Selfish. Entitled. Demanding. Addicted to technology. These are a few words and phrases commonly used to describe millennials. Those reluctant to accept millennials are frequently turned off by their perspective and their working styles but millennials now represent a generation with increasing importance in our homes, at our workplaces, and within our industries.
A closer look into the makeup of the millennial generation reveals some surprising findings. Their values and goals are strongly aligned with the best practices of the workers’ compensation system – advocacy, service oriented, and solutions driven. Not only can millennials become a dependable part of the system, but they can also be a tremendous asset to an industry that has not traditionally been viewed as the most cutting edge or attractive.
Here are three primary reasons workers’ compensation stakeholders should embrace millennials:
- To replace the impending talent shortage
- To better understand how to service and relate to the millennial workers as they become the injured workers we must service
- To improve workflows and inefficiencies in the system by embracing technology and innovation
The term “millennials” has come to loosely define people born between 1981 and 1996. They comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population and are expected to surpass the number of baby boomers this year.
More than one in three members of the American labor force are millennials, making them the largest generation of workers. For years, there’s been talk about their potential impact on the workforce, and now it’s clear that the millennial generation has arrived. Advocating and caring for millennial injured workers will become the norm. Are we prepared to service a population that has grown up with smartphones, chat boxes, and that digests the majority of their information via social media?
Millennials are more interested in industries such as technology, healthcare, insurance, and finance than in retail, government, non-profits, media, and entertainment. They have a thirst for knowledge, innovation, and technology. They are not afraid to challenge the status quo or buck a trend.
Workwise, millennials seek a strong career path with opportunities to develop and grow quickly. They want a balance between their working and personal lives, along with flexibility. They place a high value on consistent feedback — not because they are looking for praise, but because they honestly want to know how they are doing. They enjoy being challenged.
They want to work in organizations that emphasize corporate responsibility. Transparency and openness are keys in their decisions to join and remain at a particular company.
Why We Need Them
Unfortunately, many highly trained and experienced workers’ compensation professionals will exit the industry soon – these individuals (that include injured worker attorneys, adjusters, vendor partners, and claims executives) have contributed tirelessly to building the system that we all benefit from today. A study by Deloitte shows that of the 2.3 million workers in the insurance industry, 1 million are expected to retire in the next 10 years. Plus, 70 percent of claims adjusters are over the age of 40.