IBM to Employers: You Need a ‘Millennial Mindset’

NEW YORK — Millennials. Depending on whom you ask, this now-ubiquitous generational term might evoke disdain, optimism and in the case of some business leaders, absolute panic. The presence of Generation Y continues to grow in the workforce — they’ll make up 50 percent by 2020 — and employers are putting a top priority on optimizing their culture for younger employees.

But what if companies are approaching millennials all wrong? What if staying relevant isn’t so much about catering to millennials themselves, but instead creating a “millennial mindset” that will help catapult a business into the future? According to a new IBM study, that’s exactly what employers need to do — and the first step is to stop believing in widely held, but incorrect stereotypes about millennials.

On Feb. 18 at the IBM Watson headquarters in New York City, the company revealed new research by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) about the multigenerational workforce and how employees of all ages view themselves. The global study, which surveyed 1,784 employed, college-educated workers in three age groups, 21 to 34 (Gen Y); 35 to 49 (Gen X) and 50 to 60 (baby boomers), found that people of each generation are more alike than one might think.

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