Uncovering the Secret to Harnessing Millennial Workers

Millennials are taking over the marketplace and the workplace, and CEOs need to know how to deal with both of these inexorable trends as baby boomer consumers ease off on their spending and 50-something employees begin leaving their companies in droves.

The stiffer of the two challenges will be addressing the dynamic of Generation Y in the workplace. That generation is only now aging into their early years in the employment market, while they’ve been influential consumers for a while. A recovering economy is beginning to open new career horizons to them that were closed during the Great Recession.

“Millenials have exactly the kinds of skills companies need … if they can just figure out how to empower them.”

And more than anything else, more company leaders are realizing they need to harness millennial employees very successfully if they want their companies to succeed in a world that increasingly is being dominated by the purchasing power of their generation.

Fortunately, as McKinsey’s David Edelman wrote recently, millennials’ generational proclivities and capabilities “line up well with a burning need that companies have today: agile teams that can work quickly, test ideas, learn from them, and iterate.” The group has “exactly the kinds of skills that companies need … if they can just figure out how to empower them.”

And so not only recruiting millennials but also effectively utilizing them in the modern workforce has become a primary demand of many CEOs. How do they address this challenge?


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