth and honesty. They were raised during a time when they could not believe parents, teachers, national leaders about honesty and truth. The result– lots of doubt and disbelief today.
Interestingly, I suspect that my colleague will seek a new opportunity in the not too distant future. What is more interesting is that she is a very, very smart, talented and creative team member who has a wide variety of skills and abilities. She will be very difficult to replace. Oh, someone else can take her place– however, very few, if any individuals will be able to match her brains, drive and creativity—especially in a new start up.
How does your firm value truth and honesty? Do you value it? Is it just lip service or do you “really walk the walk?” This is a question well worth exploring–for if you do not listen to new, younger millennial employees, you may find that you will not have them staying to be a part of the team.
Another factor worthy of consideration is what are your corporate values and ethos? Do you have any? Food for thought!