If there are two words that could sum up the group of young adults commonly referred to as “millennials,” those words would be: “new ideas”. …No, wait, actually, they would be: “digital natives”. No! Even better; they would be: “intrinsically creative”. Well it seems as though I can’t sum them up with two words. But perhaps being unable to stuff them into a box and label it is a good thing.
Now, before we go into this any further, perhaps a quick crash course on what a millennial is and the traits they tend to possess should be explored. Millennials, or “Generation Y,” comprises those born between the early 1980s and the year 2000. And, according to the 2014 annual Deloitte Millennial (Generation Y) survey, millennials are expected to become 75% of the global workforce in the next decade.
Sally Susman, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Pfizer, suggests that with the overwhelming number of millennials entering the workforce within the next 10 years, it may be in your company’s best interest to utilize their strengths. What are these strengths of which I speak? Susman, in her study, argues that many millennials have digital and social media experiences that can help organizations build strong relationships online.
“At Pfizer, our speech is highly regulated, which means we have to be very thoughtful about how we communicate with patients and the general public. We’ve created a digital initiative called ‘Get Old’ that fosters a cross-generational dialog about aging, inviting people to share their ‘fears of getting old’. Greater insight from millennials can help us connect online with people of all ages in ways that are, frankly, new and unexpected for our industry,” says Susman in an article published in Forbes.
But, it seems rather obvious that millennials, a generation nurtured and influenced by the digital behemoth that is information technology, would be inherently adept with internet usage and social media, so Susman looked at this another way. She asks us to consider the millennial contribution within corporate affairs. “Today’s corporate affairs has become a vital function of every business — both in decision making in the board room and in communicating with the public. Interfacing between the company and the public is sometimes fraught, but is also a dynamic intersection of business, government, and the media — an area that could benefit from millennial insight,” she says.
Susman suggests that your business could benefit from the talents of the next generation. Utilizing this group could even be a strategy. The numbers are in; millennials will make up the majority of the global workforce by 2025. It might be wise to, perhaps, be open to “new ideas”. To take a chance on a “digital native”. And maybe hire someone “intrinsically creative”.