Corporate America Needs to Change for Millennials

Business people working together in  office
By Hal M. Bundrick

Millennials, generally defined as adults in their early 30s and younger, are gradually beginning to redefine America's priorities, from profits to purpose. Rather than reflecting the competitive and combative attitude of baby boomers, Generation Y rallies to marketing related causes and the acquisition of experiences rather than things.

It is a generational shift just now beginning to impact the nation, according to Morley Winograd, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California and Michael Hais, a former vice president for entertainment research at Frank N. Magid Associates. The authors have released a new Brookings Institution report "How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America."

"The initial tremors are already changing consumer markets and forcing corporations to change their workplace practices," say Winograd and Hais in the report. "But soon, as millennials become an increasingly large share of the adult population and gather more and more wealth, the generation's size and unity of belief will cause seismic shifts in the nation's financial sector, shaking it to its very foundations and leading to major changes in the nation's board rooms."

A Great Career in Tech or the Government

That change is reflected in a list of "dream employers" Millennials want to work for. The authors note a survey of 10,000 millennials having one to eight years of job experience that was fielded by the consulting firm of Universum in 2011. The usual suspects topped the list: Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB). But the U.S. State Department ranked fourth, the FBI seventh and the CIA 10th. Other than technology companies, government agencies occupied the most slots in the list of the top 15 most coveted places to work.

The rankings of dream jobs goes to the heart of a recent Intelligence Group study that found that 64 percent of millennials saying they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love rather than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%"In the future, most Americans, taking their cue from millennials, will demonstrate a greater desire to advance the welfare of the group and be less concerned with individual success," the report says. "They will be less worried about being guided in their daily decisions by software and more intrigued by the opportunities it offers. Even without any major environmental disaster, they will display a greater reverence for the environment and less interest in the acquisition of things as opposed to experiences."

By 2020, more than one in three adult Americans will be millennials. It is also estimated that by 2025, they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce.

"Companies that dedicate their future to changing the world for the better and find ways to make it happen will be rewarded with the loyalty of millennials as customers, workers and investors for decades to come," the report concludes. "Those that choose to hang on to outdated cultures and misplaced priorities are likely to lose the loyalties of the millennial generation and with it their economic relevance."
Read Full Story