At the PRSA 2013 International Conference this week, I attended a session on building millennial leaders. I‘ll take all the help I can get in this department, but I’m still not sure anyone has really figured it out yet.
We all know the stereotypes (check out Sh*t Millennials Say), and we also know there are many exceptional millennials who are doing amazing things. We certainly have some fantastic millennials at rbb, including our own Rafael Sangiovanni, who was named one of PR News’ People To Watch in PR in 2013.
One of the most interesting points brought up was a comment from the audience. There is a theory that society is cyclical, repeating itself every fourth generation.
Each generation has distinctive characteristics. In this case, millennials have similar values to the GI generation from WWI, who were born 1901-1924 – they are civic-minded do-gooders.
Millennials want to affect long-term change, and they will do it together because they love to work in groups.
While rbb leads the curve in progressive workplaces, our office flexibility / work-from-anywhere approach is simply table stakes. Our Community Pay Day for employees and commitment to transparency is expected. Our on-the-spot rewards are just what millennials crave and require.
However, we have much more adapting to do to satisfy this mystifying generation. Perhaps millennials are just what we need to keep us thinking a step ahead.
As one panelist put it, if you don’t give millennials what they want, someone else will.
So I walk away with marching orders. I am looking for a reverse mentor relationship to better understand millennials and be sure that we keep the very best ones at rbb.