Tag Archives: steven murtatroyd

Could ‘demanding’ millennials be a source of great IC ideas?

A persistent myth about millennials (and one that’s highly unjustified in this writer’s opinion) is that they’re a demanding and entitled bunch who want everything their own way.

While many organisations claim to value input and ideas from their workforce, could unconscious bias caused by such stereotypes disuade leaders from accepting input from younger team members?

In our previous article on the #howtoconfuseamillennial Twitter row, we looked at the importance of considering the different communication preferences associated with each age group.

Steven Murgatroyd, Engage Consultant at WM Reply and Chair of CIPR Inside, says employers must combine this approach with a willingness to heed requests and recommendations from younger colleagues, rather than dismissing them as demanding or difficult.

Steven Murgatroyd
Steven Murgatroyd

“Young people have grown up with Facebook and Twitter. They have grown up always being able to comment on things and express an opinion. They’re definitely willing to challenge and question things,” he explained.

“The most important thing from an internal communications point of view is to spend time with employees and find out what they actually want.

“As long as ideas are good and well thought out, I wouldn’t see a problem. But there will be some organisations that struggle with that idea of somebody who might be in their first job saying ‘I think there’s a better way to do this.’

“Some leaders are adapting well. I think others talk a good game. They say they want everyone to have an opinion. But the proof is in those moments when they’re in a meeting and someone says ‘I don’t agree with that’ and they don’t necesarilly take it well.”

Steven also expressed dislike for the ‘millennial’ tag, urging employers not to fall into the trap of basing IC decisions on stereotypes associated with particular labels.

He said: “Labels only lead to assumptions. An assumption that X per cent of your work force is exactly the same can’t be true.”

So what do those at the heart of this debate really think?

We asked some members of the younger generation to share their thoughts on internal communication.

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Simone Corgan
Simone Corgan

Name: Simone Corgan
Job title: Brand Development Manager
Age: 27

What kind of things do you want to be kept updated on at work?
I want to know what the company’s plans are – not the whole detailed plan, but an overview of what the company is looking to achieve, how it plans on doing it and how I can play my part.

What are your preferred channels for receiving internal comms, and why?
It depends on the message. I appreciate why a lot of internal communication is email-based. It’s quick, easy and convenient. The downside is that is can seem disingenuous. When it’s a ‘well done’ or for recognition, I would prefer a face-to-face conversation.

Would information shared in other ways be less interesting or less useful to you?
They may be deemed as old fashioned but I wouldn’t mind a print publication – they’re always handy to read on a coffee break.

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Ben Nertney
Ben Nertney

Name: Ben Nertney
Job title: Media Buyer
Age: 22

What kind of things do you want to be kept updated on at work?
Financial updates help me to understand what the opportunities are, or big wins to go after. Also, any extra activities, such as any perks that are currently being run. Things like this are some of the only internal comms I actively read.

What are your preferred channels for receiving internal comms, and why?
My least favourite channel is email. I get about 150 per day and internal comms always gets deprioritised over my work. We have a lot of TVs in our offices which are on a loop of internal comms. This is more effective to me than other forms of communication because it is stand alone and draws my attention.

Would information shared in other ways be less interesting or less useful to you?
Yes. If I’m completely honest I ignore a lot of comms through email and intranet. Comms on subjects with no relevance to my role but delivered in the right way get more of my attention than subjects that do have a direct relevance to me, delivered via the wrong channels.

** Steven Murgatroyd is hosting the CIPR Inside internal communication conference today Tuesday, 4 October, called ‘Closing the Gap’, which will feature workshops and case studies on how to direct strategy in a positive way to close the gaps in an organisation. Visit www.ciprinside.co.uk/event/closingthegap for more information.