Monday, October 28, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
For years employers have been working to better understand how to hire, train and employ young workers known as Generation Y.
But just when they thought they may be making some headway in understanding how best to develop and harness these young employees, along comes Generation Z. Its members are expected to turn the workplace upside down.
Born in the decade from 1990 to 1999, statistics show this generation is already nearly 7% of the American workforce, 11 million people. By 2019, 30 million of them are expected to be employed.
Bruce Tulgan, founder of Rainmaker Thinking, has been studying young people for two decades, and says the Great Recession somewhat muted the effects of Generation Y because the economic doldrums kept many of them from getting jobs and replacing baby boomers.
But as the economy improves and baby boomers decide to retire, Generation Z will lead to profound changes in the workplace, he says. (Tulgan contends that the oft-cited "millenial" generation is really two generations, Generation Y and Generation Z.)
"Generation Z grew up with great uncertainty. They grew up in times of war, and it's much different than Generation Y that grew up with peace and prosperity," he says. "They've come out with radically different prospects of what they need to do in their work lives."
Based on in-depth interviews with young people, Tulgan has put together research that shows Generation Z, whose oldest members are just graduating from college, "grew up way too fast and never grew up at all."
Because they're able to connect with any information at any time via smartphones and other devices, Generation Z never lacks for a constant stream of data. Generations before them might not have been exposed to this information until adulthood or had it filtered from other sources.
But Generation Z's interpersonal skills often are lacking, and they may not have basic manners that were ingrained in other generations at a young age, he says.
"They have tremendous energy and enthusiasm, but there's a big gap in the old-fashioned basics like personal responsibility and work habits," Tulgan says.
Employers need to understand what they will be facing with Generation Z so managers can tap their intelligence and provide the support these young workers going to need as an entire generation.
"It's a mistake for employers to say they'll just find one of the good ones," he says. "You can't hire your way out of the issues you'll be facing. They're (read more here)
Monday, October 14, 2013
Having a baby is always an adjustment for new parents, but one strategic communications company found it was going to go through some adjustments of its own when three key employees on its 16-member staff turned up pregnant at nearly the same time.
After seven months of "adjusting, juggling and stretching" to accommodate three maternity leaves, "the truth is it wasn't bad after all," writes Jon Newman, co-founder of The Hodges Partnership, in a blog post titled OOOhhh Baby…(Our three-peat feat).
"In fact, it was an extremely good thing, not only for the moms, but for all of us at Hodges," he wrote.
The change in routine was good for the company because everyone pitched in, learned to stretch their capabilities and skills and be more flexible with their work, Newman says in the post.
One of the moms who was pregnant and now has a 7-month-old baby is Stacey Brucia, an account manager. She says she was telecommuting from home when she heard about the second employee announcing her pregnancy.
"I'm glad no one could see my face because I knew then I was also pregnant," she says. "I knew then it was going to be a stretch (for the company) because it was going to be a revolving door of maternity leaves."
However, Brucia says she wasn't overly concerned because Hodges already had been supportive when she was the first woman in the company to take maternity leave four years previously when her first child was born.
Still, companies don't always have supportive atmospheres. Women often debate about when they should reveal their pregnancies and what will happen to their jobs while they are on maternity leave.
Cheree Aspelin, who writes the Maternity Leave Coach blog, says many women try to hide their pregnancies. She saw one woman wearing a heavy overcoat to work in July in Houston.
"Sweat was just pouring off her," Aspelin says. "She's trying to hide (read more here)
Friday, October 11, 2013
Everyone makes mistakes, but it's often difficult to own up to them at work.
We may fear getting in trouble with the boss, or we may worry that confessing will hurt our reputation or career permanently.
When people make mistakes, the biggest problem is often fear that causes them to try to cover it up, says Daryl Pigat, a branch manager with Robert Half International in New York.
"You have to own it. If you don't admit it, it's going to come back to haunt you," he says. "Take responsibility, say what you've learned from it, be willing to move on and don't harp on it for six months."
What if the mistake wasn't really your fault, but you get the blame?
According to a recent OfficeTeam survey, managers can get caught in this situation.
Thirty percent senior managers say they've accepted blame at work for something that wasn't their fault, according to the survey, based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees. Why? Some 34% report they felt indirectly responsible for the problem; 28% said they didn't want to get someone else in trouble.
While the attitude of taking one for the team may be admirable, Pigat says such a strategy can undermine your career if you're constantly shouldering the blame for mistakes.
"You don't want to become the scapegoat," he says. "You have to walk a fine line because you do need to worry about yourself. While it may be easier to diffuse a situation by accepting blame and moving on, you don't want to be a lackey."
For some workers, it's not easy to avoid becoming scapegoats when the boss constantly blames errors on them.
In that case, document what's really happening and show how you were not responsible for the error, Pigat says. If the situation doesn't improve, it may mean you have to talk to the boss privately about his penchant for heaping unwarranted blame on your shoulders.
When confronting a boss on difficult issues, some basic rules apply, says Renee Evenson, author of "Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People." She has this advice:
• Stay calm. Focus on the facts and offer a positive (read more here)