Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tempering My Millennial Rage

During the past few years I have grown increasingly weary of millennials and their insistence that management kowtow to their unrealistic expectations with the hope of possibly motivating them to perform their job at an acceptable level.

Here is a recent example.  A column published by Ragan Communications entitled "How to manage a millennial, according to a millennial" in which a 20-something schools readers on why we have to "go the extra mile to pay a few compliments to get the results we're looking for."

I'm all for complimenting a colleague when the performance warrants it and I certainly recognize the importance of a positive and supporting culture.  Yet, this "gold star at the end of the day" millennial mentality merely creates an environment that celebrates mediocrity.

Enough...please!  If demanding an employee invest the time, energy and effort to improve and master their craft is old school, then call me grandpa.

In fact, Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) adopted a blended staffing methodology in part because of how tiresome it had become identifying, hiring, motivating and retaining millennials.  The return simply wasn't worth the time and aggravation.

Yet, I've begun to rethink my perspective on this wayward generation.  At Strategic, we employ two rising stars who have demonstrated a willingness to truly invest in their professional growth and development, and (most important) recognize that this is their responsibility.

We also recently added an account assistant to the team based on a mutual understanding she'll need some time to get up-to-speed.  I've been incredibly impressed with how she has appropriately questioned our senior team about Web 2.0 tools, content strategy and social media best practices.

And finally, I received this Email from a millennial-aged corporate marketer who I met a few months back through a valued client.

Hi Marc,

I hope you have been doing well! I have been keeping up with your blog posts on FedBizDaily and have used your suggestions within our organization.

I wanted to write you and say again how thankful I am for having the opportunity to meet you. I took the advice you gave me to heart and made sure I was not just the "Twitter girl" at our company. Currently MANDIANT's Klout score is at 54, 10 points higher than our competitors! There is no doubt in my mind that our social media efforts wouldn't be nearly as successful without you taking time out of your day to meet with me and give me some truly helpful advice. I have told Meredith how thankful I am for her having introduced us and hope she has relayed those sentiments to you.

Once again I want to thank you and hope both you and your company have continued success.


My reaction:  Mandiant is fortunate to have such a polished and professional manager in their marketing organization.  Yes, the compliments in her Email are appreciated.  More important, Helena understands how to cultivate a relationship. 

That's a skill that will serve her well as her career continues to progress.

No comments: