Will Your Company Survive the Millennial Invasion?
Thought leaders in the insurance industry have been talking about Millennials and the impact they will have on the industry in the next few years. Recently, I participated in a workshop, where the attendees were Baby Boomers, Generation X (Gen X), and Generation Y (Millennials). Their interactions were very interesting and it was a major eye-opener for me. The work ethics between the various generations were similar yet different. All were willing to work hard, but the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were fine working in a structured 9 to 5 environment (working later if necessary). Whereas the Millennials want flexibility, connectivity, and a work-life balance. They believe in working smarter, not harder. They also believe in autonomy with a little coaching from their superiors; the traditional boss/subordinate relationship is a no-no for them. Holly Green’s article, “Know When to Manage and When to Coach,” in Forbes Magazine explains this perfectly. Ms. Green explains that “Managing is all about telling, directing, authority, immediate needs, and a specific outcome. Coaching involves exploring, facilitating, partnership, long-term improvement, and many possible outcomes.”
So how will the very traditional insurance industry adjust to this new generation? Companies that want to attract and retain the brightest and best talent need to recognize that the Millennials are different from all preceding generations. They grew up with technology, so it is as important as breathing to them. They also believe in working hard but having fun is equally important. A Millennial will not be interested in working a 60-hour week if they will not be getting a few days off afterwards.
The company with the most modern insurance distribution solutions/technology will be the most attractive to them. As mentioned before, Millennials always have to be connected and have the newest technology, so having access to a self-service portal, analytics tool, and process automation technology are not optional, but necessary to attract and retain them. To ensure the continued success of your company, it is imperative that insurers start paying attention to Generation Y and implement the distribution technology that will attract them to work for their companies. The Baby Boomers are retiring and by 2020 Millennials will make up about 50% of the global workforce, according to a PWC report. The quicker insurers and the insurance industry adjust to this new work culture, the better. In his blog entitled, COLI / BOLI Special Interest Group Meeting Previews New Research, Rob McIsaacs of Novarica also addresses these concerns. Some of the headlines scream “The Millennials are coming!!!,” but they are already here. The first batch entered the workforce in the early 2000 and they are already shaking things up. Are you ready to survive the Millennial invasion?