The millennial generation is 80 million-strong and is set to make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020. This is the largest generation to infiltrate the workplace since the baby boomers.

And with millennials set to tip the scale in the office pool in just a few short years, it’s time to prepare for the future of business.

“Ultimately, the largest group gets to set the agenda,” said Chip Espinoza, co-author of “Managing the Millennials,” in this video clip from CNN. He explains that baby boomers have been able to set the agenda for years with Generation X being a smaller generation. Essentially, when Gen Xers raised their voices the baby boomers were able to override them and maintain control of the playing field.

Espinoza also shared the perks and pitfalls of the millennial generation, adding that millennials embrace change and are being called upon by managers to work on change initiatives. Harnessing the passion and energy of these young recruits and directing it to suitable projects is the balance that organizations need to strike.

Innovation Is Key

Deloitte’s third annual millennial survey surveyed nearly 7,800 millennials from 28 countries about business, government and innovation. The results revealed that millennials want to work for organizations that support innovation. In fact, 78 percent of millennials are influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there.

The findings showed that millennials believe the biggest barriers to innovation are management attitude (63 percent), operational structures and procedures (61 percent), and employee skills, attitudes and lack of diversity (39 percent).

The study also found that many millennials believe they are not being given the opportunity to develop professionally. Only roughly half of the surveyed millennials agree that their organization does all it can to develop their skills as a leader.

These findings signal there is room for improvement in terms of honing and developing the skills of millennials. This generation is eager to learn and want to enhance their skillsets to prepare for future leadership roles. This calls for learning and development professionals to create training programs that focus on leadership development at all levels.

Moving Forward

With millennials fundamentally open to change, using that innovative energy to generate new solutions and ideas can help shape the future of the marketplace. Millennials are showing a vested interest in learning and transforming business as we know it.

It has yet to be seen whether these new kids on the block will have much leverage in terms of company dynamics, but if there is truly strength in numbers then millennials will have market share of the workplace in just a few short years. Are you ready?

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