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5 Steps to Keep the Multi-Generational Workplace Human

With the increased digitization of our businesses, it’s easy for employees to start feeling isolated and forgotten, like they just don’t matter. Where we previously had to pick up the phone or walk across the office if we wanted to talk to one another, now we can communicate with just a couple keystrokes. Where co-workers previously spent all day sitting in adjacent cubicles, now team members can be spread across the city, country, or even the world.

While technology has allowed us to work faster and more efficiently, it’s also contributed to higher levels of stress and anxiety among workers. Because as technology has changed the way we work, we’ve kind of forgotten the most important element: the people.

So if you care about keeping your humans happy (and you should because happier employees are more productive and successful at work) make sure you’re taking these five steps to keep your multi-generational workplace human:  

Communicate Like a Human

We have the power of speech for a reason: to communicate! So instead of texting your employees, actually pick up the phone and call them (yes, even your Millennial and Gen Z employees). Or better yet, drop by their desk and have a real conversation complete with facial cues and body language. Yes, it’s inefficient and yes, it might not be the most productive use of time, but real human communication is essential to forming better relationships and bridging the gap in the multi-generational workforce. Which brings me to my next point:

Face Time Not FaceTime

You’ve got to encourage your people to have meaningful face-to-face interactions. That means coming out from behind the computer screen and planning regular in-person meetings, going to lunch, or grabbing coffee together. As a boss or manager, one of the most valuable things you can do is plan one-on-one meetings with each of your employees. And when you’ve met with them all, go back and start over again.

Provide Individualized Mentoring for Career Success

One thing we hear over and over again from the young Millennial and Gen Z employees we coach and train is that they want personalized mentorship from their bosses and managers. They don’t want to feel like just another cog in the machine. They want individualized support to help them learn, grow, and achieve their career goals. As we previously discussed, mentoring and coaching is the new leadership development training. So make sure you’re giving all your employees the right support and not just a one-size-fits-all solution.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Work is a big part of our lives. But it’s not our whole life. So encourage your employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Don’t give them grief if they ask to leave early to catch their kid in a school play or need to come in late because their dog got sick. If they’re not feeling well, tell them to stay home and rest even if you’re in the middle of a big project. Tell them to have a great vacation and actually mean it. Respect your employees enough to trust that the work will still get done.

Show You Care

Our #1 tip for keeping the multi-generational workplace human? Show your employees you care. Take an interest in their lives. Ask how their weekend was, how their spouse is doing, what their kids are up to. And then actually listen to the answers. Say “Thank You” and “Good Job!” Get to know them as people and demonstrate that you really care.

 

Keeping the workplace human in the age of technology isn’t hard. It just takes conscious effort and systems that are designed to encourage it. If you’re struggling to provide a human workplace that keeps your employees engaged, reach out to us. We’ve developed systems and frameworks you can implement in your multi-generational organization to make sure you’re meeting the needs of your people. Click here to schedule a discovery call with one of our high-performance coaches!

3 Hacks to Guarantee Success in the Multi – Generational & Diverse Workplace

What does it take to really bridge the gap in the multi-generational workplace? To transcend age, culture, diversity, and experience? To overcome everything that pulls us apart in order to pull teams together and crush it in the workplace?

We’ve spent the last four years exploring those questions. Along the way we’ve had the privilege of training more than 20,000 millennials and their employers. We’ve talked to audiences around the world in all different kinds of industries.

And what we realized is this: there is a system that can GUARANTEE multi –generational workplace success!

The best part? It’s pretty dang simple.

Hack  1: Turn Your Workplace Upside Down

You need to lead by providing value to others. And in order to provide value to others, you’ve got to listen, learn about what matters to them, and find a way to connect and serve them.

So when it comes to your employees, you’ve got to turn your workplace upside down. Instead of applying a top-down approach to your people, giving orders, and guessing what will make them happy, you’ve got to start at the bottom and friggin’ talk to them! Ask them about what they want from you, their manager, and their job. And then find a way to give it to them.  Make them matter and feel safe.  In case you haven’t realized it, you really work for them anyway.

Hack 2: Create Meaningful Work

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve got to make sure your employees have meaningful work. Because in order to be engaged they have to connect themselves to the meaning of their work.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re saving lives or selling widgets. You’ve got to give your employees work that means something to them! And if they can’t see that meaning for themselves, it’s up to you to show it to them. Paint the picture of why it matters. Show them that their task, no matter how boring, tedious, or insignificant it seems, makes a difference and has an impact. And let them in on the wins!

P.S. the biggest way you can win is to train, grow, coach, and mentor them to get better to create more impact.  Self-growth allows them to draw a connection to the work that created it – and makes their work meaningful!

Hack 3:  Reskill Your People from the Inside/Out (on Emotional Intelligence)

As a boss, as a manager, it’s up to you to coach your people to be their very best. And one of the best ways to help them is to reskill them on emotional intelligence. We call it connection currency.  According to a recent study from the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is one of the top ten most in-demand skills listed by employers. And with good reason! As our workplace increasingly becomes dominated by technology, people matter more than ever. So make sure your employees have the skills to successfully connect with their bosses, their coworkers, and your customers.

Want to learn more about our 3-hack system and how it can work for you?  Shout  out to us – we can help you bridge the gap with your employees to CRUSH performance in the workplace today and in the future!

Young Lawyers are Leading Change in the Law Practice, Like it or Not

Change is coming one way or another. That was the conclusion of a recent report from Major, Lindsey, and Africa, a leading attorney search firm, in which they detailed their findings after surveying over 1,200 millennial attorneys. And while their survey was exclusively focused on law firms and the people they employ, we’ve noticed similarities about our clients inside law as well as those we work with across all kinds of industries.

There are three things we’ve deduced from the survey as being absolutely critical for employers to understand: 1) Work-Life Balance Rules 2) Lack of Authenticity and Transparency is a Non-Starter 3) Career Pathing is Your Duty

Just look at these results:

-Less than 30% of respondents described their firms as being very transparent about an associate’s career path.  Yet more than 80% of respondents still described transparency surrounding their individual career paths as being important to crucial to them.

-Only 20% of respondents classified themselves as being highly loyal to their firms. And of those, 54% still said they were not open to new job opportunities. It seems these things go hand in hand!

-When evaluating prospective employers, respondents cited these three factors as being most important in their decision: the employer’s commitment to fostering work-life balance, compensation, and professional development.

-If a respondent was open to new job opportunities, it’s usually because they were seeking better compensation, looking for a change in management or company culture, or wanted more work-life balance.

-More than 60% of respondents said informal mentorship has had a significant or crucial effect on their career. And almost 30% indicated that formal mentorship was irrelevant.

(Click here to read the full survey)

Did any of those results surprise you? They surprised ME and I do this for a living!

Like it or not, change is coming to your organization. So the question is: are you ready?

We’re going to break down how you can prepare your company to meet the needs of the worker of the future so that your organization can survive and thrive. After all, a company is only as good as its people. And if you can’t figure out how to give your best people what they want, they’ll find someone else who can – like your competition!

WORK-LIFE BALANCE RULES

We’ve been fighting to achieve work-life balance SINCE THE BEGINNING OF WORK.

Can we actually achieve work life balance or is it a myth?  And what the heck does work-life balance even mean? Because it’s different for every single employee.

One hack is to turn your organization upside down and ask each employee what work-life balance means to them. Understanding what your audience wants, a novel concept. Does it mean coming in early so they can leave early? Does it mean working from home a few days a week? Or does it mean not working a weekend, ever. Whatever it is, you’ve got to figure out what your employees need from you and then figure out how you can deliver it in a way that still serves your business goals.

There, now you have a system to find a way to help your employees achieve the work-life balance they crave. Remember, it goes both ways. You can give employees the better balance they want, in a way that meets your expectations.

LACK OF AUTHENTICITY AND TRANSPARENCY IS A NON-STARTER

Ah, transparency. Seems everybody and their brother wants the people, the government and the companies in their lives to be more transparent.  Science and data demonstrate people want the truth, as in can you be trusted.

So, you need to figure out how to be really real with your employees. And not just raw and authentic when it suits you – it needs to be baked into your company culture.  So entwined with the day-to-day operations that it is embedded in your culture.

How do you get there?

Friggin connect with your employees. Learn their story, find out what they want out of their job and their life, and understand what really matters to them. If you can achieve that you will create Trust.  Having a culture of trust and transparency and communication is what creates results.  See The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey:  (Strategy x Execution) Trust  =RESULTS . And not just any results, exponential results!

CAREER PATHING IS YOUR DUTY

In a world of on-demand learning, is it really any surprise that formal and forced mentorship is on the decline? We all want to learn at our own pace, on our own schedule, and with who we trust – which just doesn’t gel with a rigid mentorship structure.

Which isn’t to say that formal mentors themselves are out. We just want advice delivered in a more informal, of-the-moment way. So rather than formally defining our relationships with our employees in the workplace or relegating their career development to some far-off date on your calendar, practice delivering real-deal, authentic feedback. That means correcting the behavior when it happens, not during their annual review. It means taking time out of your busy schedule to commend an employee on a job well done – even when you’re so busy you can’t think straight.

We have to find a way to build more mentorship and professional development into the day-to-day culture of the workplace. And while you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Sure Dan, I’ll be sure to add that to my never-ending to-do list” the truth is, it’s critical you get this right. Employees who are listened to, supported in their role, given the tools to succeed, and encouraged to bring new ideas to the table do better work and STAY! It’s that simple.

Here’s the bottom line: if you want to survive in the years to come, you’ve got to figure out how to create and deliver:

1.  Work Life Balance

2.  Authenticity and Transparency

3. Career Pathing

It’s the only way.

Need help figuring out how to give your employees what they want in a way that still serves your company? Reach out to us for coaching – we’ll equip you with the tools you need to succeed! Click here to sign up for your free coaching session.

“How Do I Get Paid What I’m Worth?” – A Short Lesson in Coaching Millennials How to Ask the Right Questions

It was and remains my favorite classic millennial question.

I was speaking at USC with graduate millennial students, teaching them how to connect to get the job they want by using our Inside/Out technique of understanding your strengths and story in away that it provides value to others. A down and dirty guide on how to get the job, promotion, girl/guy, sale, etc.

As a leadership keynote speaker I have the honor to help people help themselves by demonstrating how to win by making it about others. I covered all the basics and the secret formula that I know to be true as a millennial expert and coach. 5,000 millennials that have passed through our programs this year can attest to it working. I no sooner finished the brief lesson on the importance of identifying strengths, implementing the WIFThem mindset (“What’s in it for them?”), and owning your actions, when I asked for a question. And low and behold, a young college male in the front corner of the room raises his hand. There it was, the moment of truth, as to whether they really heard me and learned something.

“Well,” he said, “I got stuff but really, just tell me, How can I get paid what I’m worth?

I was surprised by his question. It was audacious and bold, in typical millennial fashion, only because it was the exact opposite of what we had just discussed. So I paused, took a breath and began. “Do I have permission to coach you?”

The millennial nodded yes, and I responded, “What is exactly the value you bring to the employer and how do you articulated to them initially and then through your work?”

After a few moments of silence, while the millennial was thinking of how to respond, I chimed in again.

“Dude, do you get it? I mean really? You’re asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is, how do I demonstrate what I’m worth in the market place so someone wants and needs me to come work with them, and teach and guide me and help me get really, really good at this work thing? The thing is, you can’t demonstrate it until you’re there. Focus on first gaining the skills to become valuable to the market place.”

As a millennial expert who has coached thousands of millennial employees, what this college student asked represents a typical trait of millennials. They are hungry for success. They want the grand prize (some say “trophy” but that is just plain caddy, lol) …and they want it now, now, now. They see friends and peers posting job promotion pictures on Instagram, celebrating at parties on Snapchat, and hearing about other millennials “striking it rich” on Facebook.

What happens as a result? Millennials feel entitled to earn higher wages. They are impatient and have FOMO (fear of missing out) on the success that they think all of their friends are experiencing right now. So, like the graduate student showed, they ask employers all the wrong questions because they don’t get it. They don’t get that hard work, learning skills, and demonstrating value all precede getting paid anything by the market. You need to be valuable to an employer to get paid anything, and moreover, you for shit sure better be able to explain what that is what you do and why it is so special.

This is where the magic happens. Dilemma, they don’t get it. Challenge: we need to help them get it. SO DO THIS: we, as millennial coaches, bosses, parents, and teachers need to step in and embrace the opportunity to guide our next generation leaders. While millennials’ drive and hunger for success is great, they need to check in with reality.

According to the Millennial Leadership Survey, over half of millennials surveyed already think they have the right skills to be a leader. Wow, because we know that not even remotely close to 50% of successful Boomers, Xer’s or Silent Generation have the real deal skills to lead. So how could millennials, who are new to work life, possibly get it? Not to mention they understand they need work: 43% of millennials said that their weakest leadership skill is having industry experience and 41% said technical expertise.

See the conflict? Millennials think they already have the skills required to lead and earn more in the workplace, yet their lack of experience (and awareness of it) proves otherwise. As a millennial coach in the workplace, use these three strategies to teach millennials how to demonstrate their value in the workplace.

1) Take Initiative

In a recent School of Greatness podcast episode, host Lewis Howes talked with Adam Braun, founder of MissionU and Pencils of Promise, about higher education and performing well at work. Braun touched on an important phrase that demonstrates how millennials can show value, as opposed to asking for it: “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.” In other words: take initiative. It’s better to take calculated risks you believe will work and ask for forgiveness if they fail, rather than always wait to be told what to do and have your ideas rejected.

A good employee waits to be told what to do. A great worker reads the situation, predicts what needs to get done, and takes initiative to create a solution. Encourage your millennial employees to show, not tell. By doing so, millennials can effectively demonstrate their value.

As a millennial coach, you can inspire your millennials to take initiative by being supportive. Create an environment that fosters open feedback and transparency. Welcome new ideas and encourage innovation by instilling a go-getter mindset.

2) Showcase Strength by Leading From Strength

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Each of your millennial employees has a unique skillset that can be of value to their organization. As a millennial coach, make it your responsibility to help your employees identify these strengths so they can lead with them. Workshops and strengths finder assessments are great ways to teach millennials how to understand their gifts and use them effectively in the workplace.

The best leaders in the workplace know what they’re best at, continue to hone in on those skills, and lead from their strengths. By learning how to access and showcase their strengths, millennials can demonstrate their leadership potential, while optimizing their unique skillset for the greater good of their company.

3) Invest in Growth

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, over half of millennials rank the “opportunity to learn and grow” as “extremely important” when searching for a job. Millennials want managers who will invest in their growth so they can become capable, reliant, and talented leaders who can demonstrate their value to the marketplace.

“Millennials do need to be convinced why and how an organization will help them learn, grow, and develop, and further their careers.” –Harvard Business Review

As a millennial coach, create a leadership program where millennials can learn important skills like communication, relationship building, and technology-specific skills via online training. Millennials are looking for managers who are invested in their growth and areas to succeed that align with their natural interests and talents.

Understand what millennials want so you can help get them there…but make sure they grasp important business realities first. The millennial question of “How do I get paid what I’m worth?” is ridiculous…and it shows that Millennial coaches need to step in and help them understand why and how to reframe the question instead of just whine and complain. Help us change the question.

Teach your millennials how to demonstrate their value. Encourage them to take initiative and lead from their strengths by investing in their growth. This is how we can create future millennial leaders!

Are you looking to create next generation leaders who know their strengths and can deliver value? Check out our online tools, resources, and workshops!