Baby Boomers worked in a strict hierarchical structure: you stayed in a position for a certain amount of time before being promoted, you reported to your boss and kept conversations strictly employer/employee related, you worked nine to five in the office, and you rarely left your original firm in search of new opportunities. Millennials are here to change that.
Millennials are typically referred to as those born between 1980 and 1999, and they are the largest group to emerge since the Baby Boomers. In fact, according to predictions made by Deloitte, Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Since they will be the largest group in the workforce, they will have immense influence over the overall market and how companies interact with employees and consumers. Millennials are not motivated by the same aspects Baby Boomers looked for. Millennials are more concerned with personal purpose and growth than they are with a guaranteed job for life at a certain company. Millennials embrace the entrepreneurial mindset, and therefore are looking for encouragement and mentorship from their bosses rather than just direction and discipline. It is no surprise that they strive for work interactions on a more personal, as well as democratic level. They want balance and equality and shared accessibility for employees and consumers. Millennials are also finding ways to alter the typical nine-to-five work day by working based on output rather than hours. More simply put, “Millennials don’t work for you, they work with you.”
Millennials are changing the structure within companies, and they are also influencing their outward interactions. Millennials have grown up with unlimited access to technology, and that level of connectivity has shifted the power from brands to consumers. It used to be that the companies with the most money and who advertised the most were the most successful, but today, that is not always the case. Consumers have more say than ever in how companies are perceived. Commenting on products/services and giving reviews of companies is instantly available over the internet and, more specifically, through social media. If someone is unhappy with a company, there will surely be a Facebook post or Tweet about it, and within a matter of minutes, hundreds of other possible consumers have developed opinions about the company. It is the companies that learn how crucial and powerful social media presence is that will earn the respect and loyalty of the Millennials.
Millennials will revolutionize the workplace inside and out. In order to survive, companies will need to be more perceptive to changes within the workforce as well as the consumer. Structural changes will need to be made in order to attract and retain this new generation. Communication is crucial to this group; companies that listen to and engage this fresh workforce will be the ones who succeed.