Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Working with Millennials and Generation Drone

Yesterday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new category of surprisingly business-friendly new rules for drone operators. The new category of FAA rules will make it substantially easier for law-abiding farmers, ranchers, photographers, contractors, videographers, real estate professionals, and fire-safety professionals to use lightweight drones for commercial purposes. The new rules, which may go into effect as early as August, will also have a pronounced impact on many industries and career choices, especially among young adults. More on this in a future post.

Meanwhile, our recent post, Once and For All, Millennials are NOT all Alike, generated more feedback than usual. One big takeaway: Our followers tell us that Millennials are not any more self-indulgent than previous generations were at a comparable age. They are simply the latest “disruptors” to enter the workforce with different values, work styles and motivations than their elders.

Josh Patrick, head of Stage2Planning Partners wrote, “The noise around Millennials is no different than the noise that was around Gen X or for that matter Baby Boomers. As each generation moves into their 20s, the whining starts about how this [cohort] is the worst of all times. It’s not that they are better or worse, they are different and understanding the difference can help you connect with these people.”  

Daniel Obst, Deputy Vice President of the Institute for International Education told us, “Millennials care a lot about mission and values.” Also, if you’re trying to reach them electronically (and who isn’t?) Obst said you’ll have much better luck going through Facebook and Instragram than you will via email.

Derek Poarch, Executive Director of APCO International, the world’s oldest and largest organization for public safety communications professionals, told me he doesn’t communicate with Millennials any differently than he communicates with staffers who’ve been at APCO for 25 years. “We hire quality people of all ages and train them well. Every person, regardless of age, has measurable goals and objectives tied to our strategic plan. It may sound tough, but we have very low turnover here. Everyone is empowered to suggest ideas.”

Russ Webb, Vice President of the Atlanta Apartment Association said his communications coordinator is only one year out of college. “Everything we plan to send out to members and the public must go through her. If she thinks any communication piece is not going to resonate with younger members, she’s very quick to let us know that it should be changed.”

Our blog and website have more about this and related topics. 

If you’re still scratching your head about how to engage with 20-something staffers (or children), Patrick recommends the book Generations by William Strauss and Neil Howe. “They were the first and I think still the best when it comes to talking about how different generations act and what tends to motivate them.” You could also ask young adults directly. Our client Naylor, LLC has also done many thought provoking pieces by Next Gen about what Millennials really want in the workplace.



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