Millennials are those born roughly between 1982-2000 and are generally characterised by their lack of affiliation or trust with traditional institutions and bureaucracy as well as a natural expectation for everything in their world to move at the same pace as the technology they have grown up with.
They won’t stand for paper forms when an app is available, they won’t wait to climb the corporate ladder but create their own startup instead, and they won’t give their loyalty unless they can truly believe in an organisation’s vision and values.
So why should an SME worry about meeting the demands of this generation?
By 2025 Millennials (also known as Generation or Gen Y) will make up 75% of our workforce. That’s just ten years away. Think back to how the world looked ten years ago – that’s pre-Facebook and Twitter, pre-tablets and pre-smartphones! So it’s vital to be prepared and plan ahead with this tech-savvy, entrepreneurial group in mind as the managers and leaders of your future organisation.
How attractive is your organisation to Millennials right now?
You might already employ Millennials, maybe even as interns. Are you an attractive organisation for them?
Does your organisation:
- Encourage constructive feedback from all levels?
- Operate in an environment of trust, where employees can safely share their opinions and concerns?
- Stay up to date and apply new technology wherever possible?
- Welcome change and new ways of doing things?
- Embed innovation into the everyday?
- Take a measured approach to risks?
- Give something back to the community, the environment and society?
- Gain respect from employees by leading from the front and living its values?
- Offer flexible working solutions where possible?
What can organisations expect in return from Millennials?
It’s not all bad! While you might be thinking that you have to change your whole organisation to meet the needs of what some may call the ‘spoilt’ generation, it’s very much in your favour to attract these future leaders.
What you might experience working with Millennials:
Not only will they have learnt to use technology before they can walk, it will be so embedded in them that these additional skills will become the norm on job adverts in the future.
Change as the new norm
Change is such a part of this generation’s life that they are not phased by it, and generally embrace it as a positive thing. Your organisation could reap the benefits of being challenged to constantly think in new ways.
This generation has been exposed to ‘a life online’ since they entered the world. They are used to interacting with people online from all around the world, from different ages, cultures and beliefs to share common interests. This means geography, language and other factors, are no barriers to innovation.
Bold risk takers
Instead of following out-dated protocols ‘just because’, Millennials will challenge the status quo and ask for forgiveness over permission. This means your SME could be open to new strategies or ideas that might never have previously got off the ground due to rules and regulations.
How does your SME currently shape up for Millennials? If you know work needs to be done, don’t think it’s something you can delay for much longer. After all, if the next ten years speed past like the past ten, we will soon be surrounded by a Millennial generation of CEOs before we know it.
How can Blue Ocean Systems help your organisation be more innovative?
Talk to our team today about embedding industry-leading ERP technology – SAP Business One – into your SME today.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.