The integration of the Millennial cohort into a Generation X/Baby Boomer-dominated world of business is like the introduction of a new technology. It will take at least 10 years along the adoption curve before this "new model" is ubiquitous and standard. As with other shifts in the marketplace, those that accelerate adoption will have the competitive advantage. These "early adopters" will embrace not only new leaner structures and methods of operation brought on by the recession, but also the new norms and tools for communicating and collaborating that are intrinsic to the Millennial generation's code of conduct.
Others -- companies and individuals -- may need a push along the curve. This will need to take the form of:
- Hands on training to work and communicate across the generations
- New communication practices and technologies that favor networks and that disable silos
- Updated methods for managing and motivating employees
We are in the beginning years of the arc of a new era in which all signs point to a leaner, more collaborative workplace run by the Millennial generation. New ways of communication, collaboration and management will smooth the way to a cultural integration of this generation that will likely take 10 years to run its course. This will be a long process, and each individual and corporation will need to learn how to work together to bring out of the best in each other, for the good of the business and the employees. Where are you along the curve?
Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy