“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
The future of work is going to be determined by people who are 25 today. I don’t want to be cliché, I know there is a lot of talk about the Millennial generation going around, but it’s simple math. Look around your office at team members who are in their early to mid-20s—it might seem surprising, but they will determine your future.
Baby Boomers are leaving a massive vacuum in the workforce today and the new kids coming in have a completely different work style. It’s not better or worse; it’s just different. Frankly, I’m excited about the Millennial generation because they’re driven, they have high social consciousness and they’re hard working. All these clichés about them wanting corner offices and company vehicles right away have never been true. In fact, if you look at history, previous generations usually don’t have very nice things to say about the up-and-comers. In my experience, most of the things we’ve heard about Millennials couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you have an abundance of people, very little power goes to employees, but when you have a shortage, the people become a force. This generation is a force to be reckoned with. In Southwest Michigan, for every 3 Baby Boomers that retire, one new Millennial enters the workforce – leaving employers with a gap to fill. When you have a shortage of people, the employees have way more say in managing the culture.
So, if all this is true, what will the future of work look like? If Millennials have their way, work isn’t going to be about punching a clock from 8 to 5 for 40 years; work is going to be much more about meaning and mission. This generation is driven to make a profit, but they want to make sure some social good comes from it too.
Millennials are much more about experiences and less about “keeping up with the Joneses” regarding material possessions. They work to live, not live to work. The future of work will be much more flexible, always connected and there will be minimal lines drawn between who you are as a professional and who you are in your personal life. Millennials care very little about hierarchy and titles and more about collaboration and creativity.
Question: How are you seeing Millennials on your team changing the workforce landscape already?