Published on July 27, 2009
Ladies & Dudes... Welcome to Understanding and working with Gen X & Gen Y...and the rest! In today's age-diverse workplace, one management style does not work for all. Attracting and retaining talented people of all ages requires a new skill set in order to stay competitive Is it really that hard? Steve Mitchinson Managing Partner TeamRed Solutions July 2009
Background • Research suggests quite clearly that engaging and retaining staff is taking on much greater significance • A study by the University of Western Australia estimated that absenteeism costs a whopping $5 billion in the public sector alone every year. • Absenteeism is a sign of a much bigger problem • Could it be that enterprises are using generational change as an excuse
The Generations... Veterans Boomers Gen X Gen Y •Where are the real gaps? Why do we call the last one generation Y?
Is this the origin of Gen Y
All generations have vital instincts The differences are their: •Motivations •Expectations •Communication The Hermann group 2007 It is how they display the instincts that is different
Why be aware of generational differences? Key Facts •For the first time in our history, four generations are now working side by side •For the next several decades, for every two employees who are eligible to retire we have less than one employee to take their place! •Research by Harvard University suggests that Between 1977 and 2007, employment of workers 65 and over increased 101%. Considerations for Recruitment and Retention Need to understand key generational differences in order to both attract and keep good employees •What employees want from a job and their boss •What they will do if their organization or their boss ―does not deliver‖
What does this mean to employers? •Employees have become more sophisticated consumers of employment opportunities •A new employer/employee dynamic has emerged •Things that attract people to a company (pay and benefits) are not the same things that keep them or engage them •They are now less tangible - work-life balance, career development, performance management, respect You can rent their presence but you cannot buy their passion ―
Implications for recruitment Veterans Boomers Gen X Gen Y Born 1922 – 1943 1944 - 1960 1961 – 1980 1981 – 2000 Implication for Expect: Expect: Expect: Expect: recruiting Respect To be “in charge” Flexibility in work Fast decision making Accommodation to Give and take in arrangements – “work Work itself to be work scheduling problem solving and life balance” stimulating needs decision making Ready access to Continuous feedback Clarity and Competition with interesting and Frequent praise consistency with other individuals for meaningful work Work in teams respect to roles, the most interesting choices, and to Reliance on internal responsibilities, work and the best significant opportunities and external support performance rewards for development (will networks standards, decision Challenging work change jobs if necessary Continuous learning & making processes to get these) change Varying levels of Highly self sufficient in competence in use use of technology of technology Source: ―Workforce Engagement and Retention in the United States‖ by John Furcon of Buck Consultants Dec 2008
The Employment Deal... Veterans Boomers Gen X Gen Y Born 1922 – 1943 1944 - 1960 1961 – 1980 1981 – 2000 How they view Loyalty to the Loyalty to one’s Selective loyalty Balanced loyalty the work organisation career relationship Attitudes about Hard work is good Meet or surpass one’s Work is considered self – Wok synonymous with work & pay in itself own expectations of fulfilment continuous learning success and change Generational Transportation & Information Age Technological Age Integration of defining skills telecommunication information Age & Tech s Age Age while multiskilling View of change Get it over with Create it Make it work for you Inevitable and increasing in pace What they want Fair Wage Competitive wage Wealth Wealth accumulation Stable Employment Stable employment in Work life balance opportunities Secure retirement meaningful work Early retirement Indulge interests and Comfortable and curiosities “interesting Expect to work in retirement retirement Source: ―Workforce Engagement and Retention in the United States‖ by John Furcon of Buck Consultants Dec 2008
Goals of Gen X and Gen Y
Drivers of Employee Commitment The Watson Wyatt drivers of employee Towers Perrin found 10 drivers of commitment (and the percentage of commitment- In order they are: the impact of each) are: 1. Senior management‘s interest in 1. Trust in senior leadership: 14% employees‘ well-being 2. Chance to use skills: 14% 2. Challenging work 3. Competitiveness of rewards: 11% 3. Decision-making authority 4. Job security: 11% 4. Evidence that the company is 5. Quality of company‘s products and focused on customers services: 10% 5. Career advancement opportunities 6. Absence of work-related stress: 7% 6. The company‘s reputation as a good 7. Honesty and Integrity of company‘s employer business conduct: 7% 7. A collaborative work environment 8. All other factors: 26% where people work well in teams 8. Resources to get the job done 9. Input on decision making 10.A clear vision from senior management about future success‖
Employee Rank of Retention Factors – Top Ten 1 Quality of relationship with supervisor or manager (Motivational Fit) 2 Ability to balance work and home life (Home Life) 3 Amount of meaningful work—the feeling of making a difference (Motivational Fit) 4 Level of cooperation with co-workers (Cooperation and Trust) 5 Level of trust in the workplace (Cooperation and Trust) 6 Quality of compensation package (External Rewards) 7 Opportunities for growth and advancement (External Rewards) 8 Clear understanding of work objectives (Motivational Fit) 9 Link between pay and individual contributions (External Rewards) 10 Other (Undefined)
The Top Five Factors Employees top five factors for leaving: The percentage of employees is shown along with the classification of the factor. 1. Quality of relationship with supervisor or manager (78%, Motivational Fit) 2. Ability to balance work and home life (78%, Home Life) 3. Amount of meaningful work—the feeling of making a difference (76%, Motivational Fit) 4. Level of cooperation with co-workers (74%, Cooperation and Trust) 5. Level of trust in the workplace (71%, Cooperation and Trust)
The “Veterans” (now 60+) What do they value? – Loyalty - Nostalgia – Dependability – Persistence – Hard Working and Self Sacrifice – Authoritarian - Traditional – Wisdom and experience over technical knowledge – Black and white world view Source: Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa
The Baby Boomers (now 40 to 60) What do they value? – Workaholics – Accept stress – Self-fulfillment – Importance of title/status symbols – Entitlement – Demanding of respect and sacrifice from subordinates – Optimistic – Non-conformist – experimental – Objective sense of right and wrong Source: Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa
About Boomers and beyond • Effects of longevity • ―Encore‖ careers work in education, health care, government, non-profit organizations and for-profits that serve the public good - we need to embrace the opportunity.. • Outdated corporate policies mandating traditional work schedules
Generation X (now 34 to 45) What do they value? – Dedicated to goal achievement - desire to be recognized – Confident and self reliant but also can be insecure and dependent on close supervision – Pragmatic – Adaptive to change – Non-traditional but work within the system – Sacrifice personal life for advancement – to a point - desire for job security – Accept diversity Source: Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa
Generation Y (now 16 to 34) What do they value? – Independence and autonomy – Optimistic, Diverse, Globally Connected – Variety seeking, adaptive to change, challenge seeking – Entrepreneurial, networking – Distrust of hierarchy and authority, ―StreetSmart‖ – Continuous development of skills – Lack of loyalty/unwillingness to commit – Work-life balance – Fun and communal workplace – New technology Source: Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa
Managing the Diverse Generations Veterans – Use them as mentors, coaches, trainers – Recognize: • their reward and recognition comes from the satisfaction of a job well done • ―no news is good news‖ is their preferred form of feedback • they feel that changing jobs carries a stigma – Help them get ready for retirement • Phased retirement, value their contributions, help them shift the balance – If there is high turnover in this group, who tend to be the most loyal, there may be real problems Source: Lancaster and Stillman, When Generations Collide
Managing the Diverse Generations Boomers – Help them to understand the value of their work, lend an ear, listen to them, give them projects that allow them to showcase their skills and knowledge – Recognize: • their reward and recognition comes from money, title and the ―corner office‖ • that feedback once a year – with lots of supporting documents is enough • they feel that changing jobs puts you behind in career – Help them balance work and home life – Look at chances for development, advancement and mentoring of high profile boomers Source: Lancaster and Stillman, When Generations Collide
Managing the Diverse Generations Gen X – Invest in them, give them career development, they are resume builders – Recognize: • their reward and recognition comes from freedom and security • that they want immediate feedback – now! • they feel that changing jobs is necessary – it happens – Give them balance now! Have policies and practices that focus on lifestyle – Communicate to these employees Source: Lancaster and Stillman, When Generations Collide
Why do Gen Y seem different • Not afraid to challenge the status quo • Seek to pursue creativity and independent thinking • Very independent and tech savvy. • Have financial smarts – 37% of Gen Y expect to start saving for retirement before they reach 25 – 49% say retirement benefits are a very important factor in their job choices. – 70% of the Gen Y respondents make voluntary contributions. (survey by Purchase, N.Y.-based Diversified Investment Advisors.) • Work-life balance isn't just a buzz word • Want change, and they want it now • It is still about Wants & Needs – sometimes theirs are different This compares with Gen X - known for its independent thinking, addiction to change and emphasis on family – but on a new level
Managing the Diverse Generations Gen Y – Allow them to multi-task, multi-skill – Recognize: • idea of boomerang employee • their reward and recognition comes from work that has meaning for them • that they want immediate feedback – yesterday! • that work isn‘t everything; it is just one of the activities they spend their time on; they need flexibility to balance their activities • they feel that changing jobs is routine – it is what they expect to do – many times – Look at the work – is it stimulating? is there a chance to learn? Source: Lancaster and Stillman, When Generations Collide
Are we being fair to Gen Y ? • The older generations tend to brand Gen Y as being distinguished for their sense of entitlement, outspokenness, inability to take criticism, and technological sophistication. Is that justified or whose fault is it? • Fortune deemed Generation Y the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history. Maybe that explains it ? • Time described members of Generation Y as wanting real life balance - they don't want to be slaves to their jobs the way their Baby Boomer parents are. Are they just continuing what Gen X started? http://www.cio.com/article/149053/Management_Techniques_for_Bringing_Out_the_Best_in_Generation_Y They're like Generation X on steroids. Bruce Tulgan, a founder of New Haven, Conn.-based RainmakerThinking
10 Key Differences between Gen X & Gen Y 1. Preferred style of leadership X - only competent leaders will do Y - collaboration with management is expected 2. Value of Experience X - don't tell me where you have been, show me what you know Y - experience is irrelevant, as the world is changing so fast 3. Autonomy X - give them direction, and then leave them to it Y - questions, questions, questions 4. Feedback X - expect regular feedback Y - need constant and immediate feedback 5. Rewards X - freedom is the ultimate reward Y - money talks Source: Krista Third of Tamm Communications
The 10 Differences between Gen X & Gen Y 6. Training X - want to continually learn, if they don't they will leave Y - still in an exam driven mentality 7. Work Hours X - do their work and go home Y - will work as long as needed ...or until they get bored 8. Work Life Balance X - they want to enjoy life to the full, while they are young enough to do so Y - their lives are busy - they need a lot of 'me' time 9. Loyalty X - they are committed as everyone else working there Y - already working out their exit strategy 10. Meaning of Money X - it gives freedom and independence Y - just something that allows them to maintain their lifestyle Source: Krista Third of Tamm Communications
Interesting fact? Workers who use the web for entertainment while at work — whether they're tweeting, watching YouTube videos, shopping, or catching up with the news — are 9% more productive than those who don't, according to a recent study by Professor Brent Coker at the University of Melbourne
Exercise - Why do we think staff leave Reasons people leave their employers 1= Very Important , 5=Not Important 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Some Best Practices • Identification of key personnel • Identification of key positions • Corporate key competencies • Frequent performance reviews • Competitive remuneration • Individualized T&D plans • A continuous process • Ensure Developmental Opportunities • Create transitional positions • Encourage staff with potential to take on new assignments /upgrade their skills • Consider job exchanges/sharing/ shadowing • Fill temporary vacancies strategically • Accessible management
Is your engagement strategy a bit like this?
Understanding what drives employee engagement “What employees seek — indeed, what we all seek in our work experience — is a blend of tangible and intangible elements that together create an environment of stimulation, contribution, recognition (monetary and otherwise), development, learning and support (from day-to-day management and senior leadership)” Towers Perrin : Working today: Understanding what drives employee engagement
The Drivers of Engagement Motivational Fit: challenge, meaning, autonomy, organizational fit, manager relationship, job clarity External Rewards: recognition, growth/advancement, compensation, pay vs. contributions, organisation responsiveness Cooperation and Trust: cooperation with co-workers, level of trust in workplace Organisational Direction: clear vision and strategy, appropriate selection practices Work/Life Balance: Surprise, surprise... Workplace Harmony: internal politics, stress, workplace volatility
10C’s of Employee Engagement • Communicate: clearly indicate expectations of the employee. Provide regular (balanced)feedback to employees regarding their work and performance. Career: provide meaningful work along with career growth opportunities. Confidence: Provide effective feedback to induce and boost confidence in an employee. Control: Empower employees with the control they need on their job and career. Clarity: Provide a clear vision of what job is to be done and how it is to be done. Collaborate: Good coordination and relationships require leadership to cultivate trust amongst the team, and to motivate their employees to work in and as a team. Compliment: Give recognition to the employee for the job well done. Connect: Make employees feel valuable and important. Show that you care. • Contribute: Give opportunities to employees to contribute in the management decision making process. Seek suggestions, new ideas, and ways of improvement. • Credibility: Managers must lead by example by demonstrating ethical standards and practices. They are the custodians of the company‘s reputation.
The 8 Enemies of Engaging Gen Y • Uniformity • The colour Grey • Rules driven behaviour • Isolation • Lack of recognition • Dropped in the deep end • Lack of career opportunities • Boredom or tedium Based on the work of Kevin Panozza - former MD Salesforce
A Model for Engagement
The Traits of the disengaged • Don‘t express any desire to know the expectations for their job roles. • Not curious about their company and their place in it. • Perform inconsistently or at consistently low levels. • Waste their potential, do not work with passion and are disconnected from their companies. • Do not drive innovation or move their organizations forward. • No strong relationship or engagement with their managers or fellow employees. • Show up for work on time, put in a day‘s work, but not connected to their jobs. • Exhibit a general negativity
Becoming an employer of choice • Organizational Policies • Support the technology they use in their personal lives. • Commit to socially responsible causes. • Training Initiatives – Communication Skills – Collaborative problem solving skills • Management Structures – Mentors are needed to show GenY‘s the ropes. – New hire orientations. – Frequent check-in meetings with managers.
The Importance of Transparency • Facilitates accountability, trust, communication, responsibility, pride • Encourages communications and information exchange • Invites responsibility and accountability • Builds trust and pride. • Discourages work-politics • A sense of achievement and belongingness is derived from a healthy work environment • Employees are more likely to display their full potential • Less likely to leave because of stress and frustration.
Staff Retention Strategies Develop a Plan & Strategy to Deploy it – and remember to communicate it loudly Gathering Information —The first step in improving engagement, absenteeism and retention is to understand the causes. Communication - Organizations need to talk to employees and measure their opinions to see why turnover is happening. In addition, talking to other organizations and benchmarking their practices can provide direction for creating a strategy. Employee Development —In response to employees‘ desire for growth and advancement opportunities, organizations can introduce enhanced/flexible training and development programs, succession management systems, and other approaches for investing in their employees. Recruitment – an often overlooked aspect is the actual recruitment process. What research has been undertaken to link staff absenteeism and turnover with recruitment strategies and profiles?
Staff Retention Strategies Work Environment/ Nature of Work Several aspects of the work environment are directly linked to employees‘ satisfaction. These would include: • Empowerment • Enhancing open lines of communication between managers and employees improve the overall quality of working relationships. • Interventions designed to make the workplace more hospitable will lead to improved retention. These could include: – Introduction of relaxed dress codes – Telecommuting options – Flexible work schedules Systems • The ease with which IT systems can be used to assist an employee in their job are a major driver of satisfaction • The level of access to external sites is becoming a key point for debate
Staff Retention Strategies Training & Development • Individual Career Progression Plans • Individual Training & Development Plans • Setting Known Criteria for Career Progression • Formal Performance Appraisals – perform and act! • 360 Degree Feedback Mechanisms Rewards and Recognition • Organizations could consider improving the quality of compensation, benefits, and special perks as a means for improving retention. Employees want recognition for a job well done. Whilst understanding public sector limitations may apply in some instances, these can come in several forms: • Special bonuses or rewards can help employees feel proud of their work and let them know that their efforts are acknowledged. • Pay and recognition linked in some way to performance because employees know there are consequences for their actions.
Is it your leadership style? Cultural fit – The personality, leadership characteristics of the candidate should be in sync with the culture of the hiring organization. – The personality, leadership characteristics of the manager should be in sync with the culture of the hiring organization. Challenge: • Put yourself in your staffs shoes • Think back to the best boss you have had. • What was it about them that made them so great? • How well would you stack up ?
Top 10 Leadership Qualities The Top Ten Qualities of a Great Leader : 1. They showed genuine interest in me as a person. 2. They were always approachable. 3. They made time to really listen to me. 4. They asked for my ideas, opinions and input. 5. They were firm but fair with everyone. 6. They did not have an ego problem, power or control issues - they put the organisation and the team before themselves. 7. They were open and honest; if the answer to a request or idea was no they explained why. 8. They showed respect, both for themselves and everyone else. They treated everyone equally – regardless of ‗status‘ or role. 9. They coached me through questioning, not ‗telling‘. 10.They were sociable but always ultimately professional. How do your rate?
Top 10 Qualities of Ineffective Leaders Lack Energy & Enthusiasm Accept their own mediocre performance Lack clear vision & direction Have poor judgement Don’t collaborate Don’t walk talk Resist new ideas Don’t learn from mistakes Lack interpersonal skills Fail to develop others Your challenge is...to make yourself redundant Source – HBR June 2009
How do we get Gen Y to stay? Fulfilment of TRUST Commitment employee’s Intention Know and •Job expectation Workplace •Effective to agree the Mgt •Team Stay employee’s & Delivery Snr Mgt Expectations of the ‘THE DEAL’ Deal FAIRNESS JOB SATISFACTION START BUILD RETAIN
Ask yourself ... • Who are my key people? • What makes them exceptional? • What motivates them? • How are they feeling? • Are their working environment and terms of employment (i.e. compensation) competitive? • Do they know how much you value them? • What are their aspirations? Career goals? • Can I help them meet these goals?
Accountability Matrix Value (make the numbers) Former Heroes (1) New Heroes Work Performance Irritant (misses the numbers) Unemployed Potential Heroes (2) Irritant Value (Inappropriate values) (Appropriate values) Values
Different generations require different approaches • Remember that there are four generations to manage • Be careful not to stereotype – generation is simply one characteristic that can be used to help us understand people • Don‘t forget the basics- all generations want: – Work-life balance – Interesting work – A good salary and benefits – Flexible hours of work Its just their definitions that are different!
High Level Strategies Promoting Work/Life Effectiveness Developing Support Services Listening to employees and showing (genuine) interest in ideas Providing an environment of trust and respect
Medium Level Strategies Appreciating and recognizing a well done job Recognition/reward for successfully completing firm-sponsored certifications Flexible benefits Medical care reimbursement Providing conveniences at workplace Gym or Sporting club membership program Providing training and development and personal growth opportunities Sabbatical programs Professional skills development Individualized career guidance
Case Study – Creating a Healthy Workplace • Automation of more basic tasks which have made frontline roles more challenging, varied and interesting; • Increasing the profile of the work areas and what they are achieving for the enterprise • Improved physical environment • Value placed on customer service as a contributor to the strategic plan; • Emphasis on developing more effective leaders • Better recruitment, training and development programs to hire and develop the right staff. Employee involvement in hiring • Non traditional performance measures – linked to organisational strategy • Increased focus on quality and quantity rather than just the numbers • A stronger emphasis on workforce planning and flexible working arrangements • Improved visibility and commitment to defined career paths • Creating a feeling of loyalty & pride - cultural development • Rewarding contribution – staff involvement in key business and R&R decisions • Being different e.g. massages, in house benefits, CEAD FM, Staff functions, RTO • “The best thing about working here is....”
“Little of today’s technology is proprietary. Technology is easily obtained and replicated and only levels the playing field. An organization’s valued human assets cannot be copied.” Bill Gates
From the beginning... Gen X... Gen Y... • Lots of dysfunctional families • Pampered, nurtured and • High divorce rate programmed • More mothers at work • High(er) expectations of self • Mum‘s at work • High(er) expectations of employers • Mum and Dad both work • Ongoing learning • Two parent incomes • Immediate responsibility • Time of insecurity and the recession • Goal-oriented: • ―the recession we had to have‖
Technology & the Generations Gen X Gen Y • PC gradually took control • Internet, mobile phone, SMS, • Walkmans were very advanced instant messaging replaced • Microwaves communication • They gradually become • Video games replaced sport technology literate – digital • Reality TV immigrants • Emergence of virtual communities & social networks • The most technically literate generation yet – digital natives
The Generations and economic times Gen X Gen Y • Recession late 80‘s/early90‘s • High employment • Job uncertainty • Strong economy • High unemployment • Consecutive years of growth • Seen the economic highs and the • Never seen a tough time lows Grew up in buoyant times..until Experienced and survived by now! economic turmoil
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