Anyone who has interacted with a human resource professional lately will tell you a conversation cannot end without expressing the challenges they have had with the millennials (people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000). From asking for flexy hours to working with earphones on and their obsession with living for now.
They will tell you how the millennials would rather get their whole pay and not have deductions on pensions and medical cover. It’s a generation that believes they need to enjoy what they earn. What business leaders have failed to understand is that the millennials as a workforce is the new normal. This new normal does not affect the supervisors and human resource professional only.
Take, for example, the norms that we used to ascribe to before that we no longer do. Few years back, it was only the well-to-do who could buy insurance; currently anyone can, and with that the insurance sector has introduced new ways to purchase insurance. There is of bancassurance and insurance can be bought using the mobile phone and applications too.
Banks are going into health care, insurance companies going into power, communication companies going into security and banking. Products that existed before are no longer relevant today, about 50% of all sales in McDonald’s stores in the US are paid via Apple Pay, a product that’s was introduced by about two years ago.
That makes you question the future of MasterCard’s, VISA and companies dealing with such products. Most people questioned why Facebook bought WhatsApp for a record $19 billion, given that at that time Facebook was worth about $100 billion and that meant that the cost of WhatsApp was 20% of their value.
I mean why would you use all that money when with $19 billion Facebook could have developed an App and still give people free money to use the app? WhatsApp was about five years old then, with 55 employees and about 200 million subscribers.
Well it didn’t take long before the results were seen. Immediately after the acquisition the value of Facebook moved to over $120 billion! With the launch of the 4G network and activation of voice calls, WhatsApp remains the greatest threat to telecommunication companies than their competitors.
So how can organisations adjust to this new normal?
- Organisations need to understand how to react to challenges and prepare for the challenges to make sure that they are not overtaken. Business leaders need to analyse trends but not limit them to their specific industry.
- Big Data and analytics: There is a need for business leaders to collect random data and collect knowledge around it. They should however not structure the data to suit their individual gains
- There is need for talent requisition and retention, with hiring and providing better working environment. Organisations should then use their talents to improve their processes and business operations by tapping the opportunities out there.
- The business leaders should have a keen eye to see that the market evolves very fast and a sharp ear that can separate the noise from real threats and opportunities.
- Decision making should also be stellar and very strong to support the business. We are living in a world where everybody has all the information and any company can venture into anything.