So Gen X gave us casual Friday’s and eventually casual work places, meaning the type of dress and the type of environment. If you need more information just look at Google’s culture and office. The generation born after the baby boomers caused an entire shift in the way business was done regarding dress and style. The baby boomers however kept them honest and started pushing back so we came up with a compromise. Both casual and business dress is accepted and it really depends on the environment of your industry and office as to what is appropriate. So why do I bring this up. Gen X made major changes but their population never really touched the size of the baby boomers so the baby boomers remained in control.
For the first time ever Generation Y or Millenials is the largest population in the workforce beginning this year 2010. So what does that mean to you as a business? It means that there is a change on the horizon and that the businesses who succeed will give Gen Y the tools and the connections they need to successfully integrate into the world of business. What are the Millenials looking for you ask. Well there was a quote in Sky magazine by Katy Perry that just scratches the surface.
“I think this generation is open to change and looking for more than material things. People are looking for a bit of spiritual awakening- it’s almost like a new kind of 1960’s, but now we have technology, so it’s not ever gonna be the same” Katy Perry (Sky Delta Magazine, May 2010)
Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman recently wrote a book called “the M-Factor” ” How the Millenial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” I have said that this generation wants to do business with companies that do business the way they want them to do business with them. What exactly does that mean? Well let’s look at some of the highlights from “the M- Factor”
These are just a few things Millenials are looking for in the workplace:
- The Search for Meaning – recently a young attorney stated to me that if he felt he was becoming cheesy by asking for business from his friends he would quit and go to work as a school teacher and be very happy.
- Millenials want to make a difference in the world.
- Millenials want to feel they are contributing.
- They want to be innovators.
- Millenials want to be heard. – I would add that they want to be heard by those running the company not just their immediate supervisor. And they want to be heard now or they will go somewhere where they are heard.
- Millenials want to know they are succeeding.
- This generation wants to express who they are through work. – Unlike previous generations they do not have a work and personal life. It is one life that is transparent. Not sure why it took so long to lose our multiple personalities.
This group wants to be connected and feel connected to their world and work. They may not all be on Facebook or Twitter but they are looking for true connections. They will push for more transparency in the workplace and from the companies they will do business with. The days of telling your employees what to do and be glad you receive a check are over they will move on if they are not heard.
Change is never easy and usually it is not fast, but this generation has proven they are a force that can move mountains and soon businesses. No one had ever heard of Facebook 4 years ago or even for that matter Social Media….anything. People drive change, it has been proven historically, why do you think there is no Berlin wall? (some of you are scratching your heads at this point). My point is that people in large numbers can change the world. This generation will change the way we do business once and for all. My personal opinion is that this is a good thing. Are you ready for the challenge? Don’t worry, the Millenials will help you one way or another.
Stay Tuned for Launch of “MySylbert”