Posted By Fuller Harvey On May 14, 2018

Millennials: Technology Change-Makers

Millennials Technology Change Makers

{Note: This is the continuation of a blog series which will spotlight the impact the Millennial generation is having – and is predicted to have – on healthcare.  We’ll take our cue from millennials themselves and not limit ourselves to the number in the series . . . we’ll go where the series leads us.}

Technology:  It’s Not Just for Millennials Anymore

Millennials are the latest “generational cohort” –  the term used to describe an age-range of population who are considered to be “grouped” by birth years and given an identifying label which emerges based on common experiences and societal influences.   For millennials, the cohort is generally said to span the birth years 1981 to 1996.  (Although ranges given vary between 1980 to 2003.)  Consider this attention-grabbing quote from a report by Lynn O’Connor Vos for KANTAR/Grey Health Group:  “Getting a handle on this generation’s character is paramount for anyone who has Millennial consumers, employees, friends and family.”  In other words: everyone must “get a handle” on the Millennial generation.

So, grab a shot of espresso, and let’s spend a few moments “noodling” what this means and how millennials will affect the world of health care.

According to recent Pew Research Center statistics, millennials are now the largest living generation (yes, even surpassing the Baby Boomers, whose cohort spans 1946-1964); therefore, it should be no surprise to learn that they now compromise the largest share of the American workforce.  For those points alone, local health departments, behavioral health agencies, community and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) should sit up and take note.

As a generation, they are making a name for themselves as being “disruptors” – – they challenge the status quo. Far from accepting “that’s the way things have always been done,” millennials balk and blanch and wretch at the phrase. No industry seems to be out of reach of disruption at the hands of millennials: cable companies, the car industry, the beer industry, even the standard 9-to-5 work day:  everything is challenge-able and seemingly must evolve with millennials – or face a certain stagnating death.  Do not make the mistake of assuming millennials will not shake up your agency.

Just a survey of how millennials have changed (aka “disrupted”) the hotel industry paints a picture of the ways in which business and services, including public and behavioral health providers, must respond to in order to connect with this vital segment of the U.S. population:  millennials are twice as likely to travel for business, so “hip hotels” with tech-influenced features – such as check-in and check-out via smartphone, free Wi-Fi,  and even room lounge chairs with sliding tablet holders –  are on the upswing, as are several fiscally savvy “Rent-a-Room” options such as Airbnb.   The hotel industry is facing drastic changes – in one generation. . . and this is simply one business sector.

Public and behavioral health administrators, boards, and key decision makers, pay attention:  millennials are a force to be reckoned with.  They demand technology for themselves – -and demand it of others, too.  “Millennials prefer technology and social media as their primary mode of interaction with friends, coworkers, and the outside world, “ writes John Caufield.

How Millennial-friendly (i.e. tech-savvy) is your world?

[Coming Next – Millennials: Customer Service Change-Makers]

About Fuller Harvey

Fuller is a creative consultant who is bringing her passion for connective, encouraging, and practical communication to Patagonia Health. She considers her greatest strength to be creating an adhesive environment where individuals are valued, supported and celebrated for the contributions they bring to the “team table” and where all communication -both within and without the company – has positive purpose and impact.