The Millennial Paradox
The times are a-changing. BobDylan may have uttered this
sentiment in regards to socialrevolution, but the same can besaid of our rapidly transitioning
workplace. As baby boomersexit the job market and
millennials enter the workforce,companies are finding
themselves facing questions ofleadership, questions of
training, and questions asseemingly fundamental as even
how to approachaforementioned questions. Inthe face of uncertainty, one
thing can be said asincontrovertible truth.
Millennials are not theirparents.
Placing emphasis on things likecorporate social responsibility, an
employer brand, and rapid leadershipascension while neglecting things like
loyalty, training, and traditionalcorporate structure, millennials pose
an interesting case study for thefuture. What is the best way to
harness the potential of this emergingworkforce? How do we capitalize on
the best talent of the upcominggeneration? How do we best groom this
generation for leadership roles?
The truth is, of course, there is no rightanswer; but there is certainly a variety ofanswers nonetheless. Seb OConnell, the
executive vice president and managing directorfor Europe at Cielo, believes that an impactful
gap of skills could develop in the relatively nearfuture. In response to this potentially
detrimental, although currently hypothetical,situation, OConnell claims businesses shouldmake an effort to identify Millennials with a
high capacity for corporate success. Onidentification, then said business can begin toimplement the proper training and metrics toput the respective millennial employee on the
track to efficient leadership.
However, this theory of identification and subsequent devotion of trainingresources hits a snag in regards to loyalty. In fact, a 2016 Deloitte surveyconcluded that two of every three Millennials plan to leave their current
position by 2020. So within four years, well over half of the current millennialworkforce plan to be employed elsewhere. Naturally the question arises: Why
devote these resources in the first place? But there is no universal answer.Each companys situation is unique and so there is a different reply for every
set of circumstances. Regardless, this question remains as pertinent as ever inselecting Millennials to hire.
Lisa Mullen of Halogen Softwarethinks the answer to attaining and
retaining top millennial talent isto integrate ongoing performancemanagement as part of the daily
routine. In this way, employeesregarded as prospective leaders
would have access to seniormanagement wisdom, thus
effectively grooming them formore prominent positions in thefuture. That said, a measly 7% of
companies offer millennialcoaching, mentoring, and
dedicated time with their chiefexecutive and other senior
leaders. So while certainly agreat idea in theory, it does not
seem many companies areimplementing this approach.
Maybe senior executives time canbe better spent elsewhere nottutoring entry-level positions.
Regardless, something should bedone to ensure the skills gap
mentioned previously does notcome to fruition.
Millennials pose unique obstacles in the workforce today as well as tomorrow. Theycrave rapid promotional ascension, yet simultaneously arent receiving the
leadership training required for such promotions. They look for a respectablecorporate brand that resonates with their own perspective of the world, yet largelyplan to leave their current employer within four years. Perhaps such contradictions
are indicative of a pervasive navet that envelops the younger generation. Butperhaps not. Perhaps it is indicative of something better, of not settling for less, of
making the world a better place. Perhaps, capitalism is evolving.