Corporate Leadership for the Next Generation

September 7, 2018

Corporate Leadership for the Next Generation

Corporate Leadership for the Next Generation

Gone are the days of employee loyalty to a specific corporation. According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years an employee remains with their employer is an average of 4.2 years. Given this statistic, it is important to ask "what matters most to the next generation of corporate leaders?" In order to pave the way for business growth and continuity for years to come, let's first identify these new corporate leaders.

Who is the Next Generation of Leadership?

For the past decade, millennials have been transforming the workplace. As the baby boomer generation ages out of the workforce, the millennials have taken their place. We have all seen and read the numbers:

  • By 2025, millennials will make-up nearly 75 percent of the global workforce (Catalyst)
  • By the year 2020, it is estimated that 35 percent of the total global workforce will be millennials (Statista).
  • Currently, 33 percent of Americans in the labor force are millennials (Pew Research Center).

This generation of employees, with new attitudes and unique characteristics, is beginning to mature and move into higher ranking, professional jobs.

Defining a New Generation Leadership

A 2013 article in Time magazine analyzes the "overwhelming negative data about millennials and argues that rather than being inherently self-centered or overconfident, millennials are just adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological change. They're optimistic, they're confident, and they're pragmatic at a time when it can be difficult just to get by." In addition to these traits, they also believe in, and are shaped by the following:

  1. Diversity and Inclusion. According to a 2016 report from the Brookings Institute, racial diversity is the most defining and impactful characteristic of the millennial generation. The millennials are a very diverse generation and, as they take over leadership positions in the corporate world, this will be reflected by a dedication to diversity and inclusion programs and incentives.
  2. Rise of the Gig Economy. Over the past decade, the gig economy has transformed how work is being done on a global level. This eco-system is essentially a market for labor that is depicted by the prevalence of freelance or short-term working instead of long-term positions or jobs. Read our article The Many Benefits of the Gig Economy for more details.
  3. The Role of Automation. As technologies continue to develop, perhaps the biggest conundrum the millennials will face in the workplace is the role of automation. The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning within and across industries may pose some of the most pressing and difficult questions to corporate leadership.
  4. Strongly-Held Convictions. Millennials prioritize values, ethics, and flexibility over more traditional emphasis of company loyalty and the 40-hour work week.
  5. Value People. This generation puts people before profits, including work-life balance, mentor programs, unlimited leave, and alternative work environments.

Visit our website to learn more about the innovative studies we conduct for clients who are brave enough to want to learn about diversity challenges in their professions and industries. Study results help develop effective diversity recruitment programs for the future.

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