How to Engage Millennial and Generation Z Colleagues

Staff, faculty and students who are 35 and younger now make up about 36 percent of the Johns Hopkins Medicine family.

I recently had the opportunity to learn more about millennial and Generation Z colleagues from Tina Wells, an inspiring and dynamic expert on marketing to young people. Wells started Buzz Marketing Group when she was just 16, and she’s only 37 now!

Wells, who came to Johns Hopkins to share her insights about our young coworkers and students, described digitally savvy readers who gather information from a variety of sources and have an amazing ability to filter through noise and clutter in search of transparency and authenticity. She explained that they are used to interacting with information through comments, likes and shares, and by asking questions and contributing ideas.

Changing our internal communication strategy to meet the needs of these vibrant and insightful team members is essential — and exciting.

That’s why we plan to create a modern digital workplace hub that will serve as a central gateway connecting all 42,000 Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty, staff and students to the information, resources and tools they need.

This communications hub will also connect users to each other, making it easy for them to share and react to content. Everything will be easy to read on mobile devices, and users will be able to choose what messages they receive based on their job, location and interests.

The redesigned intranet — and new apps that will send important messages in real time — will create a more engaged, informed and productive workforce.

We will ask millennial colleagues from all over Johns Hopkins to help lead this redesign. Growing up with the internet, social media and mobile devices, they are accustomed to the limited character counts of Twitter and the attention-grabbing energy of GIFs, and they expect internal communication to be just as engaging and authentic as the rest of their online life.

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