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Keynote: Millennials Driving the Workplace and Marketplace

Bestselling author Jason Dorsey at the 2016 AFT Spring Summit in Orlando, Fla., described millennial, the fastest growing generation in the workplace and marketplace in a powerful and energetic keynote.

“The entire banking industry of America has been built on the success of Baby Boomers,” Dorsey toll the AFT audience. However, today, “my generation is driving every innovation in fintech.”

Dorsey’s definitions of millennials and other segments shed light on the impact on today’s lifestyles and marketplace.

Some characteristics of millennials:

  • Often feels entitled, but the group most offended by entitled millennials are other millennials who do NOT feel entitled (“because we think they give us a bad rep”)
  • Experiencing delayed adulthood, which impacts everything — and it's critical for marketers and employers to know and adapt
  • Not tech savvy, but tech dependent, which dramatically affects communication
  • Greatest lifetime value of any consumer, customer, or client you can win today
  • Most likely to refer friends and colleagues to a company or brand
  • Bring valuable new skills and a willingness to challenge the status quo as employees

They are also have more college degrees than any previous generation, but with that is more college debt.

On their way are Gen Zers, aka iGen, Centennials, or Founders. They are born 1996 and later and do not remember 9/11 or a time before the Internet, smartphones, or social media. “Over the next five years, they will become the fastest growing generation in both the workplace and marketplace,” Dorsey suggested. They might leapfrog millennials at work due to their higher work ethic and lower expectations. In addition, they are more diverse than even millennials.

Dorsey also described other generational characteristics such as Generation X, born 1965 to 1976, who are often skeptical but loyal to individuals and don't like surprises at work. They also make great managers and leaders because they dive into the details. Meanwhile Baby Boomers, born 1946 to 1964, define work ethic in hours per week and policies and procedures.

“We think Boomers are two generations because younger Boomers experienced very different formative events than older Boomers,” Dorsey said.

The traditionalists, born 1945 and earlier, is the generation millennials most naturally trust and comfortable with delayed gratification

Dorsey also explained that a person can be born within five years of any generation's start or stop date and have all the characteristics of the generation before or after. This makes that person a "cusper," which can be an advantage because they are more empathetic to the generations prior to and following. They also tend to identify with one generation more than the other.

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