When most people think of Millennials (people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s), they think of spoiled, lazy, unmotivated young adults who can’t hold their own in a social setting outside of an EDM (electronic dance music) club or a hipster coffee shop. But whether Gen Xers like it or not, Millennials will soon be entering into high-ranking management roles in major companies, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The oldest Millennials are entering their mid-thirties and are already quickly climbing the corporate ladders of America.
If you think people who lived during the economic downturn of the 1930’s Great Depression had it hard, well Millennials have had to deal with the Great Recession that started in 2008 and still affects us today. Millennials have grown up in a time of economic struggle in the U.S., with massive student loan debt and soaring unemployment rates. So what can we expect from these debt-laden young adults in their future roles as America’s CEOs? Lets take a look at the prospective future, and how Millennials will rule corporate America:
Pragmatism will be the name of the game
Millennials are much more levelheaded than the older generations might think. We can expect to see future CEOs that are not willing to take unnecessary financial risks (something Gen Xers seemed all to willing to do). It is expected that Millennial CEOs will be weary of spending frivolously due to their past student loan debt.
Innovation will be paramount
Millennials value innovation and they always have. Not to discredit the last prediction that CEOs will not want to risk spending too much; but, Millennial CEOs will expect products to solve problems, which require investment into creative innovation.
Companies will care about employee health
We can expect to see Millennial CEOs adopting company-wide health benefit programs, which would reward employees for exercising, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Millennial CEOs can help fight the good fight against rising healthcare costs (which are only going to rise in the future as we live longer) by incentivizing their employees to stay healthy.
Hours worked will not be recognized as a productivity measurement
Millennial CEOs are expected to value telecommunication over wasting time, money, and fossil fuels traveling to and from the office and meetings. Future CEOs will focus on the economic value an employee creates for the company, rather than the number of hours they put in every workweek. It is expected that Millennial CEOs will be an advocate for the introduction of a sensible living wage.
Customer service will go online
Today we use online channels to deal with a lot of our customer service issues, but we can expect online customer service to rise to the next level. Millennial CEOs will make online customer service immediate and versatile, with crowdsourcing and multi-language capabilities.
Content over advertising
Millennials won’t do away with advertising all together, but they will require relevant, up-to-date content aligned with the brand image. CEOs will require marketing to focus on creating relationships with consumers, thinking of them as partners rather than customers. This relationship has already started with the popularity of social media marketing, which allows companies to foster relationships with their fans through a variety of online platforms.
Corporate responsibility will matter
We are beginning to see a demand for corporate social and environmental responsibility. But, we can expect Millennial CEOs to make it a necessity to have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) officer on their upper management team. Everyone will expect brands to give back to their communities, have corporate transparency, and be authentic in their messages. Supporting causes that matter most to the employees and the communities they belong to will be ingrained into the core company mission.
Now that we have an insight into the future, do you feel any better about living in an America ruled by Millennials? We think these prospective CEOs can stand to make a highly positive impact on how businesses function. With greater pragmatism and a focus on healthcare, higher productivity, valuable content, and corporate responsibility, American business has a bright future.