In This Issue:
How to Manage Different Generations,
Upcoming Hiring Conferences,
Leaders' Top Blind Spots,
Meet Our Candidates,
Memorable Requests Found in Employee Suggestion Boxes
How to Manage Different Generations
Managers are increasingly struggling with generational differences in their workforce. Problems arise from not only the different mindsets across generations, but also new technology and work patterns that are mixed in among those of different age groups.
Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are competitive and insist workers of all ages should pay their dues. Generation X-ers, born between 1965 and 1977, tend to be more skeptical and independent-minded. Gen Ys, or Millennials, born in 1978 or later crave teamwork, technology, and feedback.
The key to working with the different thinking and practices among the generations is to be able to address and use the differences to your advantage. Here are some strategies:
Rather than trying to change your staff, update managers. Have them participate in training or classes to recognize generational differences.
Establish mentoring practices between employees of different ages. Younger employees can learn from the experience and wisdom that older employees have gained. Older employees can learn to be open and gain fresh perspectives from younger employees.
Accommodate different learning styles. Baby Boomers may prefer more traditional and static training methods, while younger workers may favor more interactive, technology based forms of learning.
Create recognition programs. Even the simplest gesture, such as a positive email, can help boost Gen Xers’ productivity. Boomers tend to seek status, so may respond best to an office wide email applauding their accomplishments. Millennials seek validation, so they will appreciate increased responsibility and may also prefer frequent reviews of their work.
Don’t apply a blanket communication-method policy. Boomers may prefer communication by phone or in person, while Millennials are comfortable with being in constant communication such as emailing, texting, or instant messaging.
While creating a work atmosphere to accommodate the different attitudes across the generations, it’s also important not to confuse issues like immaturity and laziness with generational traits. Baby Boomers may see a 60-hour work week as the only route to success while many hard working Millennials may prefer a more balanced work life that includes reasonable working hours with occasional time off, but may be more than willing to make up time in a more unstructured setting, such as catching up at a Starbucks on the weekend.
Even the best and brightest of leaders have blind spots, and often these unproductive behaviors that you may not see are visible to everyone else. These behaviors create consequences for you, your team and your company.
Here is a look at common blind spots and advice for recognizing and resolving them.
1. Going at it Alone Symptoms: Refusing offers of support, withdrawing from others, not talking about stresses or anxiety, and not including others in decision making.
Why it’s damaging: Isolating yourself creates anxiety and uncertainty to others, leaving room for frustrations to build and for people to fill in the blanks, spread rumors, and withdraw their efforts.
What to do: Talk to others about your tendencies to solve problems alone and ask them to point out when you are withdrawing, so you can stop excluding and start including.
2. An “I Know” Attitude Symptoms: Having an answer for everything, fixed views, not listening, diminishing what others have to say, and arguing with anyone who does not share your point of view.
Why it’s damaging: Others feel devalued and angry. Innovation and creativity comes to a halt as the “I know” leader dominates the conversation and shoots down new ideas.
What to do: Recognize that this blind spot causes you to miss information and new ideas. Ask “What have I missed? What am I not seeing? How am I limiting new possibilities?”
3. Treating Commitments Causally Symptoms: Not making or keeping commitments, not delivering when promised, not providing a clear commitment, and making casual promises without the intent to keep them.
Why it’s damaging: People can no longer trust your word, and it reduces your credibility. The environment becomes overrun with sloppy promises, accepting excuses over results, and not holding each other accountable.
What to do: Be absolutely clear about what you are committing to. If you must take back a commitment do so prior to the promised deadline and take accountability for your impact.
4. Not taking a stand Symptoms: Lacking clarity and direction on issues, not making decisions, reversing decisions already made, and lack of decisiveness.
Why it’s damaging: Confidence is lost in leaders who wait for consensus, are slow to reach decisions, or are unclear on their stance. Others spend their time trying to second guess what you really want.
What to do: Be clear about what you want and are willing to commit to, and stop making others read your mind.
5. Tolerating “Good Enough” Symptoms: Maintaining status quo, accepting things are fine the way they are, refusing to investigate solutions outside a comfort zone, and rejecting new ideas
Why it’s damaging: Others see their leader not demanding excellence and become discouraged. People want to be on a winning team and leaders lose support as people adopt a “nothing is ever going to change” attitude.
What to do: Take a look at why you are holding back. Why is this idea as good as it gets? Raise your level of leadership awareness and lead by example. This will inspire others.
The battle for talent in the workplace can be fierce. It doesn't have to be if you know where to look. Below is a preview of actual Orion International candidates and the valuable skills and experience they possess.
• Senior projects and fund manager for over 25 local contracts and 100 purchases in theater; coordinated all acquisitions, transfers and reductions in inventory and property.
• Chief logistician for the organization which has 10 teams dispersed throughout Afghanistan; conducted planned and disseminated for supplies, sustenance, maintenance, repair parts and all other logistical support issues; assets value over $2 Million
• Restructured the intelligence staff section's standard operating procedures and methods, which resulted in greater efficiency and accolades from higher headquarters
• BS, Government, Campbell University
• Six years experience as a supervisor, technician, and plant operator involving Naval nuclear reactors, 2000KW marine diesel generators, combustion turbine marine engines, 2500KW gas turbine generator sets and auxiliary and support equipment for the U.S. Navy.
• Experienced in supervising commercial electrical maintenance at the Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center.
• Experienced in advanced electronics maintenance and troubleshooting involving nuclear instrumentation and control equipment and gas turbine generator control consoles
• Supervised 4 electricians, ensuring trouble calls were completed accurately and in a timely manner.
• Led, motivated, facilitated, and provided oversight of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego's Plans and Programs Division which encompasses base facility planning and environmental compliance.
• Managed 240 facilities on 311 acres of land and 12 linear miles of utilities and a $20M Facility Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (FSRM), and Operation and Maintenance, Marine Corps (OMMC) budget.
• Directed the award of a $65.6M new Recruit Barracks, Special Training Company Barracks, and Recruit Reconditioning Center project encompassing three programmed MILCONS. Efforts in coordinating and negotiation saved MCRD an estimated $29.8M.
• BS, Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology
• Responsible for troubleshooting, repairing, testing and upgrading of electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic circuits used in material conveying, extrusion, thermo-forming, and other parts finishing machinery.
• Worked both independently and along with process technicians, operators, and other maintenance technicians to quickly diagnose machine malfunctions and get machinery operating at flow.
• Overhauled and tested hydraulic components to include pumps, motors, solenoid valves, proportional valves, and actuators.
• Troubleshot, repaired, tested, performed modifications and performed preventative maintenance on AC/DC generation and distribution circuits; electronic control and warning circuits to include relay and logic circuits; hydraulics to include distribution, warning and control circuits; pneumatic systems to include equipment cooling, climate control, and pressurization; and servo air systems.
• Coordinated and managed all aspects of Naval Officer training at a Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit.
• Led 100 mechanics, electricians, chemists, electronic technicians and students. Responsible for all training, maintenance, and nuclear power plant operations occurring on my shift.
• Effectively trained over 100 officer and 500 enlisted students in a hands-on training environment, motivating them to do their best. Earned 3 Training Excellence Awards for being the best section (of five) sections at training.
• BS, Human Resources, New School University
Memorable Requests Found in Employee Suggestion Boxes
CareerBuilder asked hiring managers nationwide to share some of their most memorable requests and recommendations found in the employee suggestion box.
Among them: • Allow people to change clothes in their cubicles. • Add a tanning bed to the break room. • Put beer in the vending machine. • Jail time should be covered under family medical leave. • Only require work during daylight hours because employee is scared of the dark. • Request a special smoking area for medical marijuana. • Request that the HR person wear nicer shoes. • More time off to pursue side business as a clown. • Replace a desk with a futon so employee could lay down and work. • Request that the lactation room with gliding chair be used for naps, so everyone can use it. • Install a swimming pool for employees to use. • Have the team meeting held in Hawaii.