An Architect’s Review of Winning With Millennials

  • May 2, 2016

John Paul DeFrank, Managing Principal, was recently asked to review the book Winning With Millennials for Columns, the magazine of the Dallas Chapter of the AIA. The book focuses on attracting, retaining and empowering the next generation of deign firm professionals. Here’s what we can learn from the book according to John Paul:

As I write this review I do so with the knowledge that our firm is younger (percent of total staff) than we have ever been. A scary proposition, if you are not prepared or have a misunderstanding of that youngest generation (the Millennials) in your firm. Well, the latter was my experience until I met Tim Griffin and read his book, Winning with Millennials. Tim is a mechanical engineer who leads a firm in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and his book does a wonderful job defining the characteristics of Millennials, how to attract them, and how to keep them at your firm.

A few things of note, Millennials were generally born between 1980-2000, are the largest generation since the Boomers and are the first generation to grow up completely immersed in technology. As a group they share many of the traits of their Boomer parents; desire to give back, peer orientation, optimism, and confidence. The biggest difference, however, is impatience and the need for instant gratification.

According to Tim, if you want to attract Millennials, understand “It’s your culture stupid.” Millennials are looking for a fun atmosphere with lots of technology, flexibility in their work schedules and work-life balance. Demonstrate this to them during the interview and you are likely to make a lasting impression.

If you are trying to retain Millennials already in your firm, give them assignments with some real responsibility. Most Millennials have been told their whole lives that they can do anything, and as such, they are confident that they can handle it. Perhaps too confident for such a young age, but don’t let this keep you from giving them the chance.

That last statement is essentially the message of the whole book; giving opportunity and growing the next generation of leaders. Tim says that if you want “to build a legacy, you have to win with people.” Bring these young leaders along with you and “take advantage of a tremendous generation coming out of today’s colleges and universities.”

To read John Paul’s review that appeared in Columns, click here.