Posted by: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard | 7 December 2007

The Millennial Generation

One of my topic areas of interest is Web 2.0 and how collaboration technologies such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others will transform the workplace. More on that in another post. What especially intrigues me is the “millenial” or “Gen-Y” generation. Those born between 1980 and 1996.

Our three daughters are in this generation. The youngest, Grace (age 13), does her homework while at least 5 chat sessions are ongoing, she’s talking to a friend who’s on a web-cam, and she’s texting on her cell phone. Since she get’s straight A’s, I have no complaints. However, I wonder how this generation thinks and organizes information. They are so used to working in what I call a “high stimulation” environment. They would likely find the traditional corporate work environment boring.

For those who are studying this generation and its affect on the other generations in the workforce, some common characteristics have been identified that pose serious challenges to the corporate arena. Millenials will job hop every few months if not engaged in the workplace. They have a sense of entitlement, based on their experiences on baseball, volleyball and soccer teams where everyone gets a trophy. Their parents are their advocates, often calling the boss when their son or daughter gets a poor performance review. The millenial generation is as big as the boomer generation – we will need them to help us create successful organizations of the future. A lot of learning will need to take place among all generations in order to work well together.

I had coffee the other day with a fascinating woman, Dr. Annika Hylmo, who has a consulting company, the Interchange Group, focused on change management and the generational issues facing businesses today. For more information on Millenials and other generations, I’m including a link to the Interchange Group’s articles and video clips.

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