Millennials. The largest demographic since the Generation-X frenzy. The mere mention of the word can provoke feelings of both pride, and fear depending on the environment in which it is voiced. There are various takes on the issue of millennials and small businesses today. Many employers hire them with heavy reluctance as they feel that they are among the most apathetic of employees. Adversely, there are proprietors that drink from the proverbial millennial Kool-Aid and swear by its effectiveness.
Where does the harmony exist? Is it possible to obtain the perfect balance between Gen-X and Gen-Y and essentially construct the ideal worker, or customer, for that matter? Business owners whose demographic caters to the echo-boomer will vigorously leap and holler “Yes!!” The Business owner who is necessitated to hire the Gen-Y employee, may sing to a different tune. The general consensus is that they can create a spreadsheet like nobody’s business, and can navigate their way through hyperspace and technological information cloaked and one-handed. It is the common “feudal” tasks that suffer at the hands of the Y’s. Due to the demands of technology and the lack of human interaction it requires, we have created a generation of dispassionate workers. Here inlies the struggle.
Cultural stability has been set adrift. With our ideals and idealists changing hourly, it has become increasingly strenuous to keep any sense of conformity in place. All of this psychobabble brings to mind an uncomplicated solution: Divide and conquer.
“Man cannot live on bread alone.” The same applies to business. Businesses cannot function on one type of boomer alone. We need to utilize the strengths of each generation to create the most capable of the two. When your business requires the synergy of customer relations, you should be more inclined to lean towards the X’s, as their empathy and sensitivity is highly intact. For the mechanical, industrial part of the trade, the trusted Y’s know no limits.
The balance of power and tasks can be evenly branched between the needs of your small growing business. It doesn’t mean that modernization and buoyancy need to be trampled, it just means that your business needs to be resilient and dynamic so as to not get trampled on.