The Centennials Are Coming!

According to the Futures Company, the Millennials have left the building, and the Centennials are coming. They are a cohort of approximately 73 million young people born between 1997 and today. And guess what… in many areas, they see the world differently from previous generations.
The good news for leaders: many of the traits we see in the last generation still apply. Like Millennials, this next generation still wants competitive wages, recognition and opportunities. Like their predecessors, they also have strong beliefs regarding their careers, and they expect to be recognized for their efforts.
Here’s a quick generational review:
Boomers - 1946 - 1964
Gen X - 1965- 1978
Millennials - 1979 - 1996
Centennials - 1997 - Today
Many leaders are still trying to crack the code regarding younger workers; the truth is generational differences are real. Here are a few fun facts about the Centennials and a few implications for those of us who will be trying to “figure them out.”
[tweet_box design="default"]Many leaders are still trying to crack the code regarding younger workers; the truth is generational differences are real.[/tweet_box]
More performance conversations - 45% of Centennials want “frequent chats” about their performance compared to 35% of Millennials. This makes sense if you consider what Centennials believe about recognition - 61% of Centennials expect to be promoted twice in the next 5 years!
Risk will be viewed differently – This is one of the most striking differences between the two groups. Millennials as a cohort had an unbridled optimism, in part, because of what they were told by their parents. For many of them, things have not worked out like they planned. Therefore, the next generation will be far more careful with career choices and are less likely to take risks.
Views about work-life balance - Millennials generally like to separate work and their personal life. Centennials want to be more fluid and believe work and home can be blended. Technology allows and fosters a work-from-anywhere-anytime mentality. How flexible is your workplace? I’ve recently written about my experience with The Future of Work -- the future Centennials expect.
Culture continues to matter – a lot! - This is most apparent in the statistics about the values of an organization: Only 26% of Centennials will work for a company whose values do not resonate with them personally. 58% indicate a fun place to work is a must. In previous generations, having a job was often more important than what the company stood for. This up and coming generation really wants to do work that matters for an organization making a difference.
Everything still rises and falls on leadership - 75% of Centennials say good leadership is a must-have in the organizations they choose to work for. This is our challenge. How can you and I ensure we provide good leadership? What behaviors will we need to modify to honor, embrace and engage this latest talent wave? I’m trying to figure that out myself. I look forward to sharing my journey with you in the years to come.
It’s exciting for me to think about the next decade. I know the experts call this next cohort the Centennials; personally, I think of them as the Talent Wave. They have every opportunity to be the brightest and best group the world has ever seen. I can’t wait to see what I can learn from them![GLS_Shield]


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