Are You Getting Ready for the Gen Y Invasion?
Listened to speaker today at a SHRM meeting discuss the coming of the Gen Y or Millenniums invading the workforce in the coming decade. And, did I mention the Baby Boomers are exiting stage right to retirement?
Seems we are on the verge of a full scale shift of generational power. And, are you ready for this new wave of high achievers who possess a different set of skills that the departing boomers?
The major areas all this generational shifting is going to effect us is in the management and leadership of organizations both large and small.
Here are the facts…
There are approximately 70 million boomers currently in the workforce. The first wave of boomers have become eligible to retire and many have left the workforce. And, over the next five to ten years the majority of the boomers will leave the ranks of the employed to retire. (It is true the Great Recession has had a negative impact upon the financial resources available for Boomers to retire – yet, you should plan for it to happen soon.)
The Gen X group has only 50 million total population, so you can see there are not enough of them to fill the void left by the boomers. This also creates an issue with the quality of management and leadership potential since there are fewer people available. If there are fewer people the quality of talent will be harder to find and locate – creating a management vacuum. Here you need to retain your better talent and prepare them sooner for the bigger responsibilities coming in the near future.
The Millenniums are currently up to 40 million on the job with another 40 million coming behind the first wave. They will be filling the gaps sooner than later. This is a large group of people and they are different than boomers and very unique regarding their experiences, strengths and weaknesses.
So what does this mean to the current leaders of organizations? It means you better get ready for a totally new breed of new workers and leaders.
This group has gotten everything they ever wanted from their parents and grandparents. They have seldom lost and are rewarded for every achievement made while in their school years. They are techno savvy and stay connected – ALL THE TIME. They use instant communication forms and find emails to be old fashioned. What??
This group is all about freedom of choice, getting what they want in real time rather than delayed, and expect to be promoted quickly since they fell they are really good at everything they do.
One very interesting item about these new workers is their continued close connections with their family and particularly their parents. This trait was not as popular with the baby boomers who grew up during the 60’s and 70’s when authority figures were not very popular and that included their parents and family.
Over the coming months I will be sharing more information about the Generational Groups and the Gaps created by the different birth rates in the USA.
By the way, from a strategic planning prospective, knowing the generational wave of age groups can determine the rate of consumer spending and what is more likely to be purchased – from homes to potato chips to medical care to vacation or second homes to home furnishings – well, just about everything available for purchase is influenced by the purchasing tendencies of the age groups.
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