Driving Growth or Rejecting Traditional Business

The Millennial generation has captivated academics and the media alike. They have helped shape the direction of technology, how we communicate, the care of the environment, and the popularity of social media. They have helped foster the change in how we educate, well, them and future generations. We have been hearing and reading about this generation for years and today, Deloitte’s third annual Millennial (Generation Y) Survey that explored what this generation wants from business, government, and the future workplace was published.

Besides the interesting tidbits of information that can be gleamed from surveys and reports, why should business leaders be paying close attention to the Millennials? The Millennial generation will have the greatest impact on our economy, and yet many business leaders may not fully understand why or how.

Impact #1 – Need for Skilled Workers – The leading edge of the baby boomers is turning 67, so every month, large numbers of Americans are retiring and leaving the workforce. Nearly 80 million baby boomers will file for retirement over the next 20 years. That’s a average of 10,000 skilled workers leaving the workforce a day!

Impact #2 – Largest Generation in…Generations –  There is not a concise birth age rang that demographers agree to, but generally Millennials were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. As of 2012, experts estimate the millennial population to be over 80 million in the US alone. To put that in perspective, that is almost 7% more than the baby boom generation and is approximately 27% of the overall US population (Barron’s Online). They will comprise of nearly 36% of the US workforce by 2025. At some companies like Ernst & Young, they already account for two thirds of the entire employee base.

Impact #3 – Career Tenure Shift – Millennials who are already in there 20’s will expect to have three jobs before their 30th birthdays, according to BusinessInsider. They take jobs for the learning experience, rather than the company brand name or lucrative salary. There’s data on job tenure to confirm: since 1973, the average tenure of a male in the private sector declined by 25% (the change for females is more nuanced because of the changing role of women in the workforce in that time period).
Deloitte’s study reveals insights on how organizations can adapt to attract the next generation of business leaders. Millennials want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills, and make a positive contribution to society. The study of Gen Y’s, or Millennials, point to significant challenges facing business leaders if they don’t meet the expectations of the Millennial generation. 

The study also reveals that Millennials believe businesses are not currently doing as much as they could to develop their leadership skills and that they need to nurture their future leaders, especially as they cannot count on them biding their time until senior positions arise.

The Deloitte summarized the report by saying that Millennials have big demands and high expectations:   
  1. Millennials expect businesses to care. 
  2. Millennials want to be innovative. 
  3. Millennials want to be leaders.
  4. Millennials want to make a difference.
  5. Millennials are ready to go their own way.
Barry Salzberg, Global CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited stated “I think it’s clear Millennials are demanding change, and it’s time business took notice.” 

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