Results from ‘The generational shift in legal departments’ survey, released earlier this month, suggest that Baby Boomers may not be prepared for the transformation their workplaces are undergoing as more younger lawyers switch from private to in-house roles.
However, that change is clearly already underway with an “influx of Millennial corporate counsel” calling for their elders to share institutional knowledge before they leave and retire. The report predicts that by 2025, up to 75 per cent of workforce will be Millennials.
“Capturing the extensive experience of Baby Boomers, while making the most of Millennials’ traits and skills is a delicate balance,” the report said.
“But the vast majority of legal departments are not striking the right balance, or worse, not even acknowledging the challenges facing them.”
Thompson Reuters’ latest survey takes the lens to the growing in-house ranks of Millennial lawyers, to see what value their older colleagues believe they bring to organisations.
Creativity and tech-savvy are among the Millennials’ strengths that participants identified younger employees bring to the workplace. Being “too candid” and “disloyal” to the company are listed as some of the bad Millennial traits.
The group also called out Millennials for being “addicted to social media”, noting the “unprofessional” use of emojis in their email correspondence.
“The traits associated with Millennials are only beginning to shape the workplace, given how relatively new Millennials still are to the workforce,” the report said.
“Simply put, Millennials will bring significant change to the workforce.”
More than 150 US lawyers participated in the survey, to reveal that more should be done with a view to improving how multigenerational teams are managed.
“Legal department leadership must start to prepare now by being aware of Millennials’ different work styles and recognising how their organisations will need to change to accommodate them,” the report said.
“The change in status quo can’t be ignored any longer."