Lesson for the Millennials

There are a number of very interesting trends taking place in the workplace and it is important to understand what all workers want and how they will perform their best.  The days of one size fits all are definitely over and if a company wants to attract the best and brightest they need to make sure they can provide the perfect workplace fit.  The survey done with millennials, those between 19-30 years old, is very revealing.  Take a look at this work based on the feedback from 2000 millennials and note how unique this group is and how they might challenge the status quo.  They desire to work wherever and whenever they want.  They are looking for stimulating projects and want to combine travel with work as much as possible.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the survey has to do with the fact that millennials seem to really hate working for others.  A high percentage want to quit their establishment job and work for themselves.  They want to be freelancers or entrepreneurs.  There is no concern about the issues or problems that come from not working within the “stability” of a big company.  Perhaps that is because they see there is no stability there anyway.   The key is they seek independence and want to be able to do things their own way. I love the theme of entrepreneurship being a state of mind rather than an actual business.

The concern with this data is that most new sales people and young marketers fall in the millennial category.  Trying to make them conform to the current business model is like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.  Oh, it might work for some but are the conformers really the best and the brightest?  Are high potential candidates being eliminated or categorized as troublemakers when they are just acting like most others their age?  Are companies taking full advantage of their millennial talent pool or just allowing them to constantly be turned over?  The answer may be in allowing them to act and think like entrepreneurs within the confines of an established organization.  Some adaptation is needed, especially by the companies that need the talent.

The same thinking can be seen with young physicians, the industry’s customer base, as evidenced by the AMedNews piece that shows the dramatic change in attitudes in just a three year period of time.  Note that young physicians are no longer seeking the traditional practice environment and although they expect a high level of compensation they are demanding a high level of freedom and individual autonomy.  Also note the dramatic shift from the office environment to the hospital where the hours are more predictable and the traditional practice ownership issues are not relevant.  I find the chart that discusses what worries these physicians the most and the least extremely revealing.  Look how little they are concerned about dealing with patients.  There is a high level of confidence here and a lot of thought about controlling their own work environment.

If you study the trends for both the customers and those trying to sell and market to them there is some fertile ground for connectivity.  It would be interesting to get a group of young physicians and young industry executives together to determine how they could work with each other over the coming three or four decades to improve the quality of healthcare in the country.  The results might be very startling and this might just be what is needed for everyone to get out of the rut.  We might find that the entrepreneurial thinking on both sides could come together and a new business model could emerge.

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