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Millennials throwing wrench into management plans

Date posted:  11/19/15 12:00:00 AM Young workers are changing management strategies.

There's a whole new list of management challenges for companies in 2014, according to a prediction from Ricoh Americas Corporation, a global technology company specializing in document management systems and IT services.

Ricoh predicts that organizations will have to deal with a new career path that has become the norm for some Generation Y workers, which could cause chaos in the office as seniority becomes obsolete.

"Millennial workers wielding exciting new skills are dropping into companies at mid-level and, in some cases, leapfrogging veteran colleagues to seniority," said Terrie Campbell, Ricoh Americas Corporation's vice president of strategic marketing. "This two-pronged career path will introduce rampant confusion around expectations, duties and opportunities. Organizations will need to quickly adapt, starting today."

Ricoh said the career path of working your way up from the bottom of the totem pole is no longer the norm for many talented young adults. Many Generation Y professionals have seen their peers garner early success through digital skills, which have enabled them to secure mid-level positions - or in some cases, management positions - that they would not have acquired a decade ago.

"What we're seeing is a stark dichotomy in career paths," Campbell said. "The traditional path is slow and steady, and the new one is possibly the fastest track in history."

Confusing the working style

The Ricoh report added that Generation Y's distinctive working style of being technocentric, mobile and social is also throwing a wrench into many company plans. It said that successful companies will "aggressively manage the phenomena without stifling" the potential of any given generation.

"This new Gen Y career path isn't just a new paradigm; that would be easy," Campbell adds. "Rather, the dual career path will remain viable at least until boomers have aged out of the workforce. Companies that want to seize the full potential of their entire workforce need to dedicate significant time and effort to accommodate generational differences and make their workforce perform in harmony."

According to Forbes, 74 percent of non-millennials agree that millennials offer different skill sets and work styles that add value to the workplace.

The thought process behind that, which was revealed at the inaugural Bloomberg Business Summit in Chicago, was that no generation has had the type of access to technology that millennials possess.

By 2025, Generation Y will make up the majority of the workforce. Forbes reported that this age group is used to speed, multi-tasking and working on their own schedule. It said that could have a positive impact on a company, but it doesn't necessarily mean they have nothing to learn from older colleagues. Rather, companies must use the strengths of Generation Y in addition to helping them overcome any of their weaknesses.

Forbes added that Generation Y tends to be creative-minded, tech savvy and focused on getting the job done regardless of the blueprint or rubric. Generation Y workers typically dislike unsupported hierarchical structures and being forced to follow a certain process if they can deliver the end result in a better way.

The Generation Y hiring activity is twofold

With the economy still recovering, many educated young adults are struggling to enter the workplace.

Studies by Ashridge Business School revealed that recent graduates craved respect, sought responsibility and hoped for support from their managers, which is something you'd typically see from someone that skyrockets to a management-level position at the start of their career.