A Dimension 11 Publication. Please Visit our Website: www.dimension11.com
The world is different – it has changed remarkably fast! In just 5 months we have companies closing, people out of jobs. And those who do have jobs trying to figure out if they can go back to the premises or if they still need to work from home.
So how do you create an environment where everyone, all 5 generational cohorts can work together? Yes, 5! It’s the first time in history we have seen 5 generations working together.
There aren’t many Traditionalists (also called the Silent Generation – 1925 to 1945) in the workforce today yet those who are have the wisdom of history in your organization. They work hard and follow the rules so they can bring along much support for the organization.
The Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) are also much fewer in numbers today in the workforce. Many have chosen to retire and some to retire early. These are the ones who believe in being involved and reject traditional values –this and the recession of 2007 brings forward their desire to work longer.
GenX’ers (1965 to 1980) are in so many leadership roles as the Boomers back away. The challenge is that there are more leadership roles than GenX’ers to fill those roles. And so, these leaders are working alongside the up and coming Millennials. This generation believes in diversity and is not necessarily loyal to any one organization – they go where they can contribute.
The Millennials (1981 to 1996) are the first generation raised with computers at their fingertips – working on computers, iPads and phones as technology expanded. They grew up with technology and love figuring things out and finding results. Disillusion and a lack of enthusiasm starts in this cohort as the prospects of owning a home and having the life they see for their parents and grandparents becomes history.
And then there’s the Zoomers (1996 to 2012) who are just entering the workforce. These young un’s have more opportunity for positions than anyone in previous generations believed possible because they are digital natives. Many are feeling lonely as they navigate high school, university, and the work world in general.
Yes, 5 generations – each different from the other based on the world environment in which they were raised. The world today is different – gone are the things we have been used to – an office to go to, specific work hours, a dress code. Being neglected as little more than a thought experiment for years, the work from home formula is making a permanent, and this time much more serious entry to the workplace.
So how do we help these various generations work together, although sometimes spread apart by miles? For the Human Resources Department of organizations, the future can be a blur. They must now educate their leaders in a whole new way of leading. Leading for performance rather than adherence to rules. This means finding/attracting/retaining/measuring talent is now a whole different ballgame because remote work has its own rules for success. Leaders need support in understanding and supporting this new way of work.
This is a whole new world for most leaders. Dimension 11 focuses on People. Performance. Profits. This results in organizations being able to continue to move forward empowered by, instead of struggling with, the realities of the new world. Each day is a new opportunity for everyone to grow. Heaven knows we all need to focus on making changes.
Working on learning more about technology is one thing – we all use computers and yet most of us do not know one iota about fixing even the most minute problem. The older generations sometimes know little about technology (I am possibly at the top of this list) and the younger generations can help them learn and yet, at the same time, many of the younger generation do not have all the knowledge either.
A few things to consider when you have people working from home to help them be super productive:
- Guide those working from home to finding the motivation to continue to be productive – there are those who can be successful working without human interaction and there are those who can’t
- Everyone wants to feel valued – show how you appreciate their commitment to getting the job done by commenting to each one about their input because, when you work from home, you cannot always tell if you did enough for the day, also similarly, if you are the one who assigns the work to others, it is not always easy to request the correct amount – sometimes it ends up being too much, so that’s a challenge as well
- Words like, “Sammy, I am really pleased to see you finish the data retrieval in such a short time. Thank you.” can go a long way to assisting people in feeling a part of a team
- Become an integral part of the kind of social register that the members of your organization can get behind and support
- Connect regularly as a team and with individuals – Zoom, Skype and Teams are good alternatives to having phone conversations where you cannot pick up on body language
- Establish mentoring relationships between Traditionalists, Boomers and the younger generations to pass on their wisdom before they are gone
Set up a buddy system with the younger generations and the older generations to help the older one’s better understand the needs of their opposite generation coworkers and staff – younger generations can be socially awkward, while older generations can be technologically awkward – so this is a really good idea because both parties have something to teach one another.
From time to time problems arise and these are best addressed immediately. Leaving them to fester often means future challenges that grow out of proportion.
- If there is a problem, addressing this in private rather than in front of others can make a huge difference – it’s called respect
- Address only one issue at a time
- Clarify with the information you have about the issue – facts not feelings here – maybe even use concrete and quantitative means to communicate the issue, for example, instead of telling someone that they are “late” remind them when the assignment was due
- What does it mean to you
- How it has/will affect the organization
- Address how you are involved – this is the one area most of us miss – we tend to forget we also have a part to play – sometimes by doing nothing we let things get out of hand, or, at the other end of the spectrum, we may have over reacted to a situation
- Explain the ideal outcome
- Outline specific consequences if there are any – HR has a system of gradually increasing discipline (verbal warning, written warning, et cetera) although this is seldom used – many don’t follow through with it but in a remote working context, a concrete, factual, objective disciplinary system may communicate fairness – so maybe “it’s time to blow off the dust” on that old procedures book and see how it could be modified/used for remote work situations
The future will be one where different approaches will be needed. It is best to begin new approaches now so everyone is prepared for the new world we are entering where the workplace of the past will not be the norm.
The human connection is paramount – how can you make it real within your own organization?
If you need assistance, Dimension 11 will help you:
1) Bring your HR procedures up-to-date with today’s new remote work reality (everything from measuring performance, compensation, to leave of absence policies for remote workers).
2) Hire and retain top remote working talent. (What makes a great office worker and a remote worker can be very different – so hiring/retaining with this in mind makes an immense difference sometimes – right now the vast majority of the remote workers are “converts,” they are hired for an office, but asked to work remotely, so in the future, hiring needs to account for where and how people will work).
3) Set up a device use policy (A big player in the industry locked up their offices and asked their workers to go to the office and get their computers, and set them up at their own home. This is one way of doing things, you can do everything from allowing work to be conducted from the employees’ own computer to outright buying them the work devices to be used in their remote position – while every option has its own advantages, you need consistency across the board to get the best out of your decision in this regard).
4) Smooth the transition by providing online Coaching/Mentoring to people who were just converted to remote workers and struggling to stay on track. Sometimes it requires goal-setting, scheduling, correspondence skills and many more. In fact, conducting a diagnosis first helps so as to understand what the employee is struggling with and then provide a customized mentoring regiment.
5) Provide outplacement services to those leaving your company – face-to-face when possible remotely conducted over Zoom, Skype or FaceTime and even telephone when appropriate.
Simply call if you have questions – 306-586-2315.
Are you conscious about being safe as we return to a seemingly more normal life since COVID-19 hit? The fear that takes over is sometimes debilitating. Yet, our business leaders are doing their best to keep us safe. Take the manager of our local Safeway – Brent Kaminski has a staff of friendly, over the top service oriented people.
As a leader, Brent walks his talk – he carries out customer’s groceries, he wheels in grocery carts, he stocks shelves and he takes time to stop and talk to his customers to see how their lives are going during this crazy time. The interesting part – this is not new behaviour. He has done this since we started shopping at this store.
Who do you know that is continuing to show amazing strength in delivering over the top service. Please email me and let me know who it is we need to praise for continuing to keep us safe.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
”Starting with trust and giving employees great autonomy and flexibility allows people to feel independent and empowered while still feeling like a part of something bigger. This leads to happy, loyal employees with a rich quality of life, which in turn leads to an amazing culture.”
― Larry English