Once upon a time there was a place for bosses who dictated the "who, what, when, where and why" of how a company's workers spent their time on the job. But, that was a different crowd of people. Back in the day, Boomers--and Gen-Xers, to a degree--were willing to clock hours for the privilege of collecting a paycheck every two weeks. Millennials are a different sort. They like doing work that matters, for one thing. They also want flexible work arrangements which allow them to enjoy life instead of being chained to a desk from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. And they want to feel like partners--not employees--on the job.

That's according to Alex Nephew, cofounder of 7Park Data, which combines anonymous mobile, web and purchasing data--collected in real-time from millions of users in 75 countries--with analysis to offer businesses clarity into marketplace trends, evolving customer preferences, and investment opportunities. Here are a few other reasons he says a culture of subordination is bad for business.

1. It limits your company's ability to hire the best talent.

Millennials can sniff out a big ego in a second, and want nothing to do with one. Rather, they seek to be partners working hand-in-hand with leadership. When you can provide them with this kind of environment they will not only be more productive, they're more likely to refer their talented connections to apply for positions in your organization.

2. It squelches autonomy.

The most successful companies are full of independent builders who feel empowered to drive the business forward. When they see themselves making a difference--as a result of their own initiative--they're motivated to keep going, and continue making important contributions.

3. It limits accountability for reaching broad company goals.

Not all organizations can be flat, but staff can be treated like equals even in companies which have org charts. "You can instill a sense of ownership for the outcomes that matter most to the business, not just that specific job function," he says.

4. It limits creativity.

Hierarchy and subordination result in silos and fragmented teams which are slow and vested to a certain team instead of to the bigger picture. Instead, you want collaboration and creative problem-solving across functions to be the norm.

5. It creates a top-down culture.

Like it or not, Millennials aren't motivated in this kind of setting because they want to feel ownership in the work they do. "A top down culture, dictated by management, completely kills that," Nephew says. "Culture cannot be defined or created. It must be earned through partnership with your team, which cannot happen if they are simply treated like employees and not true partners."

Published on: Sep 12, 2016
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