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Community Team at Fairygodboss

The hybrid workplace depends on the "geriatric millennial," according to author and speaker Erica Dhawan. And based on the virality of her article "Why the Hybrid Workforce of the Future Depends on the ‘Geriatric Millennial,’" it seems that many members of the workforce agree. 

A geriatric millennial is a "special micro-generation born in the early 1980s that are comfortable with both analog and digital forms of communication," Dhawan explains. "We’re weathered internet veterans. We survived DailyBooth, Friendster, and Myspace friendship rankings, and yet here we are, feeling incredibly competent at the thought of creating a TikTok or a Clubhouse panel discussion."

Dhawan argues members of this microgeneration — like Mark Zuckerberg (born in 1984) and Reddit's Alexis Ohanian (1983) — are "best positioned to lead teams that will thrive in the hybrid workplace" because they can "help you translate the experiences of both digital adapters (baby boomers) and digital natives (Gen Z)." 

While Baby Boomers see digital behaviors as entitled or messy, Dhawan says the younger generation see many professional practices as “old-fashioned” and unproductive. Geriatric millennials are able to see the value in both ways of thinking, and coach both generations.

"Geriatric millennials can teach traditional communication skills to younger employees and “Digital Body Language” to older team members," Dhawan says, due to their cycling through the adoption and dropping of different technologies throughout their life balanced with their knowledge of the formal workplace of years past. 

But despite the necessity of these skills, many companies are facing a challenge to retain millennial employees. One in three millennials say they'll be looking for a new job in 2021, according to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey. Many are seeking the flexibility and career growth they've seen members of their cohort — like the aforementioned entrepreneurs — enjoy. 

In order to retain Millennial talent, Prudential Vice Chair Rob Falzon said: “Leaders must be focused on cultivating thriving cultures of internal mobility, prioritizing continuous learning and delivering robust benefits to support their workers." That support could mean keeping Millennial leaders where they should be: Leading age diverse teams. 

This article does not reflect the views of Fairygodboss.

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