Millennials will have an increasing influence on the economy and culture change for decades.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Millennials are 25% of the U.S. population; a White House Report says 33%. Both agree that Millennials now represent a larger group than the Baby Boomers.
Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe are credited with naming this group and defining it as those born in 1982 to 2004. The U.S. birth rate increased in the 1980s and 1990s, peaking in 1990 and creating this large group.
Why do leaders and businesses need to be paying attention?
They are a dominant factor and differ significantly from previous generations in some key aspects. Marketing to them, employing them, working with them, etc., and doing so effectively demands changes including culture change.
In a Vanity Fair story on Monday, December 21, 2015, Jon Kelly said that Millennials are “….by nature, disruptors. They came of age as the financial system collapsed, and saw their own professional ambitions impeded. They are frustrated by the status quo, often imagining more efficient, user-friendly ways of doing just about everything. And they are persuasive in their pursuit of this better world.”
Predictors for a future of culture changes from Millennials.
The Millennials embody characteristics and commitments along with having the population mass that adds up to likely trends and culture changes:
- They are more diverse than previous generations. 44.2% are part of a minority race or ethnic group.
- In the first quarter of 2015, Millennials became the largest share of the U.S. workforce. With their interest to make a difference in the world and their sense of community, they will likely reshape work environments and working.
- Millennials are the first generation to have the internet and computer technology during their formative years. They are technologically-connected and driving the nature of communication and relationship.
- They are 2.5 times more likely than previous generations to be early adopters of technology.
Is this phenomenon really different?
The “next-generation” making its mark and changes is not new. Those of us who preceded the Millennials are adjusting and making room for their contributions just as people had to make room for ours. When I look at some of the challenges confronting all of us now, I want them to win and make that difference in our world. How about you?