Why Millennial-Heavy Workforce Can Be a Problem

Caren Maio is an ambitious millennial who founded a highly successful residential leasing and marketing program. Initially, the cloud-based software program, Nestio, was driven almost entirely by the youthful enthusiasm and adrenalin of her tech-savvy millennial workforce, but she found out the hard way that she needed older, more experienced workers, too.

Her young staff eventually hit a wall, and due to its limited experience, found that it was constantly reinventing the wheel while trying to scale up. Maio discovered that she and her young staff simply weren’t aware of what they didn’t know. They needed seasoned employees—people who could draw from their experiences to offer advice and help navigate the road ahead.

Maio found that baby boomers and Gen Xers can help in three basic ways.

-They can help flag potential opportunities—and pitfalls: Many older employees have learned from their experiences how to make sound choices, and the ramifications of not doing so. Even seemingly insignificant bad choices can have devastating financial and other impacts.
-They don’t just believe in the vision; they know how to get you there: Veteran employees have a sense of knowing which steps to take to ensure you’ll meet targets, especially long-term goals. They can break down the big picture into small, less intimidating chunks, thereby facilitating progress.
-They invest on a deeper level: Older employees are in a different stage in their lives than millennials. They typically have partners, homes and kids—and for many, retirement is on the horizon. So, if they lose their jobs or the company goes bust, they can’t just crash on their parents’ couch or backpack around Europe while waiting for their next job.

Maio notes that due to older employees’ greater need for job security, it was challenging for her to hire them. While younger prospects came in with dream of revolutionizing the real estate space, older employees needed hard proof of where the company was headed.

As Maio has experienced, a multigenerational workforce can be a strong asset. Employees are able to work together to build new systems that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. The energy and innovativeness of youth, combined with the experience and insights of veterans, produces some magnificent results.

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