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Tag Archives: intergenerational dialogue

Five reasons Generation Z employees are not Millennials

On January 1 this year, my regular column in The Globe and Mail outlined my assessment of the five employee-related trends that were going to gain the greatest momentum in 2018.  Number three was the influx of Generation Z into the workplace.  As I predicted, this topic continues to be of huge interest to leaders everywhere, so my latest column for The Globe addresses this very subject.

How Gen Zers will distinguish themselves from millennials in the workplace

Generation Z

Generation Z are not just millennials magnified!

Generation Z started turning 23 this year, which means that increasing numbers of them are working in more than just fast food and retail. Just as millennials changed the face of work, so will these young entrants to the workforce. Despite there being similarities between Gen Zers and millennials, there are more differences than not. Don’t make assumptions about who they are, what motivates them, and how they operate to get things done. Above all, don’t presume that they are just millennials magnified.

Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link: https://tgam.ca/2Px2a8w

So I’d love to hear about your experiences with Generation Z, either because you’re working with them, or because you are one!  Are the five differences that I have outlined what you know and see to be true as well?  Please comment below.

Reverse mentoring: working one-on-one with a younger colleague can help you stay relevant

reverse mentoringI often discuss the value of one-on-one mentoring relationships with my clients as well as here on the blog (in fact, one-on-one mentoring makes up a significant portion of my professional practice).  The assumption with mentoring is often that it is a one-way effort – veteran staff mentoring younger employees.  However, there is just as much value in reverse mentoring – where senior employees benefit from a one-on-one learning relationship with someone who is much younger.  The value can come in many aspects, but the most beneficial is likely in the area of technology.

When it comes to technology, there are many tools and resources out there that you may have never heard about.  So if you are over 35 years old, it’s worth considering a reverse mentoring relationship with a younger work colleague.  Ask your younger mentor what trends they are observing and what new technologies they are trying out.  Ask them to show you how these tools work.  Tell them about the work-related challenges you are facing and see if they have solutions to offer that you may not have considered, or for that matter, even know about. Continue reading

Building loyalty among your Millennial employees

Millennial employeesLast fall, as part of my regular column series for The Globe and Mail, I wrote a piece titled Is workplace loyalty dead in the age of the millennial?  This is a topic that is close to the hearts of many, so I was not surprised when it got a lot of reaction, both positive and negative.  About the same, time, the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) asked me if I would pen a similar article for their members, one that directly addressed the acute staffing shortages and challenges they face in their industry.  The average age of those in the construction industry in British Columbia (well actually almost everywhere else in Canada too) is rising, and the industry is struggling with how to attract young workers into their companies.  The article I wrote was recently published in Build Magazine, the association’s annual flagship publication.

Building loyalty among your Millennial employees: Why you need to change – not them

Take a few moments to peruse other articles in this excellent magazine

The above link takes you directly to a copy of the article.  But you can also access the entire magazine at VICA’s website here: https://www.vicabc.ca/resources/publications/.  My column is on page 38, but there are many other articles you may find of interest.

Well, as always, I would love to hear what you think?  As I’ve said before, most people have an opinion on this subject of Millennial employees, either positive or negative (not a lot of fence-sitters on this topic), and I’d love to hear yours.  Please share your perspectives below.

Is workplace loyalty dead in the age of the millennial?

As workplace demographics shift, with the boomer and the generation-Xer increasingly leaving the work force and the millennial entering, the common belief is that employees are no longer loyal to their employers. Young people are regularly maligned for being self-absorbed and entitled; not willing to “pay their dues”; and impatient to get the promotions and compensation they feel they deserve. As a result, the unfortunate, widely held sentiment is they cannot be counted on to stick around for the long haul, nor ever be loyal to a company.  But this point of view is flawed.  And my latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s weekend Management series focuses on why.

millennial

The reality is that workplace loyalty is not dead.  However, “loyalty” has a different meaning than it might have had 20 or even 10 years ago.  You can read Is workplace loyalty dead in the age of the millennial? here.  In this column, I offer three proven ideas to successfully attract and keep employees in this new age of loyalty.

As always, I’d love to hear your point of view.  What has been your experience?  And please, pass the link on to others in your departments and organizations who may find it of interest.  When we all dialogue about this subject, we are on our way to finding sustainable and effective solutions.  Please comment directly at The Globe’s site, or post your response right here on the blog.

Sometimes, The Globe puts my columns behind their paywall. If that happens and you are unable to access the article directly through the link above, you can read a pdf version at this link.

How to motivate younger employees

jeffmowattAs readers of this blog know, I have a keen interest in younger employees, commonly referred to as the Millennial generation, and their impact on the workplace.  In fact, my last book – Generations Exposed: Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With – contrasts the differences between Millennials, Gen-X’ers, Boomers, and Traditionalists, and I frequently seek to get dialogues going on this topic of how to motivate younger employees.  Which is why I am delighted to have my professional colleague and friend, Jeff Mowatt, guest on the blog today writing about this very topic.  Not only has Jeff given us great insightful posts in the past (most recently, One more reason to create a customer-focused culture), but I am also privileged to be sharing the platform with him (and five other exceptional experts) at the Customer Service Leadership Summit in Calgary later this year on November 15.  By the way, this event is already tracking to be a sell-out, so if you live and/or work in Southern Alberta, register early.  More information about the Summit is at the end of Jeff’s post below.

How to Motivate Younger Employees

You’re a manager who has paid your dues. Over a lifetime you’ve learned how to honour your commitments, interact with others, and make a positive contribution on the job. To you it seems like common sense. That’s the problem. Those high performing habits that are second nature to you can be completely foreign to today’s younger employees. Here are three reasons managers are becoming increasingly frustrated with younger workers, and how you can motivate them to provide exceptional service for internal and external customers.

  1. Participation Medals

Continue reading

Apparently ageism is more prevalent than you may have realized

One week ago I blogged about ageism in the workplace and whether we have an unconscious age bias, without even realizing it (see Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?).  In response to this post, a client forwarded this video link to me, with a short comment that he has seen many examples of “upward ageism” in his organization.  Published by AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), this video at four minutes is a little longer than the usual YouTube video, but watch it through to the end, I think you’ll find it interesting; I certainly did.

My favourite two parts come near the end (at the 3:30 mark) when 70-year old Parvati says “As long as I’m growing and learning, then age doesn’t matter”, and when 75-year old George says Continue reading

Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?

Ageism Gets OldRecently, I came across an article written by Dan Lyons (author of a new book, “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble“), in which he shares his personal experience with age discrimination.  Here’s a link to his article – When It Comes to Age Bias, Tech Companies Don’t Even Bother to Lie.  It’s not very long, but if you don’t want to read it for yourself, here’s a quick summary.

Lyon’s article opens with – Imagine you’re African-American and working at a 500-person technology company where everyone else is white, and one day the CEO declares in a national newspaper interview that his company’s lack of diversity isn’t an accident. In fact he prefers to hire white people because when it comes to technology white people simply make better employees. That statement would be unthinkable. But what if a tech CEO made the same comment about age?   Lyon goes on to explain that about nine months after he joined a software company called HubSpot (where the average employee age was 26; he was 52), Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder, explained to the New York Times that this age imbalance was not something he wanted to remedy, but in fact something he had actively cultivated.  HubSpot was “trying to build a culture specifically to attract and retain Gen Y’ers,” because, “in the tech world, gray hair and experience are really overrated”.  Ironically, no one (not the CEO, nor the media, nor company employees) saw anything wrong in this publicly-made statement. Continue reading

Motivating employees of different ages

FoodService_Spring2015What does it take to inspire and motivate employees of different ages? Over the years, I have blogged several times about different generations in the workplace (see Intergenerational conflict arising from dated policies and procedures? and Five things every leader should know about the multi-generational workplace), and it still continues to be a topic of huge interest to clients in just about every industry. The food services industry is no exception. Recently, Food Service & Nutrition magazine (published by the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management) invited me to pen an article for them for their Spring 2015 issue on this very subject, and you can read it here: Continue reading

Millennials, November 6 is Bring In Your Parents Day!

As readers of this blog know, I have a keen interest in the Millennial generation and their impact on the workplace, and I frequently seek to get dialogues going on this topic (one such column: Four things millennials hate about you).  Recently, my fellow columnist at The Globe & Mail, Brian Church (who is also Canada’s manager for LinkedIn) posted a column about how parents can be a great source of career advice to their Millennial kids entering the workforce.  I couldn’t agree more!  In fact, a study done by LinkedIn found that Canadian parents believe the top five skills they can impart to their children are: problem solving, perseverance, integrity, time management and teamwork.  And what workplace couldn’t benefit from employees who have these characteristics?!  Brian also noted that their research found that many parents are not sharing their knowledge of these skills with their kids because they either don’t think their kids will listen or don’t have a strong enough understanding of what their child does at work.

Nov_6-LinkedIn-Bring-In-Your-Parents-DayIt was the second reason – parents feel that they don’t have a strong enough understanding of what their child does at work – that caught my attention.  It make sense – given how rapidly technology is changing, and all the new types of jobs created over the past few years, it’s understandable that a lot of parents may not understand what their kids actually do at work each day.  And my research has shown that Millennials love having their parents know about their work lives, to the extent that many of them appreciate and are motivated by their bosses letting their parents know how well they are doing on the job!  (Yes, I know, that may sound crazy to some of you, particularly if you are a Boomer, but it is what it is!)  What excited me though is what is happening on November 6.  Continue reading

Engage your Millennials by actively supporting volunteerism

Millennial01In my book Generations Exposed: Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With, I’ve highlighted how civic duty, the environment, and making a tangible difference (beyond monetary profit) in the world is important to Millennials.  So it’s not surprising that charitable, social and environmental organizations are quite interested in learning more about what it takes to attract and involve this generation in their causes.  Enter The Millennial Impact Project.  This ongoing study, primarily through annual surveys, seeks to determine and track the best approaches for cause organizations to attract and engage Millennials.  Their 2014 report, released just last month, offers interesting insights into what draws and keeps Millennial engaged, both in and outside the workplace.  If you’re the leader of a team that has Millennial members, here are some items worthy of note: Continue reading