They’re the “Trophy” Generation. They were given a trophy at every event, coached to believe that we’re all winners, and carefully raised by parents who knew what it was like to not have parents around. They’re what Howe and Strauss refer to as Millennials. Born in the twenty year window between 1981 and 2001, they represent today’s 30 and under crowd. And they’re not waiting on businesses to catch up with the way they like to work.
“The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that 18- to 24-year-olds in the United States are starting businesses at a faster rate than 35- to-44 year-olds. This is further explained by a survey done by OPEN from American Express, which found that 59 percent of Gen Y company owners described themselves as serial entrepreneurs, compared to just 33 percent of baby boomers.”
(OK, so I’ll skip the “great, another article about Millennials and Boomers with barely a mention of Gen X” comment. Whoops, too late.)
The big point is–the youngest members of our workforce want the opportunity to write their own ticket. They want their cake and they want to eat it, too. Who didn’t at 25? That said, if I were hiring someone under 30 tomorrow, the first question I’d ask isn’t, “What do you have to offer our company?” It’s, “What can our company do to help you maximize your employability?”
Business is bottom line–and the most important bottom line starts with a P. No, not profitability. People. Generation Y is challenging business leaders to put their money where their mouth is. They’ve got a nose for hypocrisy, and you’ll see their nose twitch at the first sign of profit over people. So, business leader, what’s your message to the next generation of workers? How’s your posture in relating to these entrepreneurial young workers? Do you know how to attract them? Keep them?
A coach is a key component of discovering, developing, and retaining your next generation of workforce leaders. You’ll collect more of these “trophy generation” members with a coach in your business’ back pocket.