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I was driving to work after celebrating a birthday milestone, reflecting on my life and career. Both are filled with many accomplishments and also some failures, which I fondly refer to as my “learning opportunities.”

It was a beautiful spring morning. I remember the day vividly, with the sun shining and flowers blooming, something we do not see much of in northeast Ohio for most of the year. As I pulled my car into the parking lot and turned off the ignition, I paused, took a sip of my Starbuck’s coffee and asked myself: Who will replace us when we are gone?  A pretty deep question for a Monday morning, but an inevitable part of life, both personally and professionally.

Across the Generational DivideWhen it comes right down to it, we are all caretakers of our teams and companies, hoping someday to retire from our work and leave it a better place than when we came. I answered my own question about who will replace us when one word entered my mind…Millennials.

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials are the next wave of American workers. Born after 1980, they are entering our workforce in greater numbers and replacing the Baby Boomers who are beginning to retire. There are over 80 million Millennials, an incredible number, and they will dramatically shape the future of our claims organizations. To paint some background of how Millennials are different from other generations, we must first look at the makeup of today’s workforce and the world events that helped shape each generation’s beliefs and values. We have four distinct generations in our current workforce:

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