By Ntando Ndlovu
VOCALLY present in the board room, discerning in the shopping aisles, social media influencers, bold on sustainability issues and stoical friends of animals: these are but a few dynamic attributes of the Millennials. A fairly young and driven generation that is spring-footedly climbing the corporate ladder, advocating for positive social change and reshaping the norms.
The business landscape is not sparred of this force of nature; adaptability once again dictates who survives the wave of change and who crushes to burn. Traditional businesses with closed systems are treading on eggshells; their demise is arm’s length away.
The pace challenges corporates to strategically implement transformative cultural plans that embrace this informed and not conforming generation. Not only are they technologically savvy and endowed with self-confidence, they play influential roles in spaces they occupy both in business and everyday life.
Staying on the loop of current affairs, setting global trends and communicating across the globe in real time makes this generation more influential than its predecessor’s Gen Y (baby boomers) and Gen X. A dark brush has not missed painting these young professionals, statements such as “green behind the ears,” unprofessional and uncultured have been thrown around this generation. In the midst of it all they remain resolute and undeterred.
Any organisation from the financial sector to agribusiness and every other business in-between that does not bridge the multi-generational gap, custom make its products and stays off the loop of millennial trends is headed for a natural death. Businesses need to be adept to adapt and align their systems with this movement; failure to do this is a blaring siren and a waving flag signaling massive disaster ahead.
This is how you can embrace the millennial force and future proof your business: transforming the all-work no play-working environment into a socially enhancing space that allows free will creativity and thinking, interaction and also inspires decision making with a few red tapes on the way. Adopting digitalised and smart working environment’s that cater for these masters of digital communication who prefer flexibility in everything they do and strive to strike a healthy balance between work and life.
Catch up with the trends that shape decision making coupled with changes of tastes and preferences of this generation, play close to their demands and catch up quickly. This will ensure long run sustainability for any business that takes note of this influential breed that is flooding the corporate world.
The tidal wave of Millennials is sweeping heavy, survival is at stake: proactive transformation and agility is a golden ticket to making it.