By Kathleen Laney - August 30, 2016
We see their success around us every day. We use their software platforms, mobile applications, and products without thinking twice. Our lives have been disrupted by them. They are making waves everywhere and in every industry, including parking.
They are the technologically savvy. They are the smart and ambitious. They are the ones who don’t just color within the lines.
They are the Millennials.
It’s a dirty word to some that conjures up images of entitled twenty-somethings expecting meaningful work the moment they graduate and are exceptionally quick to challenge accepted norms. To others, they are the future who will correct all the wrongs the previous generations made. The ones who understand the potential of technology and where it can take us.
In reality, they are the single largest generation in the workforce today. And their contributions cannot go unnoticed. In parking, we see them run startups and raise millions of dollars in capital. We see them disrupt decades old businesses and solve long-standing challenges with innovation.
But, then again, it is also true they wouldn’t be where they are if it wasn’t for those who came before them. While tech savviness cannot be undervalued today, there is much more to business, parking, and the world than just writing a bit of code.
Millennials and older generations have so much to learn from each other.
As with any angle of diversity, from gender to race to age, having a workforce make-up that represents various subgroups of the population is good for business. Each generation brings their own unique perspective and understanding of the world. Raised in different times with different parenting styles, different generations working together provides balance.
Parking industry veterans understand the nuances of the industry and have weathered a few storms. They have an understanding of how parking works, who the major players are in the industry, and how to navigate a niche that is often described as an “old boy’s club.” They have established relationships with valuable contacts. They know the delicate balance required to nurture and maintain those relationships over long periods of time. These are things that can only be gained from years of experience.
The younger professionals in parking have the tech skills and know-how to access information quickly. They understand the new ways of communicating with customers, such as social media. Where older generations may feel clumsy and unsure of new tech gadgets and applications, millennials are right at home. They have new approaches to solve old problems from sales tactics and processes to management techniques and operational strategies.
No single generation can lay claim to the parking industry.
So don’t even let them try. Value the distinctive strengths of all professionals and work together to grow stronger, provide better products and services, and solve the difficult challenges that will shape the future of the parking industry.