Generations are defined by the core values they carry for a lifetime, according to Chuck Underwood, founder and principal of Generational Imperative Inc., a Miamisburg, Ohio-based consultancy. The youngest people now flowing into the workforce are first-wave Millennials, aged 18 to 29 years old. Some demographers set the start of this generation slightly earlier, but there is broad agreement on who the Millennials are, what makes them tick and why managers and colleagues should care.
“New generations begin when there’s a significant change in the times they’re going to experience in their youth or the values they develop,” says Underwood. The values of the dominant generation in the workplace become the values of the leaders guiding the nation. The attitudes, beliefs, interests and styles of the 25-year-old Millennials today are a strong predictor of the nation’s direction.