At the end of the year 2025, more than 75% of the entire world’s workforce is expected to be constituted of members of the Generation Y, popularly referred to as – the Millennial generation.
When observing this global change that is moderately stable in its constant growth, we have to take three factors in consideration just to begin addressing what we can expect in the following decades. Those three factors are:
– the colossal switch of standards;
– the aspect of the rapid technological progress;
– and, of course, the state of the industry from the aspect of population growth and job opportunities in general.
By following the recent article from the Entrepreneur regarding Millenials’ ability to adapt to technology and show significant improvement in results, when compared to the traditional ways of doing business, we can in fact examine this phenomenon as the combined outcome of the three above mentioned factors.
They, the lost Generations
In the last 50 years, we’ve witnessed massive and constant drops of the GDP in certain branches of industries. Counting from the year of 1977, until this day, the number of workers in the manufacturing industry is in a continuous decrease, with only two years of exception, the years 1988 and 2004. These variables in the statistics can be directly linked to the impact of large-scale financial crises, of course. A somewhat similar pattern applies for the agriculture industry as well.
On the other hand, our education, healthcare, as well as professional and financial services, are in a moderately constant growth when it comes to productivity and GDP. Of course, a computer technician and an engineer are much more needed than labour workers since two of those combined can produce the labour force which could be productive as hundreds of full-grown men. This may seem like a logical conclusion in this modern day and age, but this sort of thinking is what labels the generation Y as lazy since we keep forgetting about the problem of the generation gap.
To explain things in simple terms, regarding the immense switch of standards, we will simply address the piece of technology that you are reading from at this moment. The Greatest generation, which fought all the good fights, won the wars and bloomed in the period when you had to break your back to earn a living, witnessed the creation of ENIAC as something incomprehensible. The very thought of the colour television was unimaginable enough for them to lose their minds, and even basic appliances, like refrigerators, were considered as a luxury item in certain countries.
So when a person earns a living in this manner, and is guided through life based on this sort of standards, it gets easier for us to understand what makes them angry and agitated when we are constantly keeping our heads down, looking at all the colourful screens that we own.
We, the Millenials
On the other hand, the fact that there is officially more than 7,330,659,700 of us on this planet (and this number will grow significantly by the time you finish reading this article), takes its course, naturally. The development of the technology is directly linked to the human overpopulation of the Earth. As a civilisation, we’ve cured numerous diseases, we’ve created ideal conditions, we are constantly sharing information and our liberal views help us to connect and grow. Did you know that this period that we are living in is the longest one in the known history without a war on a global scale?
So the crisis of identity is an expected outcome. And without all of that labour to help us release our endorphins in a communal environment, we are getting more and more distant from each other. The real trouble occurs when a collective isn’t functioning, due to ones ego, expectations, and overall due to the famous selfish nature of the Millennials. We are not happy with our jobs, most of us believe that we are too special to be bothered, and every problem that occurs seems to us as unrighteous and undeserved. To put it down simply – we are not as good team players as we should be.
Once again, we are turning to technology for answers, and introducing social media to help us connect and build relationships between co-workers. This idea is not a revolutionary or a new one, in fact, this matter has been addressed and thoroughly studied even locally, and there are numerous publications of studies conducted by the Social Media Research Network of the Macquarie University, Sydney.
Numerous works of the Associate Professor Louise Thornthwaite and Doctor Alison Barnes from the Faculty of Business and Economics at the Macquarie University are fundamentally devoted to: “the potential for social media to stem the de-collectivisation trend, by contributing to a regeneration of collective participation in civil society through these member-based organisations.”As stated in their study, the Member-based Organisations and Social Media: Experiences of Trade Unions and Employer Associations.
Some of the U.S.A. universities are taking a step further, counting not just on the fact that social networks do connect people on a level of friendship and intimacy, but that this factor is decisive for the future business models as well. A research study called Trust, Reciprocity and the Strength of Friendship Ties: Experiments on an Online Social Network, conducted by the professors Ravi Bapna and Alok Gupta of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, suggests that the key factor of mutual trust can’t be derived from the apps or any form of software, but only from the mutual communication. So wall posts and likes are the factors which actually tie the people together. The combination of logos, brands, colours, shapes, and generally the reputation of these networks helps undoubtedly, but it would all mean nothing without the most important aspect in the equation – a human.
Finally, the general conclusion would be to encourage your employees to actually connect on social networks if you want from them to bond and perform as a team. One interesting fact is that one in three people in your place of work is on Facebook right now. So look your co-worker up and hit that like button. At the end of the day, don’t we all love to brag about our fantastic team that we have at work? I know I do.