Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Karen Miller-Morris, the Head of Talent Strategy and Innovation for Talent Acquisition at Cisco, for a feature in the Silicon Valley International Association of Business Communicators newsletter. I really enjoyed speaking with Karen, it is always a pleasure to speak with someone who is truly passionate about their career. Karen is extremely enthusiastic about Cisco’s STEM outreach program and was full of good advice on how businesses can adapt their communication processes to appeal to ‘millennials’.
Here are some key highlights from the interview:
Theresa: What communications-related challenges do you face in your work? How is messaging adapted to appeal to a younger, less experienced potential workforce?
Karen: Approximately 80 percent of our workforce in 2016 is expected to be millennials. It is essential to understand their work and communication preferences. A few examples include: millennials appreciate constant, real-time feedback. The traditional annual review is not timely and can be uninspiring. Millennials expect more flexibility in the workplace, and things are shifting to accommodate that preference for all workers. Managers need to fully leverage technology to best engage with millennials. Cisco was one of the first companies to allow employees to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work, this is a growing trend. Millennials global reach is far greater than ever before, and they want the option to collaborate virtually with colleagues from around the globe.
Theresa: How do you think your experience working with millennials can be applied at IABC?
Karen: Get comfortable with social media, real-time interactive communications is what appeals to millennials. Make it interactive, respond to the community. The personal touch goes a long way.
Theresa: Do you have any career advice for young professionals?
Karen: Keep in close touch with your network. Maintain good strong relationships. Don’t be afraid to follow your passion and do what you want to do. Be confident. Do the right thing. Keep your network strong and go for it. You’ll regret what you didn’t do more than what you did.