As a manager, you must understand your workforce and what motivates and inspires them.
Recently, Oxford Economics and SAP released a new study about the future of work and the results were remarkable. As I read through the findings, I was reminded of a round-table I hosted here at PAN in August with the Council of PR Firms in which we discussed many of the topics outlined within the study.
The most interesting thing the study uncovered is that millennials are generally misunderstood. Millennials seemed to have acquired a negative reputation. Maybe it’s because of their demand for a flexible work environment or because of their commitment to corporate social responsibility, but I’ve heard them called everything from “entitled” to “naive.”
Some of this reputation is due to the perception that the needs and wants of career-minded millennials differs from “non-millennials.” The study pointed out however, that this really isn’t the case. For example, millennials and non-millennials alike cite compensation as the most important benefit. Additionally, the ‘job-hopper stereotype’ millennials have acquired may be exaggerated as millennials match their counterparts at more than 20 percent considering a move within the next six months.
I’ve seen a very clear trend from our own millennial employees – they value transparency. To be clear, no one wants to be in the dark, but during the Council’s round-table discussion we talked lot about how millennials seem to seek more transparency than other generations. A perfect example of this can be seen in the review process. Traditionally, most agencies conduct reviews on a six-month or yearly basis. However more and more we see millennials who want continuous and immediate feedback. If they are doing something wrong or can improve in anyway, they don’t want to wait for their review in four months’ time to know about it.
As a “non-millennial” and as PAN’s founder and president, it can be difficult to implement transparency within an agency. With transparency comes a few uncertainties from a leader’s perspective, such as the ability to match action with words. If we announce a new goal, you can bet that employees will follow-up regarding its completion. For example, I’ve committed to rotating sit-down breakfasts with respective levels at PAN to discuss company happenings and policies. And you can bet these happen as scheduled.
Further, as I listen to the desires of this growing workforce, I see the benefit of so many of their ideas firm-wide. Most recently, in my Breakfast with the President and our Associates, they talked to me about the desire to do more volunteer work in our community. As a result our HR team is reevaluating and expanding our Volunteer Benefit. Something I know that millennials and non-millennials alike with proudly take advantage of.
This kind of organizational transparency has strengthened the culture and accountability at our agency and made us a better workplace. We can thank the millennials for that.