We don’t know if you are looking to include a Millennial in your furniture hardware business or if you already have, but we encourage you to reflect on it and, of course, prepare yourself for it! This subject is addressed in the 2015 movie “The Intern”. Robert De Niro plays a 70-year-old retiree who starts working as an intern at a company managed by a young entrepreneur (Anne Hathaway). Without giving away any spoilers, it’s interesting to see how two people with such a huge age difference and such atypical roles in our society can come to work together.
Although it may seem like fiction, this is starting to happen in the industrial sector. The Millennial generation is climbing to diverse positions in companies. And yes, even executive positions! So, it won’t be surprising in a few years to see ourselves surrounded by young bosses who:
- • Have a digital mindset
- • Are highly educated and informed
- • Have a more “romantic” view of life than we do
- • And have expectations about work that very different from ours
Without a doubt, now is the perfect time to open your mind and see what they can contribute.
What is a Millennial?
While the definition varies depending on the source, the term Millennial is usually given to the generation born between 1981 and 1997. They are a very educated generation who have been able to adapt to the digital revolution with no problem. They see the world more optimistically than their predecessors. Nevertheless, they have also been the subject of many criticisms (people say they don’t work hard, that they don’t commit), most of which are unfounded.
What happens when you include a Millennial in your furniture hardware business?
Despite the criticism, and just like in “The Intern”, the experience can have more pros than cons. Set aside your prejudices and focus on the growth opportunity that comes when you include a Millennial in your furniture hardware business.
A more flexible work environment
- • For Millennials, the era of on-site work is over. Most likely, a Millennial boss will demand hard work, but won’t care where you work from or what time of day it gets done.
A different way of seeing work
- • Many experts state that Millennials contribute substantially to the organization’s vision and purpose. This doesn’t mean they all want to work at a nonprofit, but we can conclude that, if they are with our company, it’s because they have decided they want to be.
A varied professional career
- • The new generations don’t see a “career change” as something negative. On the contrary, they consider it an opportunity to try new things and to grow. So, it is very probable that you won’t have just one, but rather several Millennial bosses.
An alternative leadership style
- • Although the hierarchical focus of leadership is deeply ingrained, it is shifting towards a more collaborative view of work. This can be very positive for a person who has a team of people 10 or 20 years their senior. Not long ago, the Financial Times presented the case of Kerry Rogan, a 30-year-old woman who manages a team of highly-qualified men 40-50 years old for the London Underground.
In short, the workplace is changing rapidly thanks to the entrance of this new generation into management positions. Despite everything that has been written about the Millennial phenomenon, generational conflicts are nothing new. And just like our predecessors experienced, the important thing is to adapt and learn.
What about you? How are you handling things now that you’ve decided to include a Millennial in your furniture hardware business? or How do you think you will handle them? What do you think about the Millennial generation? Have you ever had a boss or colleague who was younger than you? What was that experience like? We’re looking forward to your comments!