The Future of Information: Enter the Millennials

The Millennials are one of the biggest disruptors of the enterprise. They have usurped the Baby Boomers and GenXers as the largest demographic in the workplace and now account for over 25 percent of the world’s population. And, at almost 2 billion strong, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Digital is second nature to Millennials and plays a significant part in their lives. They believe new technology makes life easier and brings people closer together. Millennials are mobile. They are hyper-connected and always on.

Enter the Millennials

Enter the Millennials

This demographic will soon make up 50 percent of the global workforce. As they enter the workforce, the enterprise will need to change its business models and approach to recruiting, retaining, and motivating this workforce.

Transitioning new employees and retiring older generations will mean shifting talent management strategies. The enterprise will have to bridge the gaps between generations to transition corporate knowledge and IP, mentoring the younger generations and preserving the knowledge of the older generations as they retire.

The shift toward jobs that are tacit and non-routine will bring a shortage of workers with the skills required to fill them. The talent pool is shrinking and organizations will have to compete vigorously to attract Millennials, especially those with the skill sets needed to manage disruptive technologies.

It will be critical to create a work environment that attracts and retains the right talent. Millennials are looking for employment almost exclusively through social media channels and submit their resumes in video format. Once the right employees are recruited, organizations will need to offer exceptional training and career development programs to retain their top talent. Many of these programs will incorporate learning into social media, gaming, real-time feedback, and simulations. Millennials want to work in an environment that caters to how they like to work, including flex hours, remote access, and BYOD or Bring-Your-Own-Device policies. Millennials are fickle; if their demands are not met, they will simply move on.

Millennials are radically changing the nature of work. As the promoters of technology and drivers of innovation, the enterprise must embrace their value systems, their diversity, and new ways of working.

As the Millennials enter the workforce, the machines will follow. I’ll explore this in my next post in the series: Enter the Machines.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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