Posts Tagged ‘generations at work’
I have a ritual before getting on a morning flight…I buy an Orange-Orange Vitamin Water and a USA Today. It has become a superstitious-based ritual for me now so I never miss doing it. But that’s not the point of this post.
On a recent morning flight after the doors closed and electronic devices were asked to be turned off, I began to read my USA Today and came across an interesting article I wanted to share with you.
It was entitled, “Golden Apps for a Golden Age”, written by Lynn Allison. She shared ten apps, many of which are free, that were created for Boomers and/or that Boomers find helpful.
Here are six that I wanted to pass along. You can research them to get all the details; I’m just giving you the quick descriptions to get the gist of each:
And for any of you Gen X or Gen Y readers out there, be sure to share this info with your parents or the “older” generations at work. They’ll thank you for it!
Bye for now…
I’ve been researching today’s College Students a lot recently due to a few key factors:
1. I know a lot of College Professors and Faculty from a wide variety of educational institutions who constantly complain about “how different” their students are these days versus previous generations. I even hear from younger professors, in their early-mid 30’s, who express this opinion, too, so it’s not JUST coming from Boomer and Veteran generation faculty who have been teaching for 25+ years!
2. I’m getting a lot of speaking invitations from educational institutions (i.e. colleges, universities, and vocational schools) to speak to their faculty about how to better communicate with, and educate, their students. I wouldn’t be getting these invitations if this issue wasn’t “real”.
And I can tell you that regardless of the “type” of school they are from, OR the types of subjects they are teaching, OR the student population they serve, the educators I talk to all share the same frustrations and challenges with the students they teach today.
Here are just a few examples of the common ones I hear (and what I focus on in my presentations to help the educators overcome): Students today are lazy; they need to be told “how” to learn; they show up late for class and want to leave early; they show disregard for homework deadlines and exam dates; their parents call on behalf of their adult child with questions or complaints; Etc…
It’s based on this growing “issue” regarding Millennial (aka: Gen Y) students that I decided to blog about this topic today. I don’t plan to provide answers to the challenges mentioned above in this post; I’m simply bringing this interesting issue to light because I typically write about Millennials from an “employee” angle versus a student angle.
To shed more light on this, I recommend that you read this book: “Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student,” written by Dr. Arthur Levine with Diane R. Dean. It covers 2006 to 2011, and distills information from surveys and interviews with both undergraduates and student-affairs officials at 31 campuses nationwide. Dr. Levine is the president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and former president of Teachers College at Columbia University.
Here’s a brief overview about the book and the information it provides:
An understanding of today’s undergraduate college students is vital to the effectiveness of our nation’s colleges and universities. As Generation on a Tightrope clearly reveals, today’s students need a very different education than the undergraduates who came before them: an education for the 21st Century, which colleges and universities are so far ill-equipped to offer and which will require major changes of them to provide. Examining college student expectations, aspirations, academics, attitudes, values, beliefs, social life, and politics, this book paints an accurate portrait of today’s students. Timely and comprehensive, this volume offers educators, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and employers, guidance and a much-needed grasp of the forces shaping the experiences of current undergraduates. The book:
So whether you’re an educator or an employer, books such as that could be one more tool to help you better understand this new generation you face. And for employers, this could also give you insights for better managing, recruiting and retaining this much-needed generation at work.
I can honestly say they truly are different from previous generations…I’ve been writing, consulting and speaking about Millennials for over 6 years as an expert, as well as conducting Leadership and Personal Branding workshops for Millennial employees and students, so I know them well.
Bye for now!
I am on the final stages of writing my newest book, “Make Your Personal Branding Outstanding: How Any Employee Can Create & Promote Their Own Leadership Brand For Massive Career Success!”. I am very excited about how the book is coming together and thrilled with the interest people have expressed in wanting it when it’s published. My Personal Branding Workshop has become one of my most in-demand over the past 2 years, so this is clearly a very hot topic. And companies like eBay, Wells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson wouldn’t be hiring me to conduct it, multiple times, if it wasn’t resonating with their employees…and my audiences are from ALL generations and career levels! Plus, quite a few companies have me conduct this workshop as part of their overall Leadership Training Programs...and all of this plays into improving employee retention (something many companies are taking very seriously these days).
That said, one of the areas I cover in the book and in the workshop, is how to promote “your” brand at work. It’s always a popular segment in my workshops so I thought I’d share part of that chapter here to not only give you a glimpse of tips I will be providing in the book (it’s crammed full of good info!), but to also just to give you helpful tips to think about now.
And, no, the book is NOT just about how to promote your personal brand! The entire first section of it covers “how” to create a personal brand…ideas for promoting yourself come after that section.
Okay! Without further delay, here is a partial excerpt from one chapter in my new book due out in October 2012 on Amazon (in both print and Kindle versions):
You’ve created your Personal Leadership Brand by following the principles outlined in the previous chapters, and now you want to start attracting some notoriety. This is a good thing! However, it’s an area where many employees who want to achieve extreme career success drop the ball.
Why? Because everyone gets busy and stuck in their department silos. It’s very common, especially if you work for a larger company, to spend a vast majority of your time at work with your department colleagues and rarely expand outside of that world, except to grab lunch somewhere.
But if you want to achieve bigger career success and become more known throughout your company, there are things you need to do within your department and outside of it. Typically, just “doing your job”, even if you’re great at it, isn’t going to be enough to get you where you REALLY want to go.
So let’s look at some key strategies for you to consider…
Networking at the Office: If you work for a larger company that has internal networking groups or clubs (like Women in Leadership Group, an African American Group, a softball team, a running club, etc.), have you joined one that matches your interests? And if you have joined one, do you actively participate?
When I ask this question at workshops, not many hands go up. But this is a KEY strategy! You’ve got to leave your department and get to know people all around the company.
And if you work for a company that doesn’t have internal networking groups, when was the last time you coordinated some sort of networking mixer to bring people from ALL departments together for socializing? Don’t wait for other people to do it!
Remember: This is to benefit your Personal Brand, so make the effort. People will appreciate your coordinating something fun for the company to participate in…and they don’t have to know it is part of your own personal “publicity” strategy.
But aside from participating in internal networking groups or clubs, or coordinating events, you can be proactive at introducing yourself to key people in other departments. I know a woman, who was a middle-manager at a Fortune 500 company, who looked at the org chart for each department, contacted VP’s in each one, and invited them individually to coffee. She simply said that she wanted to know more about their department and career path, and would appreciate 30-minutes of their time.
And what was the result? Not ONE VP declined her offer, plus most of those coffee meetings lasted for more than an hour! That’s significant face time, alone, with senior executives she would have probably never met otherwise.
Within a few months she knew most of the key VP’s throughout the company, and more importantly, they knew her. This then led to many invitations to be on special projects outside of her department, invitations to events she would never have known about before, even job offers from other departments, and finding internal Mentors that she could seek advice and support from.
Yes, it took guts and time to do what she did, but the pay-off for building her Personal Brand within the company was huge!
Go Out of Your Way to Help Others: If someone asks for volunteers on a project, or help with something they’re struggling with, or even help with cleaning the break room, do it. I don’t care what level on the org chart you are, if you’re capable and qualified to do what is being asked, do it. It will reflect well on you in a variety of ways and that is important.
Why? Most people WON’T do it because in our own little minds we think we’re the busiest people on the planet and don’t have time to volunteer for something else. Well, the reality is that most of us DO have the time; we just choose not to make the time.
Present Ideas Creatively: Don’t be the person who puts people to sleep when you do presentations. One of the best things you can do for your Personal Brand is become known as a great presenter. And if you know this is an area you struggle with, hire a Speaking Coach to help you or join a local Toast Masters group in your area to get help and feedback on your skills.
I know employees who have worked on their presentation skills, became very good, and were then asked to do major, high-profile presentations because their boss knew they would do a better job than s/he would. That is huge exposure!
No one likes a boring presentation. I’m not saying you have to juggle and tell jokes. I’m saying you need to have an air of confidence and that creates rapport and presence. Whether you have to do a presentation for 10 minutes to your co-workers and boss at your Monday morning meeting, or conduct a 45-minute presentation to 200+ people, always make it good. Be prepared, practice a lot, and again, get help with your skills if you need it. Good speakers have magnetism and that benefits your Personal Leadership Brand.
Promote Your News: Did you win an award from a club or org you belong to outside of work? Did you write an article that got published? Did you accomplish something cool like hike up Mt. Everest on vacation? If so, share your news! And if your company has an internal company-wide e-newsletter, send them your news!
You never know who may read about it and want to reach out to you because they share a similar interest. It could be a Sr. Vice President that you may have never met, that is planning to climb Mount Everest in a year, and she wants to pick your brain about your trip there…and who knows where THAT new connection could lead you!
Pat Others on the Back: Do not hold back compliments and kudos. And always share them publicly versus waiting until you’re alone with the person. Also, if you know of something a co-worker has done that is exceptional, or went “above and beyond” to get a project done and no one else knows the extra effort they put in, announce it in meetings and/or send out mass emails sharing the news. No one will forget you did that for them, others will think it’s admirable, and that could lead to people doing it for you at some point…and all of that supports the positive building of your Personal Brand.
Speaking at Work: Are there internal company events where you could think of a topic and submit it for consideration? I’m sure there is. Every big company has events throughout the year (departments or company-wide) where they look for employees to be speakers at. And if you work for a smaller company that doesn’t have internal events, you can create your own. Think of a topic that you know would help others at work or in their personal lives, and do a Brown Bag Lunch session. You can even do this if you work for a large company!
Again, you can create your own “events” and that increase your brand recognition. And for an internal presentation at your company, the topic doesn’t even have to be around your “work” expertise. If you practice meditation for stress reduction, but your “job” is as a Software Developer, who cares? You can still promote a Brown Bag Lunch session where you’ll share tips and strategies to reduce stress through meditation. You can promote it company-wide and attract ALL types of employees, from all different career levels, who think the topic is interesting. And, by them attending that, they will then get to know “who” you are and “what” you do in your role at the company. See? Now those who wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to know you at work will know you!
Alright! That concludes the excerpt from my new book due out in October. I hope you found those tips helpful! I also have an entire chapter on how to promote your personal brand outside of work to achieve more notoriety in your industry (not just in the workplace). So be sure to look for my newest book on Amazon this fall…
Bye for now!
Okay…so for over 5 years companies have been hiring me to conduct presentations about how to manage, recruit and retain Millennials (aka: Generation Y). And, as an expert, they also hire me to conduct training workshops for Millennial employees that cover leadership, business etiquette, generations at work, communication and personal branding for career success. BUT, according to an article I came across yesterday, it looks like I might see an uptick of even more Fortune 500 companies contacting me.
Why? Well, according to the article entitled, “Gen Y Traits in the Workplace Unveiled” by Kristin Burnham, she shares:
Millennial Branding together with Identified.com, studied 4 million Gen Y Facebook profiles to obtain better insight into how members of this generation operate professionally-a topic of increasing importance as they are projected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.
According to the study, only 7 percent of Gen Y reports working for a Fortune 500 company-a statistic in line with another report that predicts that 40 percent of the Fortune 500 will no longer exist 10 years from now.
So, where are they going to work? The article states:
Instead, Gen Y workers are turning to startups in which the hiring process tends to be much quicker than that of the Fortune 500, and where Dan Schawbel says Gen Yers feel they can make more of an immediate impact.
While Gen Yers are turning more to startups for employment, they’re also branching out on their own in what Schawbel calls an “unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit.” “Owner” is the fifth most-popular job title, trumped by “server” (No. 1), “manager” (No. 2), “intern” (No. 3) and “sales associate (No. 4).
Retention is also a challenge with Gen Y because according to the report, they only average 2 years at their first job.
These are serious statistics and facts that large companies need to be aware of. If 75% of our workforce is going to made up of Millennials by 2025 (that’s only about 10 years away!!) companies need to start preparing NOW for a solid recruitment and retention plan of talent. I’ve been preaching this for a long time and the smart companies are already doing everything they can to retain their younger talent because they know their companies’ future well being NEEDS younger talent now, and they need to groom them for future leadership positions.
On average, 1 Boomer is retiring every 8 seconds, so companies are also scrambling to retain their employees who are 55+, too. NOT every Boomer was affected by the economic downturn so we have millions of them who CAN retire comfortably at 60-65 years old but companies need their expertise and knowledge to help the younger employees grow.
I’ve written TONS of articles, and have been interviewed by countless media, about these topics because it’s ALL true. But I also find many companies still have their head in the sand and suffer from denial. I have endless research material on the labor shortage the US is facing, and it’s based on the perfect storm of birth rates, Boomers retiring, etc. The numbers don’t lie, people!
Sure, because of the current economy it’s still an “employers” market…however I’ve been warning executives in my seminars that it will change soon, and the competition for talent is going to re-ignite and then it will turn into an “employee” market again and employers will be begging for top talent…and employees will be in control of the whole enchilada.
EMPLOYERS: Start planning NOW and get ahead of the curve…and if you’re a Fortune 500 company, as many of my clients are, YOU really need to take all of this seriously!
Bye for now,
As you read this, Millennial (aka Gen Y) Professionals are being actively recruited prior to, and upon, college graduation. Many are already busy navigating the waters of their first (or second) professional job since graduating.
And as I write this, well-known companies are hiring me to conduct seminars to educate their HR executives and internal recruiters about attracting and recruiting Millennial Professionals, as well as conduct seminars to educate their Gen X and Boomer employees about managing, motivating and retaining them. So, this isn’t just me saying they are a big deal to the future of our professional workforce; companies all over the U.S. and abroad are starting to see it, too.
But before I get into why they are creating a new dimension to diversity, let me give you a snapshot of why this new generation of young professionals has become such a hot commodity in the media and the business world. One key factor is the looming reality of the Boomer Brain Drain that companies across the country are going to feel over the next decade. Here’s one simple statistic, out of many, from the Office of Employment Projections that will quickly put this into perspective: The average large company in the U.S. will lose 30-40% of its workforce due to retirement over the next 5-10 years. Ouch.
And we have as many Gen Xers on the planet as there are going to be, so the replacements for this massive Boomer exodus are the Millennial Professionals. That is why M.B.A. students were being offered amazing employment packages a few years ago, and impressive signing bonuses were being offered. And, due to demand for talent, that trend will pick-up again as the economy recovers. Basically, out of head count necessity, recruiting and retaining them has turned into a big, competitive business.
Through the research for my books, I also realized many Gen X and Boomer professionals in today’s business world rarely have a clue about this new generation entering their domain. This research also led me to understand that the Millennial Professionals have their fair share of complaints about their older work colleagues, and one of their biggest complaints may surprise you.
Aside from companies clamoring to implement, or improve, their rewards and recognition programs, and scrambling to find unique ways to recruit and retain Millennials, they are also dealing with a new dimension to diversity this generation creates. Here is the big complaint I alluded to that may surprise you: Many Millennial employees are claiming to be victims of reverse age discrimination.
We all know age discrimination has typically referred to older employees feeling bumped out by younger co-workers. And this is still an on-going issue as reflected in high profile lawsuits that involve older employees suing companies like FedEx and The Tropicana Casino. In both cases, older employees claim they were laid-off so that the companies could replace them with younger employees who they could be paid less.
But I recently moderated a panel made-up of 5 Millennial women, between 22-26, and they each came from different companies whose names you’d know. All the women had Master’s degrees and each panelist came from a different ethnic background.
When I asked them if they felt they had the same opportunities as their male colleagues, they all quickly said that they felt that gender discrimination was a non-issue (from what they had experienced thus far). And they said that their race was not an issue at work. But they ALL said they face age discrimination on a regular basis and that it was very frustrating.
The 100+ audience members (mainly women in leadership positions ranging in age from 30-60) found this to be so interesting. Most Boomer and Gen X women in business have been battling gender discrimination for years. And, on top of that, many Boomer and Gen X women of color have had to also deal with race discrimination in the workplace. So it was a surprise to the audience that these Millennial women felt neither of those things affected them (at this point in their careers). To them, it was all about not getting respect from older employees because of their age.
Several of the panelists went on to say that they were thankful they were entering the business world at a time when so much correspondence is done online, and relationships are forged virtually, because it gives them the opportunity to establish their credibility with colleagues before having to meet them in-person. Each of the women did look young and they felt that was a liability. I was quick to say they wouldn’t feel that way when they were older…they’d be praying to look young again! But all joking aside, I understood what they were saying and respected their frustration.
On a positive side note in terms of diversity, we have a strong generation of young women coming up and a generation where gender and race lines are becoming blurred. A majority of Millennial women were raised to believe they could do anything boys could do and they were just as important and as smart as boys. This is also the first generation where boys and girls hangout together as platonic “buddies” starting from a young age through college. This is also a generation where over 80% answered “Yes” when asked if they were okay with marrying, dating, or having a life partner outside of their race (2007 California Dreamers Survey conducted by New America Media).
After moderating that panel, and speaking to many more Millennials about their experiences with age discrimination, I now really emphasize the importance of respecting them as “people” when I talk to Boomer and Gen X executives in my popular Get A Grip On Gen Y Seminar. I let them know this generation expects to be respected from Day One, regardless of their age or experience, and that a key strategy for retaining them is respecting their ideas and encouraging them to offer opinions. This may seem like common sense to you, but I talk to many Millennials whose bosses disregard their ideas and/or rarely ask their opinion about anything. Unlike some Boomer and Gen X employees who may tolerate this from their bosses, Millennials will quickly quit.
It is critical for employers to recognize that aside from race, gender and lifestyle diversity, age diversity is now something to be aware of. Younger employees probably won’t sue you based on age discrimination like older ones might, but they can still wreak havoc on your company’s stability. It’s impossible to grow and groom your next generation of leaders if they don’t stay!