“No Other Speaker Was Able To Deliver Such Actionable Takeaways.”

Jennifer Pasha ~ Dyson Singapore

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Millennial Leadership Keynote Speaker

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The workplace is changing fast. Office walls are falling and group work spaces are being formed, your workforce is no longer living in the same area code and half of your employees may not even come into the office on a day to day basis. We are seeing paradigms shift daily as the old ways of working are no longer deemed “cool” and thus, are constantly being challenged and modified to fit today’s workforce.

The new hires coming into your office are ever connected, always plugged in and constantly attune to what is happening in the world around them. The millennial generation is defined by those born between 1980 and 2000 are now entering the workforce in ever increasing numbers. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work and ability to quickly adopt new technology will define the culture of the new office in the 21st century.

Attracting the best talent is critical to your business success. Today’s workers look for many factors beyond salary and bonuses, they want their career to fit their lifestyle. The workplace is changing fast and will continue to shift for the next 12-15 years according to the Pew Research Laboratories. By 2020 the Millennial generation or Gen Y will form 50% of the global workforce, outnumbering the Baby Boomer generation.

The millennial generation also outnumber the previous generation Gen X. The reason why we focus our efforts on Millennials are because in most of the developed world, we have seen a drop in birth rates during Gen X. Millennials are going to be the largest population that has to support more individuals as life expectancy ever increases. Some experts believe that Gen Y will be the first generation to not have the typical retirement at 65.

One of the most common trends when meeting with CEO’s and business leaders are the fact that they have a problem recruiting and retaining the most talented members of Gen Y. It’s clear that the largest problem facing corporate America today is the demand for highly skilled and motivated workers. The professionals that possess these skills and abilities are going to be able to demand valuable reward packages, flexibility in their schedules also influence on where they work and how they operate in the workforce.

Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with the traditional corporate structures that we’ve seen as a norm in the workplace. That is why there has been a push towards joining a start-up out of college, or delaying life by returning to school for another degree. When a millennial enters the workforce, they have the perception that the business is there to enable them meeting their lifestyle needs, not the opposite.

When entering the workforce, the millennial workers expect rapid promotions, a varied and interesting career, as well as constant and positive feedback. In other words, they want a management and business style that makes them feel wanted and welcome, nothing less.

This kind of “me, me, me” perception can offer advantages to an organization. Most notably the desire to please, and the ambition to succeed in every project. They have a drive to move up quickly through the ranks, as well as a willingness to put in the hours on a project if they believe it will facilitate their goals being met. That being said, if their unstated lifestyle goals are not being met they will leave without a second thought.

Millennials want a flexible approach to work, however content and encouraging feedback on their day to day activities. This can be trying on the management that is in charge of a multi-generational team. They need to fee that their work is worthwhile and that they are receiving recognition for their efforts. They view the values of the employer similarly to how they judge and consume brands in the retail space.

Companies that are successful at attracting the most skilled of the millennial workforce define themselves as innovators. The concept of innovating is appealing to this generation because it promotes the idea of always working one step ahead on projects that will be welcomed and appreciated. Irrespective of the long-term aims and ambitions of an individual company, the ability to attract, train and retain millennial talent will be a vital step to achieving it.

This version of sociology sometimes can seem arbitrary and oversimplified. To some degree, it is. However, most of the interviews that I have conducted with generational leaders and social influencers have been in line with the research stemming from Harvard University, Stanford University and research centers like Pew. Common traits are that this generation is highly educated, ambitious, self-confident and technologically agile.

One of the most distinguishable characteristics of this generation is that they are extremely connected. Of thousands of college students surveyed, less than 2% leave their house without taking their mobile phone. 84% of people surveyed in a TIME Mobility Poll said they couldn’t go a single day without their mobile device in hand. One in four people check their phones every thirty minutes, while one in five check every ten.

Researchers polled nearly 5,000 people in eight countries: the U.S., the UK, China, India, South Korea, South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil, according to Time. We are an ever more connected people and the millennials have grown up with this technology available to them. Pew found that Millennials use social media and text on their cell phones significantly more than older generations. Unsurprisingly, they found that Millennials are also more likely to view technology in a positive light.

As the profile of a millennial are typically where employers focus as a way to remain “in the know”, there have been several books published about this topic. However, like many generations, the millennials have had several “defining movements” such as the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the attacks on 9/11, and the government passing the patriot act enabling the NSA to listen to phone calls and tap into our digital

communications without a warrant. These movements are similar to those felt by the baby boomers during the Vietnam war. Research has shown that the Millennials are generally more willing than previous generations to sacrifice liberties for security. They also feel strongly about the United States taking a backseat to the United Nations in international problems.

According to the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg the largest problem facing todays generation is immigration. “The future of our economy is a knowledge economy,” Zuckerberg said. “That means getting the most talented people into this country is the most important thing that we can do to make sure the companies of tomorrow are founded here.”

We need to concentrate on developing the basic leadership qualities in our future executives and leaders. Today’s young professionals are going to be running the companies that support today’s executive retirement benefits as well as our social security program.


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