Kristen Soltis Anderson talks millennials
The author ofThe Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America, recently spoke about working with millennials.
At the 44th Annual LABI meeting on February 12, leaders in business, government, education, and those involved within the community came together to listen to Anderson, who was their morning keynote speaker at the meeting.
Anderson has been an ABC News Contributor, a columnist at The Washington Examiner, Resident Fellow at Harvard Institute of Politics in 2014, and a co-host for a weekly, bipartisan podcast calledThe Pollsters. These are only a few things she has done.
The focus topic for her presentation was titled "Generational Shifts: Transforming American Politics." It began with research on the millennial generation, or those who were born between 1981 and 1996.
Currently, there are about 75 million millennials in America. That number is expected to cap at 81 million millennials by, or before, the year 2050. Millennials get a lot of criticism, too, and we have internalized a lot of that criticism.
"One-third, or fewer, millennials don't identify themselves as a millennial due to the amount of negative stereotype that comes with the label," Anderson said. "In a study where we showed them a series of words, many of them did not believe that the words 'patriotic' or 'hard-working' represented them because of the stigmas."
Research that Anderson evaluated showed that someone who turned eighteen in 2016, in time to vote, on average is more likely to continue to vote until the year 2076. Research has also shown that political events that occur earlier in your life are the most formative to your political views as you grow older. Essentially, the events that happened in the past help to cement our views in the future and long-term.
"The biggest challenge in political views between millennials and baby boomers include things like race, climate, marijuana, and LGBT rights," Anderson said. "Millennials also believe we need to focus more of our efforts at home, in the United States, and stay out of meddling with foreign affairs."
In the bookThe Righteous Mind, recommended by Anderson, there are five moral foundations, or "tastebuds," that the author Jonathan Haidt shares. These include care, loyalty, fairness, authority, and sanctity. Anderson explains that, to millennials, care and fairness are most important.
"Millennials really feel that if it is not hurting anyone, then it doesn't involve them. For example, two gay friends who get married. Their marriage doesn't negatively impact their lives, so they are less likely to resent it," Anderson said.
In regards to fairness, millennials focus on race and equality the most. This makes them more risk-adverse.
"I think the biggest question for businesses, when it comes to millennials, is can institutions adapt to a new generation without losing the older generation?" she said. "For example, Trump's 'Make America Great Again' slogan really appealed to the older generation. It helped them to remember a fonder time. Whereas for the younger generation, it gave them hope that we could revert back to original times while also incorporating the new, like technology."
Although millennials are interested in socialism, they don't oppose capitalism in businesses. What they don't like, however, is when they have to work three jobs to pay their bills, while a CEO may be able to stay at home and still pay their bills.
How do millennials want people to describe them, though? After the 2012 election, Anderson looked at information on how millennials wish they were perceived. The three top words chosen by those in the research were caring, intelligent, and hard-working.
"So, when it comes to the workplace, and employing millennials, treating them with care and fairness will bring them a long way, and is of utmost importance," Anderson said.
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