Millennials and the Social Business of Today

Each generation has its thing. That special something that defines it and its contribution to the world. There was The Greatest Generation, people who came of age during the Depression and helped lead the country to victory in WWII. Their children are the Baby Boomers, who up until now was the largest generation in American history. It gave the world many things, including the personal computer. Baby Boomers completely changed the way we live and do business. Their kids are known as Generation X. The generation stuck between the protests of the sixties and the Internet revolution, it also brought the world Google and delivered hip hop culture to the masses–you’re welcome. Then came the Millennials, it doesn’t matter what you think their thing is. They aren’t much interested in being defined.

Like the generations that preceded it, Millennials or Generation Y, see the world a little differently than their parents, as more interconnected and therefore more global. It is also responsible. For Millennials, it is not just about making money for its own sake but about the pursuit of one’s purpose and solving a problem. According to a 2015 Deloitte survey of Millennials and business, an overwhelming number (75 percent) feel that businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. Many Millennials see social business beyond social media or social media marketing, to a more personal way of conducting business, working together to change society.

Millennials are a more tech savvy generation. Using technology to collect and build data sets to better understand customers and competitors may allow a business to tailor specific marketing campaigns and product launches, but it is not engagement, and that is what social business is all about. Millennials communicate via digital media but also view business communication as more of an exchange. This generation of entrepreneurs are more likely to see customers as well as employees, as partners in building their dreams.

Social business means bringing out the best in employees through social interaction and collaboration to improve productivity and gain a competitive edge. Social business allows companies to make better, faster decisions, and adjust to changes in a more nimble way. Millennials tend to operate with this business philosophy. Having grown up with the Internet and social media where everything moved quickly and interaction was instant, they understand what it takes to create a strong network. This is what social business is all about, enabling a network of collaboration to help drive performance.

The future of business is as much about technology, as it is imagination and communication. For this generation nearly everything is interconnected–including business. Developing a social business philosophy and establishing a program allows companies to improve client relations and employee success, while measuring results. It also helps develop more efficient ways of getting work done and create valuable relationships.

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