Are you prepared for the changing demographic mix in your agency workforce? It’s important to think about whether you’re managing Millennials most effectively.
OK, Boomer – move over … Millennials (aka “Gen Y”) are now the largest generation in the workforce. According to Pew Research, they crossed that threshold in 2016 and their representation in the labor force continues to grow:
“As of 2017 – the most recent year for which data are available – 56 million Millennials (those ages 21 to 36 in 2017) were working or looking for work. That was more than the 53 million Generation Xers, who accounted for a third of the labor force. And it was well ahead of the 41 million Baby Boomers, who represented a quarter of the total. Millennials surpassed Gen Xers in 2016.”
But buckle down – hot on the heels of the Millennial generation comes Generation Z (those born after 1996), who are now emerging in the workplace.
With new generations supplanting older workers in your agency’s staff mix, there are new challenges in terms of generational values and work styles. Jeff Arnold tackles this topic in his PropertyCasualty360 article, How to teach next-gen workers to compete in insurance. He talks about some of the key differentials in working style and the importance of framing things from a different perspective and a new mindset for younger generations. For example, younger workers want a better balance between work and their personal lives. Communication styles are also very different, revolving around mobile phones rather than emails, so texting might be a more successful way to reach them. Younger workers are less competitive with others and have a greater tendency to compete against themselves, which can have an impact on goal-setting. They also have a greater need for affirmation, so a coaching style with positive reinforcement yields better results than critical performance reviews.
Global Training Consultants Guthrie Jensen have helpfully put some of this information into an infographic: How to Manage Millennials: 8 Ways to Do it Right. (For expanded tips in text, click through to the linked article.)
And for more on managing your agency workforce, see our prior posts:
- Get ready for Gen Z
- Coaching from a distance
- Expert advice: The importance of leadership in motivating your agency team
At Renaissance Alliance, we’re passionate about helping agents skillfully navigate change and maximize opportunities to grow. With millennial workers supplanting older generations in the workforce, it’s critical for insurance agents to develop strategies to train and retain millennial employees to build a stronger foundation for the future of their businesses.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your agency grow!