Jennifer Taylor 

Alright, we're moving on to our third session of the future of work track. This one's going to be super fun to the our audio team. Are we going to play the video? Great. Right. Thank you. Well welcome everybody. Our next session today is called so you hired a millennial. And I'm really pleased to announce and introduce you to John Stoll who is going to moderate this panel. He is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. You can catch his columns every Saturday and the paper or you You can look for them online. I had the pleasure of meeting him last March, I went back to my home state, if you will, where I stayed in Michigan, where he lives and works, we had a really great conversation about the future of work. And, you know, he focuses a lot on the automotive industry, but goes beyond that. And is has written a lot of articles on how businesses and manufacturers and factories are changing the way they do business and changing their cultures and, you know, offering more flexibility. And we have the pleasure of having him here today to talk to some of our CTA member companies who I have gotten to know over the last two years. They're members of our 21st century workforce Council. And so please join me today in welcoming john and our panelists. And with that, I'll pass it to you, john, very much.

 
John Stoll 

So we in classic millennial fashion, we're all millennials here. So everyone, just think of you identify as a millennial. And whether or not we're gonna do girl boy, girl boy. We'll start with Francine when he come down and the row here and just give us a little overview of your business. And as I said, on the sidelines, I don't think any of you are in the business of producing, you're growing millennials as your core business, but you all have an intersection where you engage with them, hire them, sell to them, consult with them. So give us a view of how your business is viewing this, what's your unique perspective, and now sort of lay some groundwork so but francy and then we'll come down the line.

 
Francie Jain 

Great. Hi, I'm Francie Jain I'm the founder of a company called terawatt, and we live stream soft skills classes, so career development for employees. I'm not a millennial. But I think like one I sometimes and, you know, in my research of figuring out ways to do live streaming of classes, it turned out that what I was building was actually highly in demand from millennials and they expect workforce career development from their employers. And right now there's so many employers trying to figure out what millennials want, because it's such a large workforce, for them such a large segment of their workforce, that they're really trying to find ways to appeal to them, recruit them, retain them. And so I want to be part of this panel because I just have read so much research and it really informs my business a lot. And that's why I'm here. introduction, but it's perfect interest.

 
John Stoll 

Okay. Just that's a good template for all of us, right.

 
Gerald Kierce 

Hi, everyone. I'm Gerald Kierce Chief of Staff for a company called fiscal note. I am a millennial. I've been so fiscal note as a technology and media company headquartered in DC and we basically aggregate laws and regulations from around the world and apply a layer of artificial intelligence and natural language processing to those laws to basically help organizations understand them a little bit better. Part of what's interesting about fiscal node, traditional software b2b startup about six years old, seven years old. In 2018, we bought a company called CQ roll call, which was a 75 year old organization. And with that you had all sorts of organizational kind of generational dynamics that came into play. So I think the perspective of a smaller younger company acquiring a larger, more established organization brings kind of a unique perspective on the minute on the generational conversation.

 
Alina Hamden 

Hi, everyone, Alina Hamden. I am chief of staff at ever phi. I think this is the first time I've been on a panel with three there are three Chiefs of Staff, which is exciting. It's very new to go into what

 
John Stoll 

the Chief of Staff

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah, it's a very exciting role. It's the real boss, right? It's, I'm not I'm not gonna say that but we have to work for great principles, of course, to make our role that great. I am a millennial, which feels a little kind of weird to be calling that out. But I am and I'm at ever fine. Our company is comprised of you. 62% of us are under the age of 35. The median age at ever phi is 32. So we've got about 600 employees. So as you can imagine, that's a fairly large number. And we are an education technology company that focuses on providing critical skills learning to learners of all ages. And we do that by partnering with companies like CTA, to bring the software to the end user at no cost and in the K 12 space in the higher ed space and in the corporate space, but something that we're really focused on because of that. The fact that we have so many millennials at the company is thinking about what the next generation of leaders looks like. And you know, our executive team has largely stayed and intact for the last 11 years, so naturally there's going to be some room for millennial leaders and thinking about how do we prepare them for that role?

 
Charles Kergaravat 

Hello, my name is Charles kangan lead from Klaxoon. Soon Special thanks to Jennifer the team and CTA for having me here today. Klaxoon is a pioneer in smart work technologies. I think when we talk about millenniums, we know a lot about it because we have four offices on two continents, and 240 employees and the majority of them are millenniums. We make software and hardware. And we're really rethinking how people work together. And when you do that, you really have to think about collaboration. And what we care about is how do we make work more human? And I think that's something that millenniums are really looking for is connections. How are they? How do they interact, how they can exchange How can they be purposeful as well, and I don't think they're being unreasonable about for that.

 
Jennifer Gannon 

My name is Jennifer Gannon, I work at the intersection. We are a civic technologies company that organizations large and small use to engage people in public policy and issue campaigns. And most of our workforce are millennials I for better or worse, Emma millennial too. And so it's been really interesting and kind of seeing their transition from a more traditional workforce to a millennial based workforce that are much more issue focused. They want to really believe in the place that they work for. Our company kind of melds those two together. Yeah.

 
John Stoll 

So I want to sort of dovetail right off the last session, we're going to talk about onboarding at first, but before we do that, a couple of stats and just to let you know, we're going to do q&a at the end if we have time. And who's not working from DC? Okay, so we've got a few DC, Francie you're from Connetticut  Charles, France. So we don't have a West Coast contingent up here. I'm from the Midwest. And so you all have you have different regional this, I find that this these lot of these issues really can be drastically different based on where you're sitting, and what kind of company or organization you're part of or running. So please don't hesitate to have real burning question that we haven't gotten into. For instance, in the last session, someone from Kettering got up to talk about co Ops, and it's a core issue with apprenticeship, but sometimes we forget about the difference between those and I think it led to a good sort of conclusion to that, as well. But so, one of the things about millennials is they get bashed all the time. guys like me, are barely out of our millennial pants, but we're a little bit older and You know, kids these days, right? That's kind of the the trend that has been around since Moses. So it's not new for the older folks that think that the world is going to hell in a handbasket because the people younger than them Don't act like them. I want to kind of take this from a perspective that there's a lot of positives there. Feel free to say, you know, Millennials like me, bug me because but also to talk about solutions. And you know, one of the key words that was used as leadership, how this is changing leadership, we're not necessarily talking about, you know, no offense, but we're not talking about the hourly entry level. 16 year old job here, we're talking about the backbone and the trunk of the economy today in the workforce, there are more people in the workforce who are millennials than any other demographic in the United States. I think there are some things that are shaping their views and feel free to correct or affirm but 911 was a very good shaping moment in many of their lives. And then a few years later, the financial crisis, which we didn't only disrupt psychologically in households, but also the idea of saving, and retirement and faith and stock markets and faith and employees. Some of the things that are fun that are said about millennials, and I don't know that this is all that different than whatever I am at 42 years old, but they are tree hugging, they're less interested in making money. They're less religious, they love their pets and they don't own homes. That was just a basic collage of prominent headlines coming out of your favorite newspapers in mind, like the Washington Post's was Wall Street Journal, The New York Times so we're not talking about the onion here. Very important to realize that some of the interesting things that I read about and I feel free to again, affirm or deny that these happened there, that is the work versary so one year in you have to affirm that they've done a good job by being in a job for a year these millennials need coddling right and hashtag work. When they begin to ask for that's when they begin to ask for their first promotion. And guys like me are like, Hey, I haven't had a promotion in 10 years, get in line. That may or may not be true, I may or may not have. I was an editor for many years at the paper and a bureau chief and dealt with my sheer high level of anxiety is something that I read recently, that, particularly among the younger trunch of this demographic band, is they enter the workforce with a lot more anxiety than any other generation. I don't know, maybe they read the newspaper. But I don't know anybody who could be addicted and glued to social media and not have anxious tendencies. But 54% of workers under the age of 23 say they felt anxious or nervous due to stress in the preceding month, but I think most of us do, but that it plays a major role in the way they think about their employer and employment and whether they can trust the ecosystem and the country. evident that has been made between employer and employee. And that's very important when you're a chief of staff, or you're the founder and you're trying to run something and say, hey, we've made a commitment. And on the other end, somebody is very anxious. They're not sure whether they can trust you. And there's a lot of competition in terms of places where they can work right now. Some of those are some of the very interesting things that are shaping the way that millennials are, particularly one the younger set are entering. I think what's true for the whole cohort is that they look at work in retirement and life stages differently. And this is where I want to get into our first question is, retirement is a retirement at the age of 65 is a very 1930s concept when life expectancy was much lower than it is today and far lower than we expect people entering the workforce today that they will live and work be healthy. engaged much longer. And the biggest growing set of the workforce will be people over 55 well into the future because they're just not retiring. And so you are now dealing with people who are thinking about their careers, thinking about work and thinking about their time at your company in much different ways than I did when I joined the Wall Street Journal. I said, Okay, I'm here for life. And I don't know that that's the case. Don't tell my employer said that. But that's not necessarily the case at the younger end. So Francine will go ahead and kick us off with how you're thinking about onboarding and, and engaging with these people when they first come in to terawatt.

 
Francie Jain 

Yeah, you know, what's interesting about what you're just saying is, I think that it could be with you for life. It's conditional. It's not like they will take this job and they expect you to hire them for 30 years, and they expect to be with you for 30 years and get a gold watch. It's like, if you do things that they expect a good employer would do. They would stay with you as long as it works for them. And so one of the things that I've been finding my research and is just this interest and career development on the behalf of the employer. And so I think in my Gen, I'm Gen X, and I sort of think, Oh, I hope my employer will pay for me to learn things and support my career development, but it was mostly on my own. And now this generation, I think part of the trust is exactly what you're talking about it, if if they feel like you're investing in them, and they invest in you, it's much more reciprocal relationship, then it feels like it was for me being a young person. And yeah, I mean, one of the big things, the reason that companies are getting into the space of developing their employees is because of retention and because of recruitment. And they like, I'm sure we've all read these articles that millennials, on average, you know, will stay a year at a company and leave and they're one of the knocks on them is that they leave quickly. But I think when you dig deeper, it's not that they're leaving and they don't commit, it's that they don't feel like when you say culture, you mean it or you when they say when you say flexibility. It's not true. And so we were talking about this No, they're true believers. So if you're going to say all these buzzwords that everyone in my generation said with abandon, and did not mean it, then you have to really back it up. And I think that is a big driver.

 
Gerald Kierce 

I think that's absolutely true. I also think there's a little bit of a market dynamic that comes into play because we're seeing essentially, at least on the knowledge, worker side, job opportunities, centralized in certain market economies like San Francisco, New York, DC, whatever that might be. So as more opportunities grow, theoretically, Millennials have more opportunities to find a job that better fits their needs. So they might stay a year and find out about a new opportunity in a company that is in a cool neighborhood that they've always wanted to be in whatever that might be. Right. I think there's there's more opportunity because you're seeing the urbanization of opportunity, and after a certain probably to short amount of time. They're starting to rethink. Is this the right place? Because of the reasons you articulated it? Are they do they actually mean culture like this company says they do. So maybe I should move there. So it's it's there's kind of macro implications, in my opinion as well.

 
John Stoll 

View from a millennial.

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah. Well, I mean, the other thing I'll add to that, what you're saying is, Millennials are also okay with getting up and moving somewhere new, right? It's not the generation that is staying in one place for a really long time, not just at a company, but frankly, in any city in any given city, state or even country. And so the ability to have this transparent information everywhere on the web, to be able to easily search for new opportunities, and to not be tied to where you are, provides this this opportunity to get up and move when there is a new opportunity. Yeah,

 
Jennifer Gannon 

and I'd say the, like technology of you know, remote work, flexible work really just transforms how Millennials think about work like, do you really have to go into the office every day? Yeah, not really. But people want that community and so they want this. Their work to be a, like a place where they enjoy the their co workers they want to be fulfilled and more than just their work.

 
John Stoll 

So I'm going, Charles,

 
Charles Kergaravat 

if I was to add something about this, there are 73 million millenniums in the us right now. Six and 10 are looking for a new job. And we are sort of mad at them for that. But the reality is, what is the draw that these millenniums have been given? Well, quite simply, is they have more student debt than anyone before them. So the average is around 30 K. And the average first home purchase for them is 39% higher than their parents. So we can't necessarily blame them for looking for a better deal elsewhere. What we need to do as companies is to do the same thing that the brands have done where Selling to them who have scrambled is to think about this case, the employee experience the brands have thought about the customer experience, we need to reshape the employee experience and put them at the heart of what we're doing in our companies. So that requires us to think about where they are and where they want to go. So I think they want to learn something every day. They want a manager that's a mentor, and not someone that's just managing them. So if we start reshaping the employee experience, I think we're maybe keeping them much longer than we do. Now.

 
Jennifer Gannon 

This goes back to fancies onboarding, I feel like onboarding is a is kind of a new concept. When I first had my job, it was just like use your computer, here's your desk have at it, but when when we hired now we like okay, this is your office, these are our company values. These are the the what the company stands for. This is what we expect when you work here. We want you to take care of your co workers. We want you to really take pride in your work and that's Something that, you know, we think about all the time, like 15-20 years ago, even when I started the market 15 years ago like it, that was not a thing.

 
John Stoll 

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that if you're leaving people short at the door and saying, Here's your office, or here's your desk, have at it, there's a sense of emptiness. And the other side, this is a, I think it's true of Gen Xers as well. It's probably I'm sure it's true of everyone. I don't want to discriminate an age component here, but this is a perpetual search for meaning. And this is what kind of has a perpetual job search going on. I consult and I used to teach so I consult a lot of former students and or younger younger people in our organization who have left and there I get phone calls about one thing about leaving, you know, and you're scratching your head, but it's it what what, what do you sense is drawing this six and 10 of 75 million people to be in more of a perpetual job search mode. I know why I would be About the Benjamins. But I don't feel like that's the case. When you start moving even a decade younger than I am,

 
Francie Jain 

there's research showing that most people leave not for money, but for career development. And I think that that's what's happening is that if you are fulfilled, you're, you're more happy to make budget, budgetary decisions about your life. But if you have to kind of suck up a job, you need to get paid for that. I cannot. It's also Gen X, you know, I mean, like, I remember thinking that like, I, they can't pay me enough for this job. You know, I think there's this relationship between happiness and payment, and you can accept a lot less when you believe in the mission, and you feel supported.

 
Jennifer Gannon 

With what, like Charles said, about home prices, at least in the DC area. Our Millennials are buying homes, but they're much farther in the suburbs. And so it's like, do you want to commute an hour and a half? Or do you want and working the job that you like, or do you want to work at a job that's kind of okay, it's 10 minutes away. You saved three hours of your day. It gets it has to be a combination of work life balance.

 
John Stoll 

I'm interested in something Charles said about student loan. It was a it was a question for later, but I want to pull it ahead. What does the employer need to think? I mean, for me growing up, the second largest purchase you'll ever make in your life is a car. The first is a house and nobody talked about student loans. And then my cell phone bill is now my largest purchase. Those things are kind of all seem subordinate to the fact that you're almost ubiquitously pulling people into the workforce, who are laden in an enormous amount of debt that their parents didn't have to deal with it. Maybe even their older siblings didn't have to deal with but it just isn't increasing snowball. How does the employer deal with that since it's such a fixture in a big part of the millennials?

 
Charles Kergaravat 

consideration

 
Gerald Kierce 

it's a really tricky one. I don't know what the employee I'd love to hear thoughts here. I don't know what the employer is to do. Thinking about the student debt, the employees inheriting I can tell you there's there's a couple of things that I've seen one that we do one that I've seen other organizations. One is if you spend a certain amount of time student loan forgiveness, right? You see that in the government, you see that in big consulting companies and the like, and I think you spend four or five years and they'll and they'll do that for you. One of the work that one of the things that we do is for employees that are interested in pursuing graduate programs, we actually help subsidize part of that so that you don't increase your burden. Now, the expectation is that you said you spend a certain amount of time afterwards basically giving back but we see that in a lot of organizations kind of big and small, right.

 
Charles Kergaravat 

I would say something I would maybe rethink the perks. I think we've said Oh, yeah, you know, you've got ping pong tables, you got unlimited snacks, and it's going to be all good. And you're like, well, I got a lot of student loan debt, you know, so and I schools expensive and stuff. So it's rethinking the day to day and you mentioned anxiety. And in the past, if someone came to you and your often said, Hey, I'm feeling a bit burnt out. Really well have a scotch. And nowadays. Nowadays, we're telling people meditate. And I think we need to realize what we're doing with maybe an always on culture and allowing people to have greater flexibility number one for their lives and for their well being thinking about well being as something that is a perk, and not potato chips and ping pong tables as being the perk.

 
John Stoll 

Yeah, I mean, it's not a typical, it's kind of the inverse of what we thought about with people coming in and like will support your retirement will give you a 5% match or 3% match. And, you know, sort of what my introductory remarks talked about is I don't know that it you know, I've talked to a lot of folks in their early 20s who are thinking, wow, I want to, you know, I really want to start saving for retirement. I mean, they can't get out of the sense that they've got this giant snowball of debt that they've got to work down as well. I mean, any anybody have any percentages or ideas of what your work workforce, the complexion of them with this debt looks like if you've done any kind of mining in there did is that? Is that out of bounds for an employer to kind of worry about in your is it? That's a good question.

 
Francie Jain 

I mean, it feels like a good question. I think the larger companies it sounds, that could be a great thing to start pulling people about. Yeah, I mean, I think that's one of the things also that is such a millennial change is like, pulling your employees for what they want for a perk. You know, it used to be like, I am the CEO and like, you will get Pepsi's as a perk. And now people are like, you know, people, like I always say to people, what should we do you tell me, you know, Who should we give to a Christmas time? Or, you know, what should? What conference do you want to go to you tell me what your career development is? You know, I think there's much more engagement is what they're looking for.

 
John Stoll 

Yeah. And one of the one of the reasons I asked is, again, I think the employer has always set the template on what those perks are going to be and if you're if you're going to Think more design thinking for your employment base as if they're almost a customer within an environment? Should, you know we need to think about what these folks want and what they're being offered at competitive competing firms, as well. interested to on the on the part of the question, France, you said, you know, knowing what they want, how intimately does this employee want to be known by their employer,

 
Alina Hamden 

I think there's a really strong interest. We know at our company that millennials really enjoy having that manager relationship. So it goes much more beyond your leader managing you, but really having a relationship with your manager and having meetings on a weekly basis. Whereas maybe before they were bi monthly, they really want to get to know their manager, they want their manager to get to know them. The other piece of this is also that that person feedback loop that is so important to millennials. And I would actually love to understand from you all what the cadence of that feedback loop looks like not just with managers, but also with the larger leadership group. How do you how do you pull your your team, which includes a lot of millennials, and how do you kind of inform the decisions or actions that you take from the those that feedback? But yes, I think it's this constant relationship and constant kind of meeting with your manager that just needs to happen for millennials.

 
Charles Kergaravat 

I love this because you're talking about meetings and way better way they have a product for that talk. So one of the things that we talked about when we talked about millenniums only 29% of them are engaged, right? And that's a scary number for an employee. But if you have meetings with your manager, that are very often you are two times more likely to be engaged in your organization. But the problem is usually when we do meetings, feedback or building really kinships is not what we're doing. Because we have a sort of structure of hierarchy of saying it's very top down, I'm sharing you information that maybe you're allowed to hear, and you're in this process, and then maybe wait a while you've been here long enough. And then you can, you know, get the transparency necessary. And we really have to rethink this insane creating feedback loops. Is all information shared one on one in person, or does technology help this making interactions more fluid? So we do have to rethink this. And feedback and feedback loops are super important.

 
Francie Jain 

I almost, you know, it makes me think of a funny thing. It's almost like the Gen X and the baby boomers almost me like tutorials on how to work with millennials, because I think there's this first panel. Yeah, it's almost like a friend. Like I kind of see it as like a frustration. Like, I'm trying to do this and this is my process and like, you're not doing it. And they're thinking the same thing. And I think it's not that we're that FAR Part of me. We're all like humans or Americans, like you know, on the stage, but I think My that might be part of the conversation too is like the translation. And I think using tech helps the millennials Connect, you know?

 
John Stoll 

And how often and how often to on the other end. So I think one of the part of that question that question about how intimately do they want to be known? Is that a just a no no to say, Hey, I was checking out your Instagram and stuff like that mean? Do they? They're like, that's off limits. I don't care like I wouldn't. Somebody came up to me and said, Hey, I saw you had another job, whatever. But is, is there a there's some new rules as you sort of get younger, with with what is okay. For a 42 year old guy or 50 year old manager, you know, the CEO of the company for her to say to a new hire that you would think Yeah, we're just we're just showing you that we care about you. I mean, the rules of the game changed a little bit. I think

 
Jennifer Gannon 

millennials have created their own boundaries. So I I'm on the older CUSP, but I have a much younger sister who's on the younger cousin and she has her regular in Instagram, and her work Instagram. And so and I that's like, pretty common. So I think, and you're gonna have them locked, one of them is locked so you can sell anything that's on the public one. That's fair game, right? And so I'm like, okay, I want to record I have my work Instagram, my work, you know, Twitter and that's, that's, it's up to the person to decide what they're comfortable with.

 
John Stoll 

It's really important because I think you're starting to see older people like me behave like that, like, just very practically my Instagram is not open for the public, because it's for our family to share pictures and stuff. My Twitter is like just an advertisement for the Wall Street Journal. That's what it's become. And I wonder if if, if so I, the way that the news business has changed is we have gone to a mass distribution, where you either got it delivered at your doorstep, or you bought it at the local CVS and or Kroger or whatever. And now, with digital clearly, we're all Reading on you know devices. The reporter the my job, which I begrudge every day is distribution. I'm like the paper boy, right? Because I'll get out there and tweet it and put it on these platforms are millennials okay with having their sort of life co opted by their company? are they wearing it on the suit? I'm proud of where I worked. And I you know, it's just become second nature that everything that I tweet is about the Wall Street Journal or about the news business. I think

 
Gerald Kierce 

I don't know this is true for everyone, but I do think the millennials do feel a sense of identity attached to their profession, their livelihood. That I think if if the if the intentions are right, like I do think that a lot of millennials are generally okay with that.

 
John Stoll 

Yeah. So it's okay for to expect or it's the norm to expect that you're going to take some of this home with you and where the where the colors at home are. Yeah Be proud of the products, even if you're not in communications or some role that would force you to do that.

 
Gerald Kierce 

Yeah. So I think when we think about the broad arc of human history, this idea of kind of knowledge worker is really kind of new. And, you know, before the the output that you produce was very well known you produced widget or something physical and, and, and the output was was very clear. I think now that we think about knowledge working, and that we think about a more kind of fluid work life balance, feedback is increasingly necessary, because you don't necessarily know whether you're producing exactly what needs to be produced. Sure, you can be in sales and you have a number, you can be an engineer, and you have to code and you can be in support and you have tickets, but at the end of the day, like, those are just arbitrary numbers in some respects, right. So I think the idea of constant feedback is is really important and I think that kind of goes back to the like, identity. So the criticism from

 
John Stoll 

a more entrenched established manager is if you need feedback from me, you're not a self starter, you're not entrepreneurial. I want you to go out there and figure it out. How does that go over with the millennial? Because I hear exactly what you're saying. I've worked in some cultures overseas, where it's very much you need to be prescriptive, because they're expecting detailed information. In America. It's all you know, we're all entrepreneurs, we all want to kind of come up with it on your own. That sounds good. But I wonder if it really works in this workforce. And you can't say it's a case by case. I mean, what do you how do you What's the overall strategy of how entrepreneur you know you're running your own company? How entrepreneur Do you want your people to be? How prescriptive Do you want

 
Francie Jain 

that? I think the big actually one of the big issues I think about with millennials is they want to be entrepreneurial, right? They want to run with something and have ownership and I want that too, but I also want them to do it the way I want it. And I want them to do it the right way. And so that strikes me always as like a really big generational contract. So what I do is I have this wonderful employee, Alma, and she does our marketing and social media. And I just, you know, I just make sure she checks in with me. And we talked about what's going on, but she has excellent judgment, and I trust her. But you know, we just touch base a lot and like, make sure we're on the same page. And then that helps her grow. I think professionally. It's not like feedback, like you got a 10 on your writing, and you got a three on. Yeah, you know what I mean? It's really much more like, hey, you're doing a great job. Can you do this for me? And can you know, and maybe come to this conference and learn this would be great for you, great for us. And it's just a different conversation than like these really formal review processes, which by the way, I hated to, like, do you want to, I will go green room.

 
Gerald Kierce 

I think it's important to know that feedback is changing, right? The two years

 
Francie Jain 

away. I don't want any of that, right. I mean, I've had my own business. I just What I think is a good idea. And I just feel like if you're in the same page with someone, you should be able to trust them to, like, entrepreneurial and do stuff on their own. But the trust is it that's the tricky part is like finding work, how you create trust, I think with someone who wants to be entrepreneur.

 
Gerald Kierce 

The one thing is, feedback is also constructive feedback, right? It's not only You're doing a great job, but it's, you know, you could have done better in this particular area. Here's how to think about this in the future. Right. So we

 
John Stoll 

could talk about this the whole time. Yeah, because everybody gets an award, everybody gets a trophy. I didn't get them. But, you know, that's one of the things that kind of drives the criticism of this generation is, well, even if you were, you know, didn't show up, you still got a trophy. So what describe a little bit more, describing a little bit more detail what you mean by constructive I mean, even if you've got an example, because I think we've all thought of constructive for a long time, but this is a different kind of instructive. I've lost in that game before. I've been burned in that game before. So I'm interested in your kind of view of how that works.

 
Charles Kergaravat 

I think one thing is it sounds like the manager you're talking about thinks millenniums are needy, because they need constant feedback. And that's not really the case. 75% of millennials say they want some sort of remote work program or manifesto in their organization, because they want to work remotely. And if you're working remotely, you need a little bit of guidance, you need some expectations to be set to be productive. If you don't get that you're kind of going blind. So, millenniums care, and they care so much that they want more feedback, to be productive to know where they're going. And if you do that, they're off to the races and they'll be the self starters that you want.

 
Alina Hamden 

I couldn't agree more. I don't think the feedback is for this desire to be needy. I think the feedback is for this desire to progress at the company and in a leader contributing member to contributing, right and so if we're saying that millennials have this strong sense of purpose Not just with the companies they work for, but for the work that they're producing. And they want to make sure that they're getting the feedback in order to fulfill that purpose.

 
Gerald Kierce 

I also think the speed at which business moves nowadays nowadays really contributes because, you know, back then you had your six month or annual performance review. And that's where you get the chunk of your feedback delivered. I think now, what you're seeing is more kind of hold space feedback, right? more frequent smaller chunks, and that's easier to absorb easier to act upon.

 
Jennifer Gannon 

I think it's also when you're meeting more frequently, it's easier to pivot to say, Oh, this is a really great start, but this is what I was envisioning. And let's use what you have, and build upon it to make it you know, even bigger, I think if millennials have the greater context of like, this is our vision. This is what we're our goal. And but you can get there the way you want to get there. But let's check in to see where you are in you know, a week or so. That's That's the kind of flexibility and feedback. The one

 
Francie Jain 

thing that also just keep thinking about this is, you know, when I was entered the workforce, and really almost every job I've had, there's such a focus on in person work, and not even FaceTime. But like just being there, who's the first one there? Who's the last one there? You know, the sense of like, really proving your hustle or whatever, how often how quickly do you respond on emails? And I think a lot of that is because people aren't able to come up with KPIs, you know, the more that you're able to be thoughtful about what is success, and how can I come up with ways to motivate you better, less I care, like, I don't care if you're there, and you're like killing it. And if you're a salesperson, you shouldn't be in the office. You know, and so I think there's a little bit of laziness on the part of I think older companies by just saying, well, as long as I know, you're here, like, you know, check plus for being here.

 
John Stoll 

I think I think it puts managers been managing a long time a very uncomfortable position, because it's this idea that Oh, you really Do we need me to challenge you? That's a lot more work. Right? So when you just show up, be happy. But yeah, I've definitely seen that where it's a it's a confounding thing. for someone to say, look, I can do a great job, but I don't want to sit here all day and just be at your disposal. That's where I think you start to have some bleed probably insane. It's fun for a while, but you know, it's not challenging enough for its clearly. Let me ask you this before we get too deep in and lose it. I think this is very important for anyone watching this that as a question and you guys deal with this a lot. Couple things. Number one, I'll ask it this way, because you either consult very close with the co founder, key principle or you are Is it true that the younger employees want to see a bit more of an ethical, social, political stand, I use that term not not in terms of partisan politics, but something that would be seen as kind of having a stand on an issue outside of the widget or the information that you you know, the core product,

 
Jennifer Gannon 

that's something that we benefit from a lot. So our company is mission mission driven. So we provide technology to push to engage people. And so everyone that comes in is like, we want to be at the intersection of porn about core values, public good and technology. And so with that, like we are our staff a highly engaged, they are out there signing up supporting all of our clients on all of the issues that they they that really mattered to them, and we've taken seven year I wing, but we try to stay you know, pretty nonpartisan, but the our team really cares about supporting the, like, education supporting our clients.

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah, absolutely. I think that we go back to purpose driven work that Is that one of the number one things that our company at least that we really call out as something that our team members are looking for, we have the benefit probably like you of being at a mission driven organization that is doing social impact work across the country and globe, providing, you know, critical skills learning to populations, across communities, or across the globe. Something that's really interesting about this is it's not just purpose driven work that millennials are interested in. It's also the idea of having an executive team that is has a lot of integrity that they can look to. And it's also making sure that their peers see that their company has a good brand. So I think this idea of this transparency in social media and the peer network being so strong, is what is driving a lot of this as well.

 
Gerald Kierce 

Also, if you're going to be buried in student loan, might as well work for

 
John Stoll 

your work 90 years. You know,

 
Speaker 

so what you do? Right?

 
John Stoll 

Yeah. And and and in that, what policies do you put into place to make sure that since I think there's a lot of engagement with, with younger workers and in politics and, and and stands that when I was growing up, we didn't really talk about climate change in the office because you know, half the people believed and a half of them didn't talk. How does that change? What kind of policies do you need to put in place? How do you cultivate a place that makes people understand, you know, you know, whether it's sexual identity, or politics or anything that you are safe to talk about this stuff, but also understanding that these are pretty explosive issues that can quickly blow up much faster than they ever could 1015 years ago.

 
Alina Hamden 

For us, it's part of our values. We have a very strong set of values and one of them is valuing diverse diversity of thought and and also valuing change. So that's something that our leadership team continues to talk about at every big meeting, we pull up our values and we go through them. And I think just instilling that I this idea that we can all talk about these things, we don't all have to be on the same page, but making sure that we're kind of fostering this environment that aligns with those values is really important.

 
John Stoll 

Do I want to anybody is preparing for questions. Do we have questions? Anyone? Want to? Okay, we can hear you good enough. I'll repeat it. Yes?

 
Speaker 

Wondering so student loan points as a millennial, I say yes. I'm graduating with five figures. five figures in student debt was really important for me. I was also from a lower income background, but I didn't know financial literacy. I'm curious to see. You know, equipping your employees with tools not just a living pay your rent, but also I'm not to be afraid of investing and saving. And that's one thing that's inspired me through my career is how many people reach out to say, How can we you know, together not just to give you flexibility but also tools to know and therefore change or support your future.

 
John Stoll 

So within the in the stewardship and financial stewardship category me and helping me be a better financial steward and investor. Yeah.

 
Charles Kergaravat 

So I think millenniums 2025 75% of the workforce, so they will be calling the shots. So the tools that we're going to be using, they're the ones are going to decide the older side of the millennium generation has really they're like the taste testers of all the technology that companies have, because the people that they were their bosses, sometimes they don't even know how to turn the thing on. So they would say, Hey, can you do this for me? So millenniums are Really every single new technology that's entered into our workforce, they've probably had their hand and saying, Yeah, I've used it outside the office, this works great. Let's try to get this inside the office. So that pace will accelerate, because they've already started. But now they're the ones that are going to be the decision maker. So we will accelerate technology in our day to day, but we have one issue is I'm like over notified here, like I have cannot take a second to do deep work. So in this process of accelerating technology in our day to day, which is cool, because we're being more efficient, we have to also rethink the time that we're offering employees to take a step back. And that's where technologies that offer asynchronous, sort of I can be involved I can be aware, but answer on my own time becomes much more important. So technology will be here, even more accelerated rate, but we really have to think about the adoption for our teams of those tools. Yeah,

 
Francie Jain 

I would add something a little differently. I mean, we do as you know, soft skills, career development. And in that space, there are many, many online education companies that I see partnering with corporations. So I would imagine like everybody, yeah, yeah, I mean, I would imagine there's a lot of that going on. We're just too small for me to talk about, like, financial issues. But um, yeah, I mean, there's endless, really, there's like, you know, take classes, we do live classes. There's LinkedIn learning, you know, I mean, there's so many different ways to learn things. There's like casual learning, you know, I guess is that there would be a lot of

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah, so this is something that we take, really, to heart. We started around 2009, around the financial crisis. And the first course that we built was actually financial education for high school students, because we realized that a lot of students across the country didn't even know what credit was didn't know how to say for anything. And so we really take that to heart in the corporate space as well. And thinking about how do we educate our workforce on different topics and we have something called ever phi you that our employees can go through. And monthly, there's a course on something different. It was on investment a couple of months ago, but it's on a many different types of the year pretty

 
John Stoll 

high tech rate of people. Is it for is a is it mandatory? Or is it this? not mandatory?

 
Alina Hamden 

entering what

 
John Stoll 

what kind of take rates? Do you see on that? And did they change versus demographic?

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah, I mean, it depends. So some of our the investment one went really well, the public speaking one, maybe not so well. And so the public speaking, perhaps it's it's just a different, different topics and aspirations. Now, we also find that you know, most of the time people are or employees are suggesting topics that they want to cover. There are a variety of ways that we do this. Sometimes they're actually employee LED. So if an employee came from an investment or financial background, they'll actually lead one of those trainings. And it's Someone was a professor or has their doctorate in a specific topic like research, the leader research training. So I'm really trying to cultivate leaders in different ways than just in the typical job progression, but also cultivating leaders in different different aspects at our company.

 
Speaker 

You know, I graduated from college, he sat me down, and he said, You make $600 every two weeks. 1200 dollars coming in a month. You have to pay your rent, you have to pay your food, you have to, you know, blah, blah, blah. I the financial literacy that I was taught was for my family. And now I've been working for 30 something years and I think there's an opportunity for businesses to provide that training on financial illiteracy. You know, I don't know why credit score wise What? You know the power of bullying, like taking advantage of your 401k and batching is alarming to me how many people tell?

 
John Stoll 

I think it's a communication thing. But does your employee trust you? Do they want the information from the employer? Or would they rather get it from some other party that they trust because it sounds good. But there's got to be some some catch here. If I'm going to give this my ad and, you know,

 
Francie Jain 

from the employers perspective, it's like, Oh, is that too invasive? Yeah, I mean, I talked about

 
Jennifer Gannon 

finance. But I think if you create a culture of learning within your organization, then it's it's trust. You know, we do things like lunch and learns all the time where anyone in the company can talk about a book that they read or present on something that You know, we have like a PhD student who's a PhD in math and so he could do a math lesson, then these are things that we do on a regular basis. And I if you do on a regular basis, where people are you can learn, then it's definitely that the trust is there, they'll learn it, they'll be happy.

 
John Stoll 

And I think to the point, I think you're right, that there's an opportunity as a manager versus now what I do, I remember one moment when I had a guy struggling with how he was going to structure his health care and all that stuff, and coming out of a litigious society where I don't want to give you an advice because it comes to me. I was very interested in the fact that he really did want my advice. And he wanted it beyond like how to write a great story or how to go out there and be a good reporter. He wanted my advice on how to structure his healthcare. And I a younger guy, where I think appear might have said I, I don't need I don't need you doing this for me, you know? You just tell me what to write. And we'll you know. So there that's one of the things I was getting at earlier is how intimate of relationship they want to they want your help doing this. If they do, then that becomes a strong connection point. Or is there this strong wall segregation between this is my work life. This is my home life. I don't want the two to intersect. So and again, it can be case by case. But did we have other questions? Yeah, we got some hands. Go over here. And then over here, I see two hands. So we'll start here and then back here.

 
 

Got a

 
Charles Kergaravat 

I think was Alina mentioned earlier that you had low take rate around courses on public speaking. And that's one of them. One of the things within my organization, I work for a large multinational corporation that has a broad mix of different age groups, broad mix of different sort of ways of doing things. But in a lot of our feedback sessions, one of the things that we hear a lot about, particularly from you Younger millennials is how we coach and talk about the concept of presence and effective communication. And you know, recently I was sitting down with a 2324 year old on my team, which I know is slightly below the millennial but I think proves the point of my day is spent talking like this. And if I sing song a little bit, or I do this, what's it matter? And I think a lot of other people view some of the more casual ways of communicating as being not effective with presence, not effective, not to the point or sometimes not taken as seriously. So I'm kind of curious, as we talked about, sort of coaching millennials, we've talked a little bit I think it was Gerald, who talked a little bit about merging different companies, any experience or advice you may have had around how you think about sort of generational differences in communication, and presence and how you sort of coach and talk through some of that.

 
Gerald Kierce 

Yeah, that was a great question. Yeah, that is a great question. I'm going to get a little spicy. here but I, I read a really interesting poem wants to talk about the ecological and biological diversity of oceans and particularly beaches. And basically when, when a when a wave hits a wall, it's a wall. But when a wave glides through sand, it's an ecologically diverse biosphere with all sorts of life. I think we need to treat generational integration in the same way. There. There can't be a wall in between two people, there can't be a wall in between teams, there needs to be this, this constant ebb and flow. younger employees learning from more experienced employees experience, right? Yeah, older employees teaching or learning from younger employees. You know, technology skills or whatever that might be. I think the number one value is empathy. And I think if you drive a culture of of empathy, it's all it's all culture, right? There's no magic, like, thing that we can say here that automatically will solve generational challenge. But I do think building a culture of empathy that is two sided is probably the best way learning.

 
 

Yeah.

 
John Stoll 

The other takes,

 

Speaker  

it's a perfect summary. We had another question. Go ahead.

 
Gerald Kierce 

Like the beach analogy, yes. I'm gonna use that. Yeah.

 
Speaker 

So thank you all for your perspective. My question is more like wanting to know, the panel's feedback and perspective on older millennials like like myself and some of them on the stage, working in legacy industries, banking, utilities, telecom media. So the millennials are producing, they are contributing. They are getting What they're what they want, but they're also a need for progression, going to the next level. So I just I'm just curious, what are your thoughts on some of these industries where there are? its top heavy? There are a lot of leaders. There are a lot of corporate middle managers. Do you feel that some of the older millennials, they feel that their progression is stopped? Because there are a lot of people at the top that are there. As we know, there, there are people that are in the workforce staying longer and longer. Do you feel that the the career development has kind of saturated or plateaued for some of these folks working at the end of a

 
John Stoll 

low latency? waiting line or q? What happened? career development and you know, in leadership development?

 
Francie Jain 

Yeah, I mean, that's, I feel like I should have a really good answer for that. I mean, certainly, that's what we work on, right is career development, but it's kind of this issue. I guess. It's exactly sure how to answer that because it's, if you're a top heavy at a place, and people aren't leaving, and you're, you know, supporting the career trajectory of people and there's nowhere to go, it almost seems natural that they would have to leave or, or, or become an entrepreneur. I mean, I think would be super cool for companies like that is to almost allow those young people who are a little bit antsy and anxious to like start things internally. And this whole idea, you know, like CTA talks a lot about sort of, like, internal entrepreneurship and, you know, give someone like a role to like, create a new thing or see an opportunity and work on it rather than like, wait to get, you know, picked to be CEO or CFO.

 
Jennifer Gannon 

I also think like, it's kind of indicative that there are three chief of staff on this panel, we kind of create our own path. You know, it's a very nebulous position. That means different things at different companies. And it's because, you know, there isn't like a path to SEO right now, but we can get in the C suite via the chief of staff position.

 
Alina Hamden 

Yeah, I think I'll go back to one of the things I said earlier on that, and I'm not in one of those industries, legacy industry. So I, I can't speak specifically to that. But I do think it's important for companies to create leadership positions that aren't typical leadership positions. You can had a working group you can, we've created affinity groups. And so there are people that are heading those affinity groups. We have something called Academy where there are 20 people that are 15 people that are selected every year that go through a year long process where they learn the ins and outs of what an executive does every day. And so there are a lot of different opportunities. But they take time and they take work and management and leaders have to want to take the time to foster that.

 
John Stoll 

We have a quick question. Okay, well, I hear a lot of grumbling stomachs and might be my I learned a lot. I really did and I think there's a couple things you know, clearly The generation gap is dynamic because it is pretty distinct between Gen X. And I've learned the hard way. And I've been able to apply that. Maybe that's why I'm not in management anymore. But the clear communicate and one thing that came through was just clear communication, you know, don't be afraid day, because that then that person can make a judgment much quicker what they're getting themselves into. Don't Don't assume that just because it's going on up here as a leader that that it's going on for the for the younger person, because I think the way this is set up is, you know, you walk in and you think I've got to deal with these young people. They want to know, they want to know what's on your mind. Yeah, I don't know if that's just more of a black and white mentality or just what do I trust, but they want to know what that covenant looks like. So I appreciate it. I'm sure you guys are all available somehow if the people want to connect afterward, but at very productive session, and I look forward to writing about it.

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