Older millennials were seeking work during the dot.com bubble and many of the younger millennials were seeking work during the Great Recession. Most millennials have never known anything but a weak economy. The millennials challenge is an ideal opportunity for boomers to build a lasting legacy.
There is much talk today about the VUCA world (everything has an acronym). This means volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous and this is the millennials challenge entering the workplace today. What companies are looking for, are those who have learning agility and can learn from experiences. Then apply those learnings to new roles. Millennials can do this.
― Alvin Toffler “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
When I read the book Future Shock many years ago, I had no idea how much relevance it would have at this point in my life. In order to fully understand the potential that millennials have to offer, boomers have to overcome the challenges of technology. Readily acknowledge that millennials can process information much more quickly that we can because they grew up tech native.
Boomers that are in leadership roles must be more empowering, supportive, and open. Millennials are seeking “always on” engagement and feedback. Employees today are overwhelmed with work, while managers are pressured to craft the proper work environment. HR is trying to build programs for well-being and work-life balance.
It is no wonder that the 2016 Deloitte Study of Human Capital Trends indicated that only 4% of the companies surveyed believed they were doing a good job of engaging millennials and other generations in the workplace. Employee engagement and retention today means understanding an empowered workforce’s desire for flexibility, creativity, and purpose. Boomers can mentor and play a vital role in helping the next generation overcome the millennials challenge of today.