Heeding Generational Differences

By Pat Lynes 15/9/2017

With change comes a sense of urgency, and this has even more force due to of one of the greatest social disruptors in generations – the arrival of Millennials.

With Baby Boomers retiring in record numbers, millennials will soon make-up over 50% of the workforce in most FTSE/Fortune 500 companies. Today’s organisations need to be ready for this reality, because the Millennial generation will not only exercise its power to walk but its power to influence, critique and impact your brand, reputation and growth. 

It’s mission critical then for leaders to rethink how they will tap into the wealth of talent and innovation that millennials will bring into their enterprises.

The bottom line is that many people, millennials in particular, are losing interest in working for the industrial mindset type of organisations; those which lack purpose, cohesion and focus. Deloitte’s 4th Millennial Survey revealed that businesses should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits in the 21st century.

Millennials and Generation Z coming through just don’t want to work for over-processed bureaucratic organisations where there's no purpose or mission. They prefer to gather around a problem or focused piece of work so that they can fully utilise their skills and add value, rather than be laden with politics, cultural mismatches, and decisions made that prioritise shareholder value over company health and employee/contractor wellbeing.

Says Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global:

The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits. These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community, particularly in developed markets, that they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.”

Barry Salzberg

A perfect storm is brewing for the decline of large corporations on the back of;

  • Emergent changes from generational differences
  • Millennial malaise and war for talent

  • Digital and purpose-driven disruption across Fintech, Insurtech, retail and other industries who are offering more engagement
  • Stoic centralised corporate structures

According to a Socialnomics report, 40% of the FTSE/Fortune 500 will no longer exist 10 years from now.  Many larger organisations and their CIO’s are already struggling to keep Boomers, Generation X and Millennials productive in their groups with Generation Z starting to enter industry.

And therein lies the key reason why the capability gap is widening daily and is fast becoming the number one priority of most CIOs and boards. The key lesson here is that people matter more than ever before and the organisation must start putting people back on the board agenda. 

No one wants to work for a company stuck in the 20th century anymore.

The organisations that continue to look at the provision of people as a commodity will be the ones that fall away.