Multigenerational Leadership

Look around most offices.  In most, there is a mix of at least three generations – all with very different work / life values and motivators. This multigenerational workforce is the new norm.  And because of this multigenerational mix, organizational leaders must break with traditional thinking that money is the ultimate reward and the organizational structure follows a hierarchy.

For the last 30-50 years leaders were able to rely on the knowledge – the truth – that most people from the same generation and cultural background share similar motivators and values. Leaders were able to rely on this because most of the North American workforce was made up of Anglo-Saxon Baby Boomers.

Today, we are experiencing a wonderful and expanding multigenerational and multicultural workforce.  In the next few years half of our eligible workers will be Millennials. In addition, many Boomers are not retiring (because they have to keep working, or they find work fulfilling), and early Generation Z employees are also now entering the workforce.

What this means is that leaders will need to help employees from all generations learn how to communicate with… and motivate each other. When multigenerational communication works, respect, loyalty and personal / organizational success flourishes.

For organization that wish to succeed, investment in multigenerational leadership and multigenerational communication is just as important as an upgrade of a critical piece of machinery. The only difference is that an investment in multigenerational leadership and multigenerational communication is without doubt one of their greatest competitive opportunities to propel their business into:

  • Greater employee engagement
  • Greater employee creativity
  • Greater employee retention
  • Greater employees and customer satisfaction
  • Greater growth / market share
  • Greater profitability
  • Lower costs

The organization that succeeds helps it’s employees recognize the value each generation offers and creates thriving, respectable teams. Successful organizations understand each individual can (and should), express their unique talents and personal goals as they focus – together – on shared organizational goals.Shared Goals

Example:
An organization wants a full system upgrade done in 6 months. As part of the upgrade team:

  1. Boomer employees will likely want to know:

  • Will there be a bonus for a successful upgrade delivered on time?
  • Might this lead to a promotion?
  • Will there be sincere recognition for meeting deliverables (from their boss is usually OK – or could be something bigger like within the company newsletter)?

  2. Millennial employees will likely want to know:

  • How can they uniquely contribute to the project?
  • What are they going to learn?
  • Who are they going to meet?
  • What might be the next opportunity that this opportunity leads to?

In a multigenerational workplace we need to give our employees / teams the tools, motivation and knowledge to build honest, respectful relationships based on ability (skill, knowledge and experience), and goals.

Quick Multigenerational Recap:

  • Boomers are traditionally motivated by money and status like office location, attending events and being the boss.
  • Xers are the first generation to focus on work / life balance – they saw their parents who were very loyal to one company 20 or 30 years get laid off.
  • Millennials want more work/life balance, freedom and opportunity. They are driven by a desire to better themselves, get recognition for and share their successes and to do meaningful work.
  • Generation Z (1995 – 2007), are optimistic, flexible and networked like no previous generation. Several other descriptors include “Generation V” (for virtual), “Generation C” (for community), “The New Silent Generation”, the “Internet Generation”, and even the “Google Generation.”

Conclusion: Multigenerational Leadership – Managing 3 or 4 Generations

To manage across the generations we have to learn to be mindful of each other and treat each other as individuals.

No matter what generation we are from, it’s too easy to keep doing what we are doing now and acting like each generation is (or should be), motivated by the same things we are.  Even if our professional – management instincts say “no – of course we don’t do this,” we have to be careful that our actions don’t demonstrate that we do.  We always have to be mindful of our actions and stay open to listening to each other.

Use everyone’s ability and goals.

Happy communicating.

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If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like:

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 3

Put First Things First – or as I like to say….”Do your important things first.”

My first memory of Stephen R. Covey was many years ago watching the video clip I’ve linked here where he gives an example of Habit #3 called Big Rocks. There is a strong relationship between this example and his 4 Quadrant Time Management Matrix theory. I summarize this relationship as follows:

  • Big rocks represent the key activities (Quadrant II), therefore they matter most because they are strategically important and not urgent.
  • Small rocks (not used in this video), represent smart activities (Quadrant I), therefore are strategically important and urgent.
  • Pebbles represent busy activities (Quadrant III), therefore matter least. They are not strategically important but often appear urgent.

The Time Management Matrix is a resource to help us make decisions and prioritize the conflicting daily demands we encounter.

Time Management Matrix

I enjoy asking two questions of Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks example:

  1. What is the point of this exercise?
  2. Why are the big rocks not urgent?

Two answers are:

  1. It’s not that we can always fit more into our schedule (a recipe for burn-out).  The point is that if we don’t put the big rocks in first we will never get ALL rocks and pebbles in (with room to spare if planned correctly).  The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.
  2. The big rocks are not urgent because we are proactive.  The strategically important tasks are days, weeks, months in the future and we have broken the work into sizable chunks than can be managed in a timely, controlled way.

Habit #3 is about choosing to make Habit 1 (Empowerment), and Habit 2 (Vision) part of our daily behaviour.

Recap from previous posts:

Habit #1 Personal Empowerment. We can choose to act/respond.
Habit #2 Make Thoughtful Decisions.  We are responsible for our decisions, vision and values.

Unfortunately, most of us spend most of our time in Quadrant III. This doesn’t make our work important… it just makes us busy, stressed and less effective with our truly important tasks.

Example:

You are a professional body builder and your peak physical productivity is in the morning. So, to be most effective you would do your hardest workouts in the morning… not leave the workout to end of day.

If you are a professional executive I can almost guarantee your peak creativity productivity is in the morning – therefore you should do your creative, strategic work in the morning. Leave routine – low priority work like email to the afternoon.  I know answering a hundred email feels rewarding… but most of our email is busy work – it can wait a few hours until our important / strategic work is done.

It’s all too easy to push aside Quadrant II work because the due date of that deliverable will be in the future.

Habit #3 (and Habit #1), of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People means we can choose to ‘Act, not be Acted Upon’.

How To Move Forward

You have the power to reinvent how you approach your day.

At first you may want to adopt Habit #3 slowly – perhaps the first (most important), 2 hours of your day. Don’t allow interruptions. Go work in a conference room if you need to – certainly, turn off email.

Focus on your big, important, non-urgent tasks. Prioritize what you, your boss or shareholders measure.  These items should remain non-urgent (Quadrant II), because you will keep them under control. If they become urgent it probably means you’ve let them slide in favour of other “Busy Work”.

Every week – revisit your true key 3 or 4 goals and use your creative imagination and a well implemented plan to succeed.

The Importance Of Saying No

Get used to saying no (or at least not now), to in favour of your Quadrant II (non-urgent but important), activities.

We all struggle with conflicting daily demands. Some non-strategic things we need to say no to… or at least say not now.  If these small activates threaten our ability to do our important work then it is our choice to succeed or fail.

To change we have to break our habits in favour of new habits – we can’t stop smoking if we keep lighting up. 

Habit #3 of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is not a quick fix. Do First Things First is called a ‘habit’ for a reason.  This is a long-term life skill commitment to things that matter most. It’s a habit to help us achieve the priorities and quality of life and success we want.

At home it might be as simple as stop watching TV and instead pull out a book or play a game with our child.

At work we might re-arrange our work schedule so we have dedicated “Help Others with their URGENT items” time between 3PM and 4PM in the afternoon… not in the morning when our personal productivity is at its peak.

What do you want to achieve?
Habit #2 asks – how do you want to be remembered by people close to you?

Conclusion:

Quadrant II is deeply important and not urgent; it is where we want to spend our time / resources. Quadrant II is the quadrant of quality and personal leadership – where we:

  • Plan
  • Give creativity and brainstorming space
  • Broaden our minds
  • Prepare for important meetings
  • Delegate
  • Listen to our partners
  • Act

Unfortunately, most people spend most of their time in Quadrant III and IV – which means our leadership / life-changing activities are not being addressed.

One Day At Work

A typical day integrating Best Time Management Practices might look like this.

Quadrant II is our most important quadrant.  It depends on us knowing our objectives based on our future planning / envisioning work we did in Habit #2. 

Happy, safe and healthy communicating.

Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.

If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like:

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

Reference Material:

  • Stephen R. Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ©
  • My experience

7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Habit 2

7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Habit 2 is ‘Begin With The End In Mind’.

Begin With The End In Mind means learning from your past, understanding where you are today and most importantly planning your future. It’s about making thoughtful decisions and being responsible for those decisions.  Begin With The End In Mind is about taking ownership of your vision and values and using your unique talents to purposefully live your life to it’s fullest.

Begin With The End In Mind answers the question “What do you want your family, friends, professional and spiritual contacts to say about:

  • Your character?
  • Your contribution?”

It’s more than being busy, it’s about you achieving your desired lifetime goals.

Do the big events in your life happen by chance or are your big events the result of conscious decisions that are inline with your circle of influence?

Habit 1 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People discusses your Circle of Influence vs. Circle of Concern.  Do you live your life focused on your circle of influence – doing the things that are important to you?

Habit 2 is about planning; it’s about mapping out your efforts in specific areas that are important to you (your goals), and to measure everything you do towards achieving your goals.

Dream Your Destiny

Begin with the end in mind means you have to dream your destiny before it can become real.  

Example: A Home Renovation

I recently renovated a home. Some walls had to be torn down – some had to be built. Note: It’s rewarding taking a sledgehammer to a wall that no longer make sense –  lightly disguised parallel to life.

Personal Leadership was important throughout the home renovation process.  Before I began renovating I had to create a new vision for the house. I had to known in advance what I was tearing down, what I was leaving and why… because if I tore down walls that should stay it would be a waste of time and money… and risk the project vision. I had to make sure I was doing the right things.

Stephen R. Covey quotes Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”  Habit 2 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People is clearly about Personal Leadership.

When it comes to personal life, business and your career, Begin With The End In Mind helps you know where to reinforce your foundation and what walls to keep or build. Habit 2 helps you make sure you are doing the right things.

What’s Important To You?

Stephen also discusses The Principal Centre in Habit 2 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.  The Principal Centre is a model that helps us remember that any decision we make impacts all of the other areas of our life. 

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 9.14.17 AM

There is great value in exploring The Principal Centre in the context of personal values and questions like, “How do I use my values to make decisions that impact these areas of my life?” and, “What other areas of my life might I be impacting when I make a decision about work?”

Make It Real: Make It Happen

Mastering habit 2 of 7 Habit Of Highly Effective People doesn’t happen overnight – it is an evolutionary journey on which you actively evaluate your past, your goals and become the architect of your future.

How we respond is up to us and will ALWAYS be an expression of our values. In addition, how we respond may be the first impression someone has of us… so it’s important we respond mindfully.

There are many situations we encounter and have to respond to on a daily, weekly basis.  They can include how we respond to:

  • A traffic jam
  • Acquiring a new customer
  • A star employee resigning
  • Your partner unexpectedly sending you flowers

Creating Affirmation Statements helps us practice mindfulness and visualize our response to situations in advance. I encourage you to do this – especially for challenging situations because this preparation will help you visualize in advance how you will express our core values when you respond. 

Example: Situation is…  A Traffic Jam

Your Affirmation Statement may be, “I will not get upset when I’m in a traffic jam; instead I will be mindful and I will breath. I will respond with thoughtful patience, self-control and respect for the other drivers who are sharing the same experience.”  Stephen R. Covey outlines a good affirmation statement should have five ingredients.  They are:

  1. Personal
  2. Positive
  3. Present Tense
  4. Visual
  5. Emotional

Conclusion:

Act or be acted upon with grace, humility, patience and a plan.

Taking risks will be part of the overall experience and learning curve.  The journey will help shape your unique experience and character while your vision and values will be your guide. In my Time Management training I discuss the importance of recognizing Important work from Busy work. Important work is your center of influence; busy work is your center of concern.

The world is changing so quickly that a static long-term plan is a risk. My experience and my work with Mindfulness confirms that a a short-term plan is often best, and that our values are our best guide as strive to make our vision reality.

Begin with the end in mind means learning from your past and looking to your future – it’s about making thoughtful decisions and being responsible for those decisions.  It’s about personal leadership, taking ownership of your vision and values and having the patience to plan, listen to and respect ourselves and the people we encounter.

So, one more time… what do you want your family, friends, professional and spiritual contacts to say about:

  • Your character?
  • Your contribution?

Happy communicating.

Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.

If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like: Improve Your Time Management SkillsGenerational Differences Training, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Habit 1 and Effective Business Email Writing Training.

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

Reference Material:

  • Stephen R. Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ©
  • Michael Bungay Stanier: Do More Great Work ©
  • Zindel Segal  Jon Kabat-Zin (general)
  • My experience

Email Apnea: 80% Of Us Do It… And Should Stop.

Is Email Apnea a challenge for you? Do you frequently hold your breath or take shallow breaths when you read or write email at work?

Crazy idea right?  But seemingly 80% of us are hurting our health and productivity because we hold our breath during periods of concentration or stress as we use email. Not surprisingly most of us are unaware we are doing it.

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email apnea happens when you hold your breath or take shallow breaths when you read or write email.  If you do this frequently you might be causing stress on your body. In addition, you might be reducing your ability to concentrate, your ability to remember and… you might become a bit more irritable than you used to be.

Linda Storne – who coined the phrase ‘Email Apnea’, in 2008 and believes that as many as 80% of people suffer from email apnea.

Interrupted breathing isn’t a new problem of course; sleep apnea is a common challenge. Even holding your breath when you dive into a pool can be a problem… if done frequently over long periods. Which makes the idea of email apnea a serious concern.  Why? Most of our professional communication happens via email. As much as 90% of our communication is email based.  Then, add all the time we spend texting and Wham! – it’s an even bigger concern.

What Happens Physically?

Many physical changes happen when you hold your breath or take shallow breaths – whether it’s email apnea, when you drive in heavy traffic or when you concentrate on lifting something. There are many physical changes and I will touch on a few of the relevant ones. If you would like more on this the Journal of Applied Physiology is a good reference for apnea.

Physical changes the Nationals Institute of Health identify when we hold our breath over prolonged periods:

  • Your oxygen levels drop (not good)
  • Your CO2 levels increase (not good)
  • Your heart rate increases (to try to get more oxygen to your brain) which puts stress on your heart
  • Neurological damage happens (not good)

In addition, holding your breath for prolonged periods can cause other additional concerns including your “fight or flight” reaction can be triggered which further increases your heart rate, and your body releases other chemicals into your bloodstream.

Why Do We Hold Our Breath? 

There may be many reasons for email apnea. One I see often is a period of intense reading followed by:

  • Confusion about what you read
  • Concern about what you read
  • A negative (or positive), reaction to what you read

As we ‘process’ information we often hold our breath… like we are doing some heavy lifting.

This topic is very near and dear to my… heart because I often hold my breath when I’m concentrating on what I’m reading or thinking.

A typical indicator of someone holding their breath is someone who frequently takes deep breaths – basically catching up on their oxygen.  I do this all the time – so much so that I’m often asked why I am sighing or upset.  “I’m not” I respond, “I’m just thinking.”  I never thought it an issue – but I do now.

In addition, my dad had sleep apnea and then later in life suffered from Alzheimer’s.  Is there a connection? I don’t know – but if I can reduce the amount of neurological damage I’m causing now I’m happy to try.

Do you hold your breath when you email? I even caught myself holding my breath as I wrote this blog post.

Bonus: Stop Email Apnea

Check your posture when you read and write email… or when you are on laptop, pad or smartphone. Keep your back straight, shoulders back and chin up.  You don’t want your head to slump with your chin close to your chest.  That interrupts your ability to breath well.

Happy, safe and healthy communicating.

Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.

If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like: 

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Habit 1

Important words you’ll find in this post:

  • Freedom
  • Choice
  • Proactive
  • Influence
  • Respond vs. React
  • Responsibility
  • Commitment
  • Integrity

Habit 1 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People is the cornerstone for all of the other Habits Of Highly Effective People. Habit 1 is about personal empowerment and being responsible for the decisions we make. It’s about how we live and how we engage with ourselves… and the people / world / work around us. 

Stephen R. Covey believes many of us have learned to react to our feelings – our moods – our thoughts. A reaction is an involuntary response – one we didn’t think about. Instead, habit 1 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People suggests we need to learn how to actively (or proactively), choose to respond – and to be accountable for this choice. As Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn (leaders in the field of Mindfulness), might suggest, it’s a choice to be Mindful how we respond.  Our ability to choose and to be mindful is one of our greatest human abilities.

A closely related approach Stephen R. Covey looks at in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to ‘Act’ or be ‘Acted Upon’. If we wait for someone to tell us what to do (to act upon us), we absolve responsibility, choice and control; we become a follower. You can identify when someone has given up control when they start sentences with, “I had no choice…” or “I have to…” Sentences like this give away almost all of our ability to be a powerful influence and to experience creative, independent thought.

Example: Your company downsized and you lost your job. 

You have choices:

  • You can stay home in your bathrobe saying “I have no choice, there are no jobs”, or…
  • You can see it as an opportunity for diversity and to upgrade your skills, change your Linkedin profile and sell yourself to high-potential new employers.

Sure, getting laid off is often awful, yet I agree with Stephen R. Covey when he suggests that in any circumstance we have choice whether the pain will be short term or long term. Our former employer is not responsible long term; we are. Only we can shape how we respond to a circumstance; only we have the choice to respond in a way that demonstrates our proactive choice and leadership.

Is being proactive easy? No, Habit 1 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People takes work to master and often takes coaching. Challenging events will always happen around us that we cannot control so… we will always have opportunities to practice.

Stephen R. Covey quotes Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can hurt you without your consent.” And Gandhi, “They can not take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.”

Circle of Influence vs. Circle of Concern

This all seems like a great idea but you might be asking, “How do I know where I should be spending my time?” Stephen’s ‘Circle of Influence’ identifies where you can make a difference. It can also mean empowering the people around you and turning them into positive leaders.Screen

I discuss ‘Circle of Influence’ within my Time Management training.

Where do we have influence? What do we choose to be, do and feel from this moment forward? It’s up to us if we are happy at home, successful at the gym, influential at work. This is our ‘Circle of Influence’.

Example: There are things like the weather we are never going to change – our circle of influence has no influence – but we can change our response to the weather. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggests our circle of influence helps us respond to the things that will have positive impact.

    • I can listen without interrupting or making judgments.
    • I can listen with empathy.
    • I can validate what I understand they said they need / want.
    • I can identify other needs they may have that they don’t realize they have.
    • I can stop complaining and be proactive.

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.32.33 AM

You are the beginning – success it’s all about your influence. When you:

  • Focus on influence you will increase success.
  • Focus on concern you will reduce your influence and increase failure.

This is further discussed in Habit 2 of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.

Our Choices Have Consequences

Finally, if our choice is to influence things in a positive way there will likely be positive consequences.  If our choice is to influence things in a negative way (rob a bank), the consequences will likely be bad – we will likely go to jail.

We are able to choose how we respond and try to influence the consequence – but we cannot 100% predict and control a consequence (we might not get caught if we rob a bank). 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggests that while we cannot control consequences, we do have to be responsible for them… whether those consequences are 100% predictable or not.

Conclusion

Be a solution:

  • Thoughtful, proactive people respond using their listening skills, values and empathy
  • Reactive people use their feelings. They let the circumstances or people around them control their actions.

How we respond is always important. Even when you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, learn from it, be part of relevant proactive change and then move on.

Happy communicating, creating workplace harmony and reducing employee turnover.

Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.

If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like:

Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

Bruce Mayhew on Canada AM

Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.

I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

Reference Material:

  • Stephen R. Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ©
  • Michael Bungay Stanier: Do More Great Work ©
  • Zindel Segal  Jon Kabat-Zin (general)
  • My experience

2 Steps To Hiring And Retaining The Right Millennial


Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 5.11.38 PM
It is possible to hire a Millennial employee that sticks around and actively contributes as a member of your team… or… you might find yourself:

  • Reading their resignation email
  • Repeating the interview process
  • Suffering low productivity and the opportunity loss during the interview period
  • Managing the learning curve of yet another new employee

Are you asking yourself “What is with these Millennials? They have no loyalty?” Well, perhaps their loyalty isn’t the challenge – perhaps you are hiring the wrong Millennial.

To hire AND retain the Millennial who has the core competencies and values that ‘fit’ with the job – most organizations and managers must shift how they interview and engage employees. They also need to consider what strong Millennial candidates look for in an employer… and what their organization has to offer.

Here are 2 Steps To Hiring And Retaining The Right Millennial

Step 1. The Interview Process

Conduct a structured – formal – measurable interview.  Most interview processes do two critical mistakes:

  1. Accept hypothetical answers to the questions
  2. Don’t measure the quality of the answers across all interviewees

Discovering the best person to hire… especially with Millennials… is where a Behaviour Event Interview (BEI), is an invaluable tool to identify predictable behaviour.

Millennials realize their past work experience might not be extensive – but that doesn’t mean you can’t discover great potential and a great corporate fit.  When someone doesn’t have lots of work experience you have to look for predictable behaviour in their life experiences. Even family events can demonstrate how an individual did handle a situation – be it stress, confrontation, deadlines, hierarchy or and standing up for your values… whatever is important for the position you are filling.

The key to a BEI is that it avoids hypothetical answers and lets you uncover real past behaviour… and past behaviour will give you clear insight how they will  behave in the future… or predictable future behaviour.

There is also a side benefit to a BEI.  As the interview progresses you learn valuable information that helps you build a valuable relationship / partnership and understanding of their past experience (stories), abilities… which leads us to Step 2.

Step 2. Leave Time To Discuss Expectations

Within the first interview, leave time to discuss your expectations… and ask them about theirs. For example:

  • Hours / Overtime (is overtime compensated?)
  • Training You’ll Offer
  • Their need to be patient… typically how long it takes to learn the ropes
  • Opportunities for advancement / compensation / travel

More and more candidates are also coming to the interview with their own questions. Therefore, be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why should they join your company vs. your competition (from their perspective)?
  • What exposure (to people / work), will they have that will expand their skill, knowledge and experience?
  • How will working here satisfy their work/life balance? 
    • Perhaps they like to ski and you are close to a ski hill… could they do flex hours in the winter?
  • What about the benefits package? 
  • When can they begin taking courses that the company will pay for?
  • They volunteer a lot? Would your company offer a week off (no pay), to do volunteer work?

You are looking for younger – savvy employees who can help your company creatively respond to a quickly changing market while providing excellent customer service and brand pride.  So, show them you are a winning company that can keep up with them.Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 10.07.57 AM

If you have a great place to work then show it, let them see it, live your product and corporate values.  It’s part of the value proposition of your organization.

Now, let’s say you are at the end of your second interview.  You still like the candidate and you have already checked references. Now might be the perfect time to go deeper in the area of expectation management. So, before you hire them build an even deeper relationship with them and have another conversation with them:

  • Share why you think they might be the right candidate
  • Ask them why they think you are their right employer
  • Ask them why they think they are the right employee

Example 1. Uniqueness

The Mini Cooper retail success story because of their ability to ‘personalize’ each car.  A great example of ‘fitting in’ and ‘uniqueness’.  It doesn’t stop there… their advertising is unique when compared to other car companies. At the time of this post (winter), they have an advertising campaign that says “Seize Winter By The Snowballs” which is bold, playful and unique… just like Millennials.Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 2.52.16 PM

Example 2. Benefits

Multigenerational misunderstanding goes both ways. I was speaking with a Millennial about priorities just the other day and he was puzzled that priorities like Work/Life balance and financial reward might be different for a Boomer than the Millennial.  He asked for an example – so… I suggested the following.

Assuming everyone’s basic shelter needs are being satisfactorily met, it’s salary review / raise time. Our Millennial has a choice of a $4,000 raise OR a $2,000 raise plus 1 extra week over the next 12 months where they would do either volunteer or education activity. Without blinking he chose the lower amount and the opportunity to volunteer for a week. He seemed surprised when I suggested that when most Boomers were his age would have likely taken the $4,000. Simple reality is that personal values, goals and the employment market have changed.

Step 2 Summary: What one Millennial will see as a benefit might not satisfy the next Millennial. Salary and vacation are only one part of what employees are looking for. Millennials especially are looking for:

  • Ongoing training / personal and professional improvement
  • Incentives / recognition / reward… which may be money – or may something else of value

Are you able to offer employees benefits and a progressive environment that meet their lifestyle and career goals?

Conclusion:

Changing your interview process to include a Behaviour Event Interview (BEI), will have great impact – but don’t let it stop there.  After you hire them, have another interview like conversation with them.

  • Ask Questions
  • Provide Feedback / Ideas
  • Weekly one-on-one strategic meetings
  • Give your process a 360 evaluation – ask them why they said yes?  What was important to them?

Even if we come from similar backgrounds – today more than ever it’s likely the things that fulfill us will be VERY different. While Millennials have more social pressure to ‘fit in’, they have also always had more desire and more opportunity to be unique.  That’s one reason why the Mini Cooper © is such a success for this younger audience… and an example how to give Millennials choice.

Happy Hiring… and Communicating.

Imagine work being easier. Imagine work being more productive.

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