Embracing the Millennial Revolution in the Workplace

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    Millennials now constitute the largest workforce and consumer segment in the United States. 

    More than one in three American workers are millennials.  Their perspective and buying power is revolutionizing our workplaces and our economy. As The Greatest Generation passes away and the reign of Baby Boomers fades to retirement, their dominance is growing

    The challenge for corporations to attract millennials is a high-stakes game across industries and sectors. Particularly, it is stark for energy.  Due to the average age of the energy industry’s workforce being seven years older than in other sectors. 500,000 people are expected to retire over the next 5-10 years.  More concerning yet is that 45% of the electricity sector’s workforce is expected to retire by 2024.

    Replacing this workforce requires us to embrace a paradigm shift in how the next generation approaches their work and what they value. 

    Altruism runs deep in the Millennial generation’s thoughts, actions, and careers.  They want an employer that matches their values and delivers positive social impact.

    This presents a challenge for the oil, gas and coal industries.  Delivering innovations that reduce pollution, mitigate climate change, and increase sustainability aren’t just good for impressing consumers. They are imperative in attracting a talented workforce. 

    Fast Company reports that 40% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a more environmentally sustainable company. 25% of Gen Xers and 17% of Baby Boomers said the same.

    They want to help those in need through initiatives like renewable energy co-ops provided for in the Future Energy Jobs Act in Illinois that provides low-income individuals with reduced utility bills – all powered by solar energy.

    Highlighting the energy sector’s global footprint in innovation and technology is key.  

    That goes beyond promoting traditional energy companies’ renewable energy holdings. It requires employers to demonstrate that they are not our grandpa’s oil and gas company.  Positioning the energy sector as a highly innovative, rapidly advancing technological force is essential to winning over the millennial workforce.

    With rapidly advancing technology and a growing population who is seeking out diverse, sustainable energy solutions, millennials are in the driver’s seat to help shape our nation and our world’s energy future.  We believe that diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes; and, deepening our definition of diversity to include different generational perspectives is key to a successful energy industry and more sustainable energy policy.