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Teens Shape The Future Of Corporate America



Bill Carter, a partner at Fuse, a leading youth culture and action sports marketing agency, reflects on how younger recruits are changing the workplace.

Privileged, needy, entitled and lazy are just a few of the adjectives erroneously used to describe younger Millennials. On the contrary, they are team players, driven, passionate and more tech savvy than any other generation. Born between 1982 and 2000, this generation is estimated at over 80 million strong in the U.S. alone, and is increasingly spilling out of high schools and colleges and into a workplace near you.

Younger Millennials are pushing the envelope to ensure an attractive and comfortable workplace. Flexible work hours, corporate and social responsibility programs, teamwork, casual attire, wellness benefits and innovative technologies are just some of the items on their must-have list.

This group is single-handedly changing the way we look at work-life balance. "How does my work fit into my life?" – rather than "How does my life fit into my work?" – is quickly becoming their mantra. Today's youth thrives on telling the world about themselves via blogs, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr. The need for self-expression has become a huge part of their lives. With this new challenge, how are companies marketing themselves and rising to the level that these younger workers demand


Companies like Zappos have proven successful in marketing to teens with its YouTube videos and launch of Zappos TV.  Zappos TV features videos of real employees having real fun, whether at a trainee graduation, office ice cream party, marshmallow eating contest or parade. What young person wouldn't want to work for a company like that?

Only a few short years ago businesses rejected the idea of changing to fit the needs of older Millennials, also known as Generation Y; it was felt that Gen Y should change to fit the current model. Now, with Baby Boomers ready to retire, companies are realizing that they are the ones who need to change. Loyalty to an organization is a thing of the past. It is estimated that a Millennial will average between six to eight careers in their lifetime, creating an even more urgent need to retain experienced and expensive-to-replace workers.

Young Millennials are changing the way we look at the workplace and how we live our lives. Companies will need to adapt and find ways to tap into this generation's creativity if they want to keep them interested in working in a corporate environment.

Should businesses adapt to retain younger workers that are likely to move on anyway? Shouldn't they just be thankful they have a job? How about the needs of older workers that have loyally stayed with a company for a generation or more? Let us have your comments below.

This article originally appeared on MediaPost.





Comments:
Comment by Eileen, posted 9/28/2009, 9:03 AM:

"Flexible work hours, corporate and social responsibility programs, teamwork, casual attire, wellness benefits and innovative technologies" - Sounds good to me! I can't see why the question poses it as an either/or situation. I would think older workers would appreciate these changes.
Comment by Christina S., posted 9/25/2009, 8:52 AM:

Very interesting reading. I'm not quite ready to form a strong opinion either way, but definitely something to ponder.
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