How the Millennials are changing the face of leadership

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Tia Pope may be an expert in cryptographic security, but he lives his life in a way that is almost the opposite of secrecy.

Pope is an engineer at the Cisco technology company. His specialty is cryptography, a profession dedicated to keeping important information hidden from prying eyes. But the Pope is extremely visible in the company and beyond. In recent years, he has conducted an internal conference on security issues. The Pope, who is in his early 20s, has also taken advantage of a Cisco community assistance program to offer robotics courses to disadvantaged children in South Africa and India. And Cisco broadcast its volunteer work on its website and on social media channels.

In fact, Pope is a millenary hard, lively and live. And she says she found a home in Cisco, where leaders gave her the power to remodel the security conference, the flexibility to work at home to take care of her child, and the freedom to do charitable work around the world. Four years after coming to the company after graduate school, the Pope has no intention of leaving.

It is not tempted by the texts of the recruiters of some of the companies that first tried to take it. And he feels bad for friends of other technology companies that lack a caring culture and power sharing.

"I'm getting lyrics and I'm thinking & # 39; I'm glad I dropped you all," says the Pope. "I'm talking to my friends and they feel very limited or limited about what they can do, or just to what they count as individuals ".

With its ability to create a welcoming and stimulating environment for Pope, it is not surprising that Cisco is in the list 201 of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, the annual ranking drawn up by the research and analysis company Great place to work in collaboration with Fortuna.

Ultimate Software, producer of applications for human resources, has been classified n. 1 in the list of this year, followed by the hotel giant Hilton and the software company for companies Salesforce.

To determine the 100 best workplaces for the Millennials, Great Place to Work analyzed the results of anonymous surveys of over 4.5 million people, who answered more than 60 survey questions. Eighty-five percent of the assessment is based on what millennia say about their experiences of trust and ability to reach their full human potential in their organization, regardless of who they are or what they do. The remaining 15 percent of the rankings are based on their feedback on daily innovation experiences, company values ​​and their leaders' effectiveness.

While studying the data, Great Place to Work also found that this dynamic, often misunderstood generation is changing the face of leadership, just as millennials are starting to take on leadership roles in a greater number.

Research shows that the style of leadership that millennials are shaping and trying to emulate is more diverse and inclusive than in previous generations. It's more about partnership. It's about staying true to personal values. And it's more about making room for people – especially father and mother – to look after their loved ones outside of work.

In fact, millennial-style leadership is far from regimented environments that have long-defined workplaces, where employees have little or no flexibility, have to do what they are told and have to divide into a "professional" and " personal "himself.

Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the millennial management fits quite well into the transition to a flatter, faster and fairer business world. We are ready to enter a era of more effective teams and organizations, led by a new generation of authentic, proactive and participatory leaders. What we at Great Place to Work call "For all the leaders". For more information on research, read A great place to work for everyone.

A particularly surprising result of the research is that when the millennia experience a great culture, they want to stay. The members of this generation who call their organization a great job are 50 times more likely to plan a long-term relationship with their employer than millennial employees who do not live in an exceptional work environment. Eighty-seven percent of the millennials of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials say they want to stay there for a long time, about twice the national average of 44 percent.

A great culture, therefore, is a solution to the problem of turnover that many organizations have to face with younger employees, especially in today's restricted labor market.

Cisco stands out for breaking the code on a great culture for young people. His results on the Great Place to Work Trust Index survey increased significantly from 2018 to 2019. There have been particularly large leaps in Millennials' responses to the statements, including:

  • We celebrate people who are looking for new and better ways of doing things, regardless of the outcome.
  • My work has a special meaning: this is not "just a job".
  • I want to work here for a long time.

As a result, Cisco now has 95 percent of its millennials claiming that the company is a great place to work, from 91 percent last year.

The strong performance allowed the organization to go up by 44 points in the list of the 100 best workplaces for Millennials at No. 9.

Carmen Collins, Senior Social Media and Cisco Talent Brand Manager, says that the key to making millennials feel at home is transparency.

"Cisco holds meetings of all employees called Cisco Beat 10 times a year, in which Cisconians has a first-hand look at products and campaigns, as well as open and honest questions and answers sessions," says Collins. "Nothing is off limits. If the answer is" I don't know "a question, it's a sequel."

Collins is not kidding about the no-off-limits comment. Cisco leaders have shown willingness to address sensitive issues that extend beyond the boundaries of the company.

"When Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade committed suicide, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins sent an email about how important a problem is and how Cisco doesn't want a stigma on it, with resources for employees, if necessary, "says Collins.

Collins herself is a Gen Xer. But she and other Cisco leaders recognize the importance for millennials of being able to bring their full and authentic selves to work.

"The social media channels of @WeAreCisco present employee voices to attract new employees, but also to keep current employees. If you want to know what it's like to work at Cisco, it's in the form of what the real employees say," says Collins . "What you see when you apply is the case when you enter the front door. For employees, this means that they can be themselves: our motto is" Be you, with us ".

For Caroline Olson, being herself means being a yoga teacher as well as an engineer. The 24-year-old works as a pre-sales engineer for Cisco based in San Francisco. Cisco has assigned her the service of some of the largest organizations in the Northern California region, but also has time for Olson to teach yoga classes at 5.30pm. Thursday and Sunday

Olson is grateful for Cisco's flexibility in terms of hours of work and location, so he can move from data networks to falling dogs every week. His commitment to a full life is something he sees in many of his millennial colleagues. "We really appreciate our work-life balance," says Olson. "I can get balance and feel rejuvenated outside the office so I can bring my best to my work."

While leaving room for millennials like Olson and Pope to live the lives they want, Cisco is seeing its business results progress. For the three months ended April 27, Cisco's revenue increased 6% to $ 13 billion and its net income rose 13% to $ 3 billion.

The strong performance is in line with the search for Great Place to Work on the business benefits of a "For All" culture, in which a company maximizes its human potential by creating an excellent work experience for everyone, independently who they are or what they do for the organization.

Research shows that Great Places to Work For All has three times more revenue growth than its less inclusive peers.

At Cisco, millennials like Olson and Pope are carrying out the organization in various ways. Consider the impact of the Pope on the Cisco security conference. What was once a highly technical conference with very little diversity of voices has become a much more inclusive affair. Papa, who is African American, has not only invited speakers beyond the white male voices who had been the main presenters in past years, but has also expanded the event to include clients, external partners and Cisco functions such as human resources and marketing. Cisco marketing officials, for example, have brought their expertise into effective communication to help generate infographics for an anti-phishing campaign to improve the company's defenses against such attacks.

Papa also introduced a playful element, incorporating an "escape from the room" experience as part of the event. This was just another way in which this millennial cryptography expert is expressing itself to a wide audience.

"I have a ship to show my creativity," says the Pope of the annual conference. "I personally believe that security involves everyone."

See the complete list of the top 100 Millennial workplaces for 2019, divided by size:

Ed Frauenheim is senior director of content for Great Place to Work and co-author of the book A great place to work for everyone.

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