Monthly Archives: July 2011

Creating a Culture of Commitment – within a Multigenerational Workplace

In my previous Blog I discussed the specific attributes of each generation in a multi-generational workplace.

In this Blog I want to talk about how to attract, retain, motivate and lead a multi-generational workplace to reap benefits and increase corporate profitability.

With this broad field of individuals populating the corporate world, it becomes challenging to describe the “typical” workforce, let alone manage and maximize its talent assets toward higher productivity and profits.

Recruiting is the first hurdle. Over the long haul, retention is the highest hurdle by far. Learning and development can provide the competitive boost that allows organizations to clear these hurdles in the race for talent and, ultimately, win employee loyalty and commitment.

Recent studies show 85 percent of the workforce want to continually improve and grow. The difference today is that if employees don’t learn and grow, they seek other opportunities.

The current workforce—particularly the younger members just beginning to chart their careers—will move on quickly if they are not being challenged, valued, and developed. In this context, organizational leaders must focus on applying the lessons of employee engagement to the design and delivery of every learning and development initiative across the enterprise.

Here are some tips for leaders

  • Boomers have been recognized for their extended work hours and can not separate work and home lives.  They have an insatiable drive.
  • Nexters are reminiscent of the Veterans who built the American economic landscape after World War II.  As the product of more affluent times, Nexters are motivated by learning and want to see immediate results. They are known to assess each situation by asking themselves, “Why is that important today?”
  • Veterans love to share their knowledge and tell stories. Coupling Veterans and Nexters creates enormous payoffs.
  • In the work environment, Nexters want structure, guidance and direction from their bosses without micromanagement. Explain the task and provide them the flexibility to make it happen.
  • Unlike their elders, Nexters will not be lured by promises of climbing ladders, paying dues or cashing out at retirement. Customized training, mentoring, incentives, responsibility and flexibility will be a necessity for this generation.
  • Whether born in 1950 or 1980, when people are happy at work, they are more productive, creative, innovative and bring forth new ideas for the well being and future success of the organization they work for.
     

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com

Juggling the Generations – Managing Multi-Generational Workplace

Have you looked around your office lately?

Do you share cubicles and offices with Boomers and Gen Y’s and everyone in between? Is your supervisor half your age?

Never before has there been such a diversity of generations in the workforce. Four distinct age-based cohorts, each with different values, needs and motivators create many challenges for today’s workplace.

Gen Xers and Nexters combined — the 18 to 41 year olds — make up about 45 percent of the workforce.  Baby Boomers represent another 45 percent. Veterans make up the final 10 percent.

Although there is danger in generalizing, here’s a quick review of each group’s typical traits. More importantly, I want to reveal a glimpse of what individuals in each cohort might be looking for from their workplace.  

Veterans (1922–1944): Born before World War II, their values were shaped by the Great Depression, the New Deal, WWII and the Korean War and emphasize civic pride, loyalty, respect for authority, dedication, sacrifice, conformity, honor, and discipline.

In the workforce, this group is the stable, loyal and hard-working — seeking clearly defined goals, directions and measurements designated by the leader.

Baby Boomers (1945–1963): Raised in an era of extreme optimism, opportunity and progress, their values were shaped by landing on the moon, the Peace Corps, the Vietnam War, Woodstock and the Civil Rights movement.

As a group, they’ve always been determined to do better than their parents and provide their children with everything their hearts desire. They will go the extra mile on the job. They proved this by being the inventors of the 60-hour workweek. In many cases, they achieve their identity through their work.

Xers (1964–1979): The Xers came of age during the economic wars of the 1970s and 1980s. Often left to fend for themselves by working parents, they were plugged in for much of their childhood — surfing the Web, playing video games, watching MTV. In the process, they developed a chronic need for stimulation and instant gratification.

In the work environment, Xers have a huge distaste for micromanagement. They want to be told what is expected of them, provided with appropriate feedback and empowered to get the job done. They want to work on their own terms and balance their lives: the upshot for them is flexibility.

Nexters (1980–2000): Nexters were raised in a high-tech world that shaped their entire value system. Unlike the latchkey kids of the ‘70s, many of these recent graduates have grown up in households with hyper-involved parents and overscheduled lives. They are used to being both seen and heard.

In the workforce, if they don’t like something, or they don’t think something is being done correctly, they have no hesitation in making their views known, whether it is their boss, boss’s boss or the CEO. Although viewed by many in the workforce as lacking a strong work ethic and having an unjustified sense of entitlement, they have a very positive, can-do attitude about getting the job done well and efficiently.

 Also available:

My newly released White Paper

that explores this topic further:

Age of Change:
Managing, Motivating and Integrating Your Multigenerational Workforce

 

In my next Blog, I will discuss how to attract, retain and motivate a multi-gen workforce – turning them into loyal, productive employees that will help increase profitability.

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com