Millennials and what is missing
By Jon Michail
From the time the first baby boomers arrived, the world has changed beyond recognition. Now, as the baby boomers begin to retire, they are being replaced by the millennials, the generation born between 1982 and 2002.
What has changed over those 70 years? Just about everything you can think of. Here’s the research about the Millennial reality:
- 46% of millennials say they have more than 200 Facebook friends, compared to 19% of non-millennials. An early Baby boomer might ask “Don’t you have real friends?”
- They are 2.5 times more likely to be an early adopter of technology than other generations. Many early baby boomers are likely to say “I’m quite happy with my video recorder/camera/landline, thanks.
- A whopping 80% want brands to entertain them, and 40% want to participate in the co-creation of products and brands. A baby boomer is likely to say “Why? What for?”
- The millennials have seen floppy disks transform into compact discs, then into USB drives, which transformed into the Cloud. Baby boomers just wish things would slow down so they can use the stuff they’ve got.
Boomers say the world has become soft. Instead of hard work and lots of walking, the Millennials can pop into a 24-hour gym or hire a plate to jiggle off the fat accumulated from lack of exercise. Instead of walking (heaven forbid) to the shopping centre and physically choosing what to buy, they can select the item online and pay by credit card.
…millennials due to no fault of their own, may not have been wisely mentored or have graduated from university lacking experience in what the real-world expects.
The list goes on. We all enjoy the convenience, choice, extra time and less effort these options give us. We can decide whether to avail ourselves of them or do things the hard, old-fashioned way. Except the millennials due to no fault of their own, may not have been wisely mentored or have graduated from university lacking experience in what the real-world expects. Sadly most don’t know what the hard old-fashioned ways are. How can they when the Australian way of life has been in a boom for the last twenty five odd years.
So what happens when the younger cushioned, technology-stuffed generations enter the workforce? Because they’re used to personal choice and the luxury of avoiding anything uncomfortable, they lack much of the persistence and resilience needed to cope with the modern business world … any surprise anxiety, depression and suicide and record levels. Sadly, many of them believe they’re rather special, because they’ve never been taught that there are winners and losers they have been conditional … everyone gets a ribbon that go hand in hand with the participation certificates on their bedroom wall at home.
Narcissistic personalities are almost three times more evident today than they were 35 years ago. Personal apps and apps that boost the self sell well. Selfie apps, YouTube makeup tutorials and fitness programs are almost mandatory.
It doesn’t take much imagination to picture a millennial bitching at having to do something the company’s way rather than the way they’d prefer to do it. In fact, they’re likely to be way out of their element and to lack the skill set needed to complete the task according to the company’s policies. Did I say company policies? Whatever!
Managers, supervisors, team leaders, CEOs, coaches and principals are already being sorely tested. Strong leadership is and has always been the only answer. Unfortunately the baby boomers wimped out…buying all that politically correct rubbish and mentoring our young people for an unreal world. Now in order to cope with, emotionally connect and smooth the way through the coming transition, leaders will need to devote time and energy to their younger workforce but it’s no easy task.
It’s difficult to uphold expectations and standards with people who have been sheltered from life’s realities and inundated with comfort all their lives.
It’s difficult to uphold expectations and standards with people who have been sheltered from life’s realities and inundated with comfort all their lives. It can only be achieved with mutual trust and respect, critical skills which take time and energy to master and some down to earth real-world talk.
If you, your managers and teams are not physically and emotionally prepared for the new wave of entitlement-bearing newbies, then you are in for an unhappy and difficult time. Be prepared. Upskill yourself and be proactive about facing and managing difficulties. It won’t be easy, but ultimately, the environment will prove far more happy and productive, this is what we’ve done and continue to do in our business. Genuine trust in team can only happen when there are real conversations, you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
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Jon Michail and his team atImage Group Internationalpartners with their clients to achieve breakthrough results with new, disruptive ways to grow and monetise their personal and business brands. A veteran coach with a Who’s Who clientele, Jon is the CEO and Founder of Image Group International, an Australian-based corporate and personal brand image advisory and coaching organisation that conducts transformational seminars and workshops in over four continents and is recognised as Australasia’s No. 1 Image Coach.