This post is not a rant about millennials. It’s simply a reality check.
All your employees under 35 years of age are considered Millennials. Nationally, more than 30% of American workers are Millennials and that will grow to 75% by 2025.
The Millennial generation is a demographic term applied to individuals born around 1980-2000. If you were born a Baby Boomer (1946-1964) or Generation X (1965-1979), then you grew up in a world distinct from the Millennial world.
Look for yourself and your life growing up. Consider how you were parented and other socioeconomic factors like wealth, health, education, leisure time, and technology. It all played into who you are today.
Those are the same factors that play into who Millennials are today. It’s the differences in those factors over time, such as parenting styles, education and technology, that give Millennials their own generational distinction.
To profile a few of those characteristic distinctions, Millennials:
- care about building and supporting communities
- want things explained
- are results oriented
- want a work-life blend
- prefer customized rewards
This profile is likely to be unfamiliar when you look at your team or into the mirror. So what do you do about it?
If you wanted, you could try to re-train Millennials into your image of the worker you’re familiar with. You could attempt to undo the way they were raised and re-educate them. You could take away their smartphones and burn their participation ribbons. History tells us our attempts will be futile. It will be frustrating and we’ll lose good people.
Or, you can embrace and understand Millennials. With the right vision and management, they can produce remarkable results for you and your business.
Where does IT fit in to this?
We all understand how important information technology (IT) is to business success.
When you really stop and think about it, it’s obvious that IT has been designed to accommodate Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers and the way they do their jobs.
By now, it should be clear that your team demographics are shifting towards Millennials.
This means the tools critical for your business success are not well suited to a Millennial workforce. I suggest it’s time to consider how IT can enable and empower the Millennial profile.
The Millennial Generation of workers is here now and only increasing. And, this same shift in demographics is determining who the people are that make up your business relationships, your competition, and your customers.
I invite you to embrace reality and do what’s necessary to make it work for you and your business.