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Managing Millennials: A Crash Course

December 27, 2012

If you are struggling to make the most out of your relationships with Millennial employees, here is a quick guide to turning those born between 1980 and 1992 into some of your biggest fans and assets.

Communicating: Veterans like face-to-face meetings, boomers like phone calls, Generation X prefers email, and Millennials do most of their communicating via cell phone, text messages, and social media. Millenials’ interpersonal skills and presentation skills often need work. But be open to letting them develop relationships through the channels they’re most comfortable with. Their informality can often lead to more frequent contact and faster relationship building.

Recruiting: When you set out to hire younger workers, consider your employer brand. What does your company stand for? What are your values? Young people want to work with those they like and companies they believe in. Also understand that what they learn about your company online—from LinkedIn, your website, or customer reviews on Yelp—will shape their opinions and interests. (more…)

Attract Gen Y Employees with a Great Office Space

December 20, 2012

They’re young, they’re talented, they’re tech-savvy, they’re green. Studies show that by creating an environmentally friendly office, you have a better chance of attracting talented members of Generation Y to your workforce.

According to a MonsterTRAK poll on green employment, 92 percent of young professionals interviewed said they would be more inclined to work for an environmentally-friendly company. The information was confirmed by a Johnson Controls large-scale research project in which more than 3,000 Gen Ys from the United States, the UK, Germany, China, and India were interviewed. Ninety-six percent said they want an “environmentally aware or friendly workplace” and 57 percent said they want their employers to perform well above regulatory compliance.

In short, the younger generations are driven digital innovators, but they want a workplace that is aligned to their core beliefs and is environmentally sensitive. Cubicles with high walls tend to cage their creativity, while flexible and team-focused designed office spaces with fewer barriers allow for the free flow of ideas and information. (more…)

How to Unplug

November 16, 2012

Recently a colleague asked if I’d been on vacation, since I looked so relaxed (which speaks volumes about my usual demeanor, I guess). Laughing, I told him that it was my daughter who had been on vacation — two weeks at summer camp.

We chatted about how, as parents, we seem to have little time to take it easy and enjoy. I joked that I hoped to maintain at least the look of relaxation when my daughter returned. He just smiled and said, “Press save,” and went on his way.

Press Save.

So what does this phrase have to say to you as a manager, parent or not? Plenty! We’re still in the midst of difficult days and it’s easy to forget the fun times when we hit the office. It’s especially important that you take care of yourself now, so that not only can you survive the long haul, but also help your team do so. (more…)

Get Better Sales Performance Through Balance

November 8, 2012

If you have ever managed employees, or more specifically sales professionals, you know how delicate the balance between pushing and pulling for better performance can be. I remember when I was just starting out as a business owner. I thought that everyone I hired should be able to perform at my level. This, of course, was catastrophic when it came to my demeanor when managing my sales team; as a manager I was certainly much more of a stick man than a carrot. So how do you find that balance and what seems to work the best?

Let’s take a few realities of the typical sales professional into consideration. They tend to be hungry for recognition, are used to winning, are frequently gregarious, are horrible with paperwork, and are often less detail oriented than other folks. These general traits create havoc when trying to manage a group of individuals that don’t necessarily respond to the exact same motivation techniques. Some feed on the competition and beating out their neighbor in the next cube, while some only focus on their own wallet and could care less about what the person sitting next to them is doing. (more…)

Managing Political Discussions at Work

November 6, 2012

With a presidential election less than a month away, many voters are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expressing their political opinions at work. But how outspoken should employees be in the workplace?

Few, if any, employers want to discourage political expression, yet the reality is that political disagreements often have a way of exceeding polite boundaries and can produce bruised feelings and an uncomfortable atmosphere. An inflamed argument can disrupt work flow, impede productivity and weaken team interactions. In extreme cases, it even can lead to bullying.

Although employers cannot (and should not) legislate what employees discuss, they should consider taking steps to ensure that employees remain civil and calm during discussions and everyone’s views are respected. Below are points of information and suggestions to help maintain a respectful and productive work environment without inhibiting political expression: (more…)