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ShockFact #1: Gen-Xers are turning 50 years old. This year. Right now.
There has been plenty of work done to understand and describe our several generations of American workers and the primary focus for a while has been our Millennials – 20-somethings – Gen-Y. That’s probably a good thing, since these are the entry level workers you’re hiring. And you’re going to be hiring them in big numbers for a while.
ShockFact #2:The forecast is that Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. Some claim they’re already that large a force. Yes, really.
And they’re different, right? In my keynote presentations and workshops I commonly ask this question about Millennials:
“True or false: Millennials are alien beings from another planet.”
The audience always laughs and says, “True,” but it just ain’t so. Study after study has shown Millennials to be far more traditional than most non-Millennials think they are. They just wear it differently. That is to say, the apparent differences are more form than substance.
Here’s the thing you need to know: You will not succeed at changing a generation of people – or even one example of a generation – to be like you. That means that you must find ways to connect with the Millennials you hire. Can you adapt to your changing circumstances, or are you determined to be a dinosaur? Hint: You dismiss these people at your own peril.
More on Millennials in the next Jack’s Now-and-Then blog.
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