Gen y

Measuring Performance for the ‘Entitled Generation’

Gen y

We have it jotted down as a point of discussion in our leadership and management meetings with our business partners. We provide webinars to our front line managers on how to navigate through it. And as HR Professionals, we attend seminars dedicated to it, so that we ourselves can keep up with them. It’s called managing ‘Generation Y’ commonly referred to as (eyes rolling) the ‘Entitled Generation’.

How do you motivate and retain a generation of employees that literally have knowledge at the tip of their fingers? We are talking about a group of people who present themselves to truly believe that they are entitled because they actually feel that they know everything. And how can you blame them really? Of course they know everything! They have access to all information at the touch of their fingertips – just ask google Or Siri and she’ll tell you!

There is something to be said about a company that employs this generation. It means that the company is a progressive organization and is ready to change. The newest generations of working professionals are different than the rest. We know this already and so do they. They tell you all the time. But, here’s the thing, they are no longer just the front line staff. They are moving up, and quickly might I add! We have a large group of baby boomers in the process of working through their exit strategy as they enter their retirement years – and someone has to fill their big shoes, right? So – we gotta start developing them somehow. But first, we just need to be clever in figuring out how exactly to retain them first.

We’ve always been told that the future is in our hands and that we have control over our own destination – and for the purposes of alleviating confusion, let’s focus those words solely around career progression. Well our wonderful ‘Gen- Y’s’ have that opinion embedded into their mentality. They don’t need to remind themselves that the future is in their hands – because it physically is. Ask a 20 something year old if they have the newest Iphone/Ipad and they’ll look at you like your crazy for even assuming they were willing to settle for less!

What’s my point?

My point is that today, as HR Professionals, we have a very unique anomaly on our hands to deal with. We have policies, programs, and performance reviews that we and our predecessors spent years, literally years, creating in our organizations to suit and work with a generation that is actually going into retirement now. Gone are the days of waiting around for years for that one golden promotion, now – in even their interviews, these guys are asking you, quite confidentially, when they can expect to be promoted. (And we as the hiring managers are sitting on the other side of the desk interviewing them, thinking errr… maybe wait until we actually offer you the job first???). Gone are the days of feeling nervous that the CEO came down to see your location, because they were so far up the hierarchy – these days, it’s all about the flatter org chart.

Businesses are already changing to work with the new ‘Entitlement’ mentality. But, we aren’t really understanding that it isn’t going to just go away. It’s also not just a passing ‘fad’. This is an entire generation of human beings, people! They’re here to stay. And while we have made amendments to some of our ways of doing business to accommodate them– we have a really big problem on our hands.

As an employer and as an HR professional – you are the ones managing them, and interviewing them. But are you the ones retaining them? You are probably working with older policies, programs and performance reviews that were built in the years when the internet was not so readily available for humans to learn and develop as rapidly as they do these days. So, how can you guarantee that what you have implemented is actually working for your company, and your front line workers or newest managers, when you’re using forms and documents that appealed to a generation going into retirement? See my point?

Here is what you need to do to create something that aligns more appropriately with this ‘Entitlement Generation’. Give Feedback! Often might I add! These guys want it. Badly. They are not interested in waiting for their one year anniversary to get it either. They want to know what they can do to improve their skills… right now. And if you aren’t telling them – then they are going elsewhere to find that information.

So – introduce weekly meetings with your employees. Not just to sit down and discuss their performance – today’s generation of newest workers, are very ‘me’ centric. And we need to help them harness exactly what that means. So talk about ‘them’. And let ‘them’ get it all out to you just how great they think they are. But when you do this – set a timeframe for how long the meeting will run. And then – when they finish telling you how ‘great’ they are – look back at them, and tell them you can’t wait to see them create actionable items out of their amazing self that will help you see how ‘great’ they really are. Make them come up with their own goals and objectives based on the great ideas and perspectives they have – and then be that HR Leader or Manager and help them assign timelines associated with completion.

You accomplish a few things in this process:

  1. This will keep you up to speed on what their current pulse is with their work and personal lives.
  2. It will help them, to help you, to prepare for that ancient thing we use, called an Annual Performance Review.
  3. There won’t be any surprises since in your weekly meetings with them, they actioned items THEY thought of and committed to doing – given how great they are.
  4. When the time comes for those good ole ‘Annual Reviews’ all you really need to gather is the information associated with what was actioned and then achieved during these meetings.
  5. Congratulations – you’ve single handedly created a situation where your ‘Entitled’ Employee is finally an ‘Accountable’ one.

When we work with a new breed of workers – such as Generation Y – we have to be cognizant of the fact that some of our policies may no longer align well with what its core purpose was initially set out to achieve. And in the end – it is still all about getting workers to complete their tasks in the most effective and efficient way. What HAS changed is that we need to be aware that because the audience is different – the way we go about achieving this goal must also be changed. It is the only way we can and will be successful in today’s organizations.

Until Next Time

Crystal E. Rizzuto, BHRM, CHRP, CHRL

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What It Takes to Succeed in the Call Center Industry.

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Job Postings contacted me to do an interview on what it would take to be successful in a Call Center Industry.

Here is what I responded to them with:

http://www.jobpostings.ca/career-guides/call-centres/enduring-the-dial-tone-how-to-handle-negative-calls-at-a-call-centre

Job Postings is a Canadian Magazine that tailors their articles to students looking for future work. It is distributed across Canada to all major Colleges and Universities. Published in their October edition and distributed to all post-secondary schools in Canada, here is what I had to say on working in this environment. Koodos to all our hard working employees for all the time and dedication they put into their work!

 

~ Crystal

 

 

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What Does Nike Have to Do With It?

If you haven’t seen the Art William’s – ‘Just Do It’ Speech, I highly recommend you do. It was a video we heard at Conference and it had one phrase thrown out continuously to the audience. ‘Just Do It.’

Interestingly, it also happens to be the same phrase as the Nike slogan ‘Just Do It’.

So what does it mean? And what did it mean to Nike, to create this slogan for their organization?

I thought I would do some research to better understand the perspective of this large global organization (Nike) and what this phrase meant to them. And here is what I found.

When Nike came up with this new slogan, they unexpectedly received thousands of emails and phone calls about this simple three word phrase. People as a whole united – both men and women, and started sending over their interpretation of what this phrase not only meant to them – but what it DID for them.

Nike received messages from people whom had been in a downward spiral for years upon years and they wrote that when they read that phrase ‘Just Do It’ it inspired them to change their life. These people wrote in about making life changing decisions that they’d wanted to do for long periods of time, and for some reason these three words had an impact.

Nike discussed their surprise at the outpour of people that they had touched as a result of this new slogan. More importantly, they were overwhelmed by the lives they had impacted from those three words.

Doing it – doesn’t just mean thinking about it. It doesn’t mean day dreaming about it either. It means simply doing it. If you do the things that you fear most, they tend to become the things you are most proud of. They also become the things that build your character. They are the things that help you thrive, help you cope and most importantly empower you.

So bringing this into you and your organization, I ask you. What is it that you have wanted to do to make this company a better place? To make your work that much more enjoyable? To make your colleagues that much more inspired? And when you come up with that answer to yourselves, I will test each of you to say – Now Do It. You will truly be surprised by the impact you as one person can have on everything around you. I promise you.

As group of people, and a group of employees – each of us should be proud promoters of this. Knowing that we are working for something greater then ourselves, knowing that we are contributing to each other’s lives, knowing that we have that kind of an impact on another person, a team, a department, an office, and in the big picture – an entire organization, and knowing that this penetrates throughout all of Canada, should be inspiring for all of us…

So today, as simple as it may seem – the message is clear on what should be our focus –Do It. Making your organization, and in turn our lives the best it has to be, with what we have to work with.

today is the day

…Til Next Time

Crystal E. Singh, BHRM, CHRP

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Enjoying the Work Life Balance

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Have you ever had a moment, where the ‘balance’ of work and life begins swaying too much on one side and not enough on the other? Or after numerous attempts to find equilibrium, it somehow manages to position itself back to swaying too much to one side?

I went online to Wikipedia to see what was written about Work-Life balance. Here is what it said:

“Work-life balance is a broad concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) on one hand and “life” (pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development) on the other. Related, though broader, terms include “lifestyle balance” and “life balance”.

 

That seemed to me to be a fairly light definition that could be taken in many different ways. Prioritize? Isn’t everything a priority though? And then, how is it possible to keep everything in its balance while doing something else at the same time?

 

The word Work-Life Balance was first used in the US to describe the balance between personal life and a working life. This term, coined in the 1970’s, makes it almost difficult to believe there was once a time when this was possible, with the amount of economic changes that have occurred in the last 40 years.

We all see these television shows and read these articles on the importance of Work-Life Balance… we hear or see it in one form or another nearly daily. Balance – eat your vegetables, drink 8 glasses of water a day, get 8 hours of sleep each night, exercise 3 times a week, maintain a household, run your errands, visit family, take your children to their hockey game or study for your exam… and somehow find time to fit work into your schedule.

The funny thing is that it appears that Work Life Balance may not be what it was first initially created to be. It almost seems like this idea was based on a lifestyle difficult to relate to in this day and age.

 

So the question is how can we achieve Work-Life Balance while we have so many things going on in our everyday lives?

Here is the thing: Work-Life Balance, isn’t just about prioritizing, it’s also about finding ways to enjoy whatever it is you are doing so that your enjoyment in doing it, allows you the leverage you need in order to feel balanced.

We all know that work is called work for a reason. And if you are able to enjoy what it is you are doing then all the more reason to continue to do it. As for life, the balancing comes in many forms – for some it may be spending time with loved ones and for others it may be adventures or new experiences.

I believe a great way to achieve this balance is to first understand what is important to you and what makes you happy and then to take the next step and…start doing it!

With our busy lives and busy schedules, it is easy to get caught up in the planning and organizing of everything. But I believe it is just as important to schedule in that special time – perhaps weekly, monthly or even daily, too enjoy your life. This is where you allocate yourself the time to enjoy your achievements, create some new ones, or just spend some quality time with people that provide you with that positive energy – where you can walk away feeling stronger, wiser, supported and ready to get back to business. When we surround ourselves with positive experience and positive people, we help lighten the load we carry on our shoulders, by having new memories to think about and great people to help carry some of that load we call Work-Life Balance.

At the end of the day, we must never forget that this is our Life, and it is ours to enjoy both the balance and the experiences that come with it. J   -

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Until Next Time -

Crystal E. Singh, BHRM, CHRP

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Ted – The Automotive Supervisor

reclognition clap

There was a gentleman named Ted that I’d met at a meet and greet event I had attended several years ago. Ted was the Head Supervisor of an Automotive Company, and his responsibilities included handling the schedules, motivating the team before they began their shift, training the new hires, reviewing the inventory in the back and covering for his manager when he was out of office. Ted had been with this Automotive Company for just over 8 years. He never missed a day of employment, and had always done his best. Ted never complained about anything, and the managers felt that he was a valued employee.

The problem was that Ted would go home to his wife and complain about his job almost every day for the last year. But why? If he was valued and he was doing such a great job, and he had built such great rapport with his team – why was Ted complaining?

He started his story to me, with “I always thought I’d run the department” – and then went into an entire overview of why he didn’t really like his job. To him, it was because – it didn’t pair correctly with what he had envisioned he would be doing. He said he felt that he had settled.   Here is what I said to him – ‘Just okay is unacceptable’.

If it wasn’t acceptable for him – why was he continuing to try and accept it?

The truth of the matter was that Ted did not want to be there – for the wrong reasons. Ted enjoyed the work and the people. He was good at his job. His managers also knew he was good at his job. The problem was – no one was telling him that. Ted was craving recognition. But he needed to communicate that to his manager so that the manager would have an opportunity to respond.

The funny thing was that when I shared this thought with Ted – that he needed to communicate this to his manager, Ted looked at me as if he had heard this for the very first time.

What is wrong with that? In the employee – employer relationship – the communication runs as a 2 way street. When we don’t say what we really mean and expect another person to read between the lines, what we are really doing is asking that person to help us fail. And we are also failing ourselves. Just Okay is Unacceptable.

Ted sent me an email several weeks after our talk and this is what he said to me:

“Thank you.”

When I saw Ted again a few years later, I’d asked him how things were going. He was still employed with that Automotive Company.  He told me that he had gone to his Manager and asked him for recognition. They had sat down and talked about exactly what Ted needed for recognition, in order to feel motivated in his position. The recognition Ted needed was different than what the Manager thought he was giving to him. I asked Ted if he felt he was still just ‘okay’ with his position. Do you know what he responded with? “No, just okay is unacceptable.”

until next time …

Crystal E. Singh, BHRM, CHRP

Destination 3 - Enna  (55)

Creating an Orientation: WHY It’s Important to Your Company.

 

Remember your first day at work? What about your first week or month? Remember that unsettled feeling you had of what came next? Perhaps you were overwhelmed, and thought ‘How on earth am I supposed to absorb all of this information?’ Or maybe it was the feeling of anticipation or even boredom, as you patiently waited to get your new work station set up, and get through the classroom or on the job training, so that you could feel comfortable in your environment.

Comfort.

That’s what everyone is looking for when they join an organization. Comfort. They are looking for that immediate comfort so that they can learn their environment, trust their surroundings and know who to turn to for help.

The most important way your organization can inspire your New Hires to feel comfortable so they are motivated to STAY and get through the training, the new faces and the new workload, is to give them a good Introduction of your Company. Aka: An Orientation.

If you do this correctly, you will have a group of New hires well equipped to understand what the expectations are of them, and most importantly, the faster we get them comfortable with their environment, the quicker they’ll become attached to their environment – which will increase the likelihood that they will stay in their environment…and in turn increase the likelihood that they will produce.

Comfort = Attachment = Motivation = Production

And why not right? Doesn’t it make sense that if you love your job, you WILL perform – so you can KEEP your job?

Not just any old orientation will do. You can’t expect an orientation that’s been passed on from generation to generation of workers to have the same effects now as it did 10 years ago. You can’t. It’s a different workforce, and majority of these workers have very different ideas on what business is all about, and how business is done. Your orientation has to inspire the current group of workers especially if you are looking to retain them.

To get this right – you need to make sure you have a solid understanding of your company’s culture.

What is your company culture REALLY about? Because, you need to make sure that you create an orientation that properly showcases this.

  • Is your company centered on a culture of productivity?
  • Maybe your organization is focused on teamwork.
  • Perhaps, the culture of your organization is to based on uniqueness and creativity.
  • Possibly you enjoy promoting that you work hard but focus on ‘Having Fun’ while doing it.

Each of these individual cultures should have an Orientation that showcases this selling feature to give these Newbies a good understanding of what they are about to get themselves into. The reason why this is important is because it will help them feel that they belong (aka: Comfort).  And it will also help them understand what aspects of their personality they can utilize in order to feel comfortable entering your Organization. I’ve listed below some of the above examples, which your company may already consider to be the main culture of your organization:

  • Productivity
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Fun

There are of course more cultures that may or may not be defined in one word.

So, when creating an Orientation, make sure it completely and openly allows the employee to get a good glimpse of ALL the many ways the company shows they believe in this culture. Through your Orientation Videos, your site tour’s (If you’re not doing this I highly recommend it), your key people introductions (again – If you’re not doing this, I highly recommend it), your PowerPoint’s, handouts and your team building exercises – the New Hire should walk away truly knowing what your company is all about.  Remember: The faster you get them comfortable – the faster you get them producing.

Why? Because: Comfort = Attachment = Motivation = Production

Stay Tuned and All the Best.

Crystal E. Singh, BHRM, CHRP