How Can Hiring a Multi-generational Workforce Help YOU?

“The value of a diverse team is its capacity to challenge the norm or group think and thus boost organizational performance and improve decision-making.”
Yrthya Dinzey-Flores

Diversity in the workplace is a topic that has been covered in many different ways, and by now, we are all aware that this includes race, gender, religion, age, and culture. But, have we stopped to consider the effect a multi-generational (not just age but also the generation and cultural factors involved with a certain time period) workforce can have on an organization? Not only does it bring innovation and collaboration to the forefront, it also allows for growth on an individual, team, and corporate level. Here are a few ways that hiring a multi-generational workforce can help you. But first, let’s define our generations currently in the workforce in 2016!

Millennials (ages 19 – 34)

Generation X (ages 35 – 55)

Baby Boomers (ages 56 – 69)

The Silent Generation (ages 70+)

So now that we know who is working with us, let’s take a closer look at what some of these generations bring to the conference table. Of course, these are all generalizations to give you an idea of what you may be working with. Not everyone in these age groups will fall into these categories, but these broad concepts can give you a better glimpse into your workforce, and allows you to rethink your recruitment strategy to include a multi-generational workforce for various reasons, some of which are listed here.

1. Millennials are tech junkies. They’ve been raised in a world of technology, and are used to having computers, tablets, phones, and other devices at their fingertips. One of their biggest strengths – multi-tasking!

2. Generation X makes up approximately 60% of today’s workforce. X’ers grew up with the beginning of the computer technology craze, so they are able to blend in with their millennial counterparts when it comes to technology. They can adapt to new technology, and at the same time, can struggle with the constant influx of new ways to do things. They are in limbo, right between their millennial and baby boomer colleagues, so they can act as a “meet in the middle” balance when it comes to team work and collaborative efforts.

3. Baby Boomers are the seasoned employees with tons of industry knowledge, customer contacts, and offer stability and a well-oiled machine aspect to your team. Although there may still be a few Silent Generation employees in your organization (probably the owner, CEO, or another long-term employee/leader), the Baby Boomers make up the majority of the older group represented in your workforce today. Baby Boomers may have an appreciation for older ways of doing things, and may respond to a certain group of customers, clients, etc. because of their experience and seasoned approach to doing things.

4. Working together – having these three generations working on a project as a team can definitely lead to some conflict, in that they approach the issue differently, but it can also lead to a beautifully balanced product because of their differences. By bringing employees out of their comfort zone and requiring teams to be comprised of multi-generational workers, they will benefit from each other in unimaginable ways!

Working collaboratively will sometimes prove to be a challenge, but having members of the multi-generational workforce join strengths and take on a project will not only allow for cross-training, learning, and growing on a personal level it will also boost your team morale in unimaginable ways! The younger generation can surely learn a thing or two from the baby boomers currently running the show in many organizations. Likewise, the baby boomers could learn some techy tricks and new ways to approach obstacles from their younger counterparts in Generation X and the Millennials. A multi-generational workforce will lead to changes in your organization, but the output will be so worth it. Give it a shot, and report back to us, we’d love to hear your story!

Why Your Boss Should Be On Social Media

Social media rules our world; let’s face it. If you aren’t on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or at the very least, LinkedIn, then you basically don’t exist in 2015. So why is it that many C-level executives are NOT on social media? Here’s a few ideas.   They’re afraid that anything they say or do may be used against them. Smart on one hand because that’s true, but their lack of engagement on social media also makes them seem less human to their employees and colleagues. Another reason may be that they simply don’t have the time. But, again, let’s get real. You can tweet or like a Facebook status in less than a second these days, so that excuse doesn’t really fit anymore. If a mom of 19 kids can post things on her social media, I’m pretty sure the CEO of your company has a second or two to spare as well. Another sad fact is that some CEO’s are a bit out of touch with the reality of social media in today’s world, and they believe it is not relevant to their lives. Is this actually true or is social media unavoidable no matter who you are? Here are a few tips on why we think your boss should be on social media from #yourHRConsultants about how and why the top dogs at your company can and should get in the game on social media.

1. Free advertising – Reach out to your customers via social media and you’re basically advertising your business for free. Win, win!

2. Build trust among your employees – Shout out to the hard work your IT department did last week, or give the Sales Team a pat on the back on your social media account. A little acknowledgement can go a long way!

3. As we’ve discussed here before, a personal touch to your company brand can have a big impact on your organization’s success. By putting a name, face, and Twitter account to your CEO’s reputation as a cutthroat businessman, you can also lend a little human feeling to the man’s reputation.

4. Honesty and transparency are big trust builders, so if you’re looking for company team-building and loyalty, start with creating an example of that on your own social media accounts and see how fast it moves through the masses at your organization.

Happy Posting!

Do You Really Need a Recruiter Anymore?

Not that long ago, for critical positions, hiring managers would often reach out to recruiters to help them find those stellar candidates. Recruiters had the unique ability to find and connect with passive job candidates that would otherwise not respond to a “help wanted” advertisement. In recent years, however, with the rise of LinkedIn and other professional networking sites, employers seem to be able to reach passive candidates much easier without using a recruiter. This begs the question – Is the relationship between recruiter and HR Business Partner dead? #recruiter #careeradvice

The answer may not be as crystal clear as a “yes” or “no”, but we can certainly agree that the relationship is changing! Talent pools are changing. Yes, employers now have access to a similar online talent pool that recruiters use, but do they have the “in” with professional groups? Do they regularly attend networking events where passive job seekers may be more involved? My guess is probably not. Furthermore, if a member of your organization made a call to a direct Competitor to solicit talent and set up an interview, chances are the cat would be out of the bag pretty quickly. A recruiter can make that contact under the recruitment firm name and it’s a lot less taboo.

Recruiters still have a leg up on the time to fill. With all the other things hiring managers have to handle, do they have the time to commit to a proper lengthy conversation with job candidates about their bigger career goals? Sure, if it’s truly critical, all other processes could be put on hold to focus on finding the right talent, but going back to the
talent pool question, is the HR team as connected to available talent as a recruiter?

Remember that recruiters specialize in the art of finding and matching people to the right position. They have their hands on the pulse of the job market. They will be able to advise you on what is realistic for the search in regards to salary, skill set, available talent, and competition for similar positions. This is all information a hiring manager likely wouldn’t have by simply posting a job on a job board. Recruiters are instrumental in finding the perfect fit for a company because they offer impartiality that a company representative will not have. They can also help broker the
best deal between the candidate and the company, often able to see both sides of the story so to speak, without being biased one way or another in a way that would interfere with objective decision-making. Another great point as to why recruiters are beneficial to your screening process is the fact that recruiters can go into a competitor’s office and try to attract the best talent – where a company may not feel as comfortable doing this. Also, recruiters allow the candidate to speak first to an “outsider” without having to speak directly to the company on first sight. These reasons all make the process smoother for both the candidate and the company!

Recruiters increase the likelihood that candidates will say yes. Good recruiters put a significant amount of energy into understanding their candidates and their perspective employers. By having a middleman involved in the process, the recruiter serves as the perfect matchmaker after the first “date.” Recruiters ask both parties how did it go and can manage expectations of both parties in advance. Candidates will likely share info with a recruiter, like that they didn’t feel the culture was a good fit, that they wouldn’t share with a company representative. I think we can all agree how frustrating/disheartening it is to find “the candidate” and then get your offer turned down.

Ultimately, yes almost anyone in your organization can go online and start looking for candidates, but recruiters are specialists! So my answer is “NO” the relationship is not dead. Maybe for an entry-level position you may not call a recruiter, but for those key positions, they are a huge value-add to your organization.

A Personal Touch: Make Your Company Brand Human

Why do people recognize the brands in commercials featuring a happy child eating cereal or a supermodel chowing down on a messy cheeseburger? Among other reasons such as the fact that she’s a supermodel, duh, is the undeniable fact that people identify with the human quality in these ads. So how do you get your company brand to have that personal touch that is easily recognizable on social media? First, you need to humanize your brand. Make sure that you use images and words that will speak to your target audience. Not sure who your target audience is? Then it’s definitely time for a strategic planning session with your management team! #personaltouch #companybrand #socialmedia

Second, you’ll need to switch gears a bit and move from corporate speak to the personal stories of why your company is amazing, and that has to come from employees and managers alike. Share posts from your employees about how great your company is, use blog posts from your staff writers to bring up topics on social media, and share photos and real-life examples of what your company is all about. For example, did your company sponsor a toy drive or canned food drive for the holidays? If so, share that on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. People want to see that your company is one that values its employees and has a vision larger than itself.

Get involved in conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter. Make your company brand something that people recognize not only by your logo or profile picture, but also by what you do and say. Be consistent in your posts, and share a common message across your social media outlets. That doesn’t mean you need to copy and paste everything from one outlet to another, but you should have a similar voice on every company branding tool out there for the masses! Engagement in group discussions, responding to influential people in your field, and tagging others is a great way to get more exposure for your company brand and to make a name for yourself. Human resources itself is all about people, so why not extend that approach to your company brand as well? Give that personal touch and you will see amazing responses! Now get out there and post, share, like, comment, and tag away!!

Speed Dating (aka Interviews) in 4 Easy Steps

What selection tools do you have in place at work? Are you the hiring manager for your department? Or does the HR Department handle all phases of selection and recruitment for your organization? At Peoplescape, our consultants are HR professionals who have sat across the table on an interview panel, and have devised a strategy for hiring the best and brightest in several fields. We have found tips that make interviews more challenging, and also bring out responses that give you, as the interviewer, some insight into the candidates you are screening. Here are a few of our top tips for making your speed dating (aka interview) process a bit easier next time around.

Step 1: Do not stay away from the “tough” questions. Instead, have a reason for asking them and make sure the question applies to the position so you can get a feel for the candidate’s response in real on-the-job situations.

Step 2: Set expectations for the job, and both you and the candidate will be more prepared for what’s to come. Don’t fall prey to the all-too-common scenario of an employee leaving a new job after a short time because they didn’t get a sense of what the job actually was prior to accepting the role.

Step 3: Screen for candidates based not only on their skill set, but on their culture fit with your organization. Company culture is a huge component to finding the best and brightest for your team!

Step 4: Use additional tools wherever possible. The more information you have to assist in the selection process, the better off you will be. Job suitability assessments, meetings with colleagues and team brainstorming, and engaging with the candidate in various settings such as lunch meeting, group activity, and on-the-job observations are all great ways to gauge the fit for a certain candidate on your team.

But, you may ask, what’s the point? The goal of a successful interview process is qualified, satisfied, productive employees. So by following these steps, you are stepping up your interview game. Which, let’s face it, is a freakishly similar process to the concept of speed dating where you awkwardly sit at a table, chatting with a stranger for 5-10 minutes, and then deciding if you want to see them again. At Peoplescape, that’s also what we do! So if you’re tired of the game, call in for a backup and we’d be happy to assist!

6 Simple Steps to Painless Terminations

As a rule, working in HR can be a very rewarding experience filled with lots of good news, but there is one area that is markedly NOT fun – terminations. Let’s set the stage: Word has come down from the executive committee that the company is restructuring and you are going to be coordinating with the department manager for the next round of layoffs. Eeeek!

To start, let’s answer one question: Should the job of terminations be given to the managers of each department, or should HR still be the bearer of bad news? This is a topic that is debatable for many companies still, but it seems that the cards fall on both sides of the table. Some companies allow their managers to take the load of terminations, while others rely heavily on HR for the termination process. Either way, as an active participant in the terminations whether that is behind the scenes or sitting across from the soon-to-be terminated employees, terminations are never easy. Before you know it, your stress level has gone through the roof and the caring person in you immediately starts thinking about the people you are letting go. You may think about the families these people support or how someone may take this news very poorly, or all the paperwork that is going to be involved. Wherever your mind goes, it is unavoidably a stressful topic to think about. Henna Inam recently shared a few steps in her Forbes article that may make the process just a little bit simpler. Whoever is breaking the news, we’ve recapped the tips here for you:

Clarify the Goals of the Restructure
Be sure to get a few minutes with the leadership team and understand why the decision was made. Most importantly, make sure you identify talking points. These points should answer the question of why this person is being laid off and what’s next for the company.

Prepare for the Conversation
Now that you are armed with your talking points, run through what you are going to say. If you can, grab a mentor, boss or coach and role-play the conversation. By running through it a few times you will be able to visualize the desirable outcome and avoid flubbing your words in the actual meeting.

Center Yourself
Not sleeping the night before a termination, or going into the meeting flustered and stressed out is only going to make it harder on all parties involved. Go to bed early and clear your calendar a few minutes before the meeting. Do some deep breathing exercises to calm your nerves and allow you to be present in the moment. This will help you deliver the message clearly and with proper compassion for how this conversation is going to impact the other party.

Remember your Body Language
You’ve prepared a concise message for this individual; don’t let your body language undermine the work you’ve already committed to this! Sit up straight, with your shoulders back. Maintain eye contact and keep your posture open. This will exude confidence and compassion.

Listen and Mirror
The news you have just delivered is going to elicit some reaction. Be sure you are tuned in to the person. This is the time to allow the employee the space to have a reaction. It may be helpful to mirror back to the employee what you are observing by saying “I see you are frustrated” or “I see you’re surprised,” You are not going to solve this problem for them, but you can be supportive of them while they process the news.

Reflect and Learn
After it is over, take time to reflect on the conversation. Identify things that went well and things you could improve on. Perhaps you let your body language go as the conversation went on or you didn’t allow yourself enough time before the meeting to get centered. Maybe you can celebrate that you had your talking points so well organized that you could effectively answer the questions asked. Make notes on these things and remember them for next time. (Hopefully there won’t be a next time – but this is what managing people is all about, and we always have to prepare for next time!)

Terminations are never going to be a “walk in the park”, but using these steps will certainly make the meeting go a little more smoothly for you.

Effective & Inexpensive Ways to Motivate Your Staff

After the holidays, there seems to be a dull roar in the office, a sense of apathy and melancholy can sometimes prevail as the weather gets colder, and the holiday cheer has been blown out of everyone’s sails. Motivating your staff is a yearlong predicament, and one that can be approached from different strategies. Do you offer performance bonuses? Commission for your sales team? Incentives for high-achieving employees each month? #motivate #employees #bonus

While all of these are great ways to motivate your staff, we’d like to offer a few simple solutions as well. These will be easy on your bank account and effective when implemented correctly. Employees are appreciative of recognition and acknowledgement of a job well done, so as long as you keep that at the front of your mind, you will be an effective and motivating leader with these helpful hints.

According to a Gallup poll, almost 70% of Americans are actively disengaged with their work. How depressing! Let’s turn those numbers around with a few simple strategies.

1. E-Learning: online webinars, training, and cost effective strategies for employee engagement.

2. Employee Acknowledgement Programs: reward employees for a job well done with a simple certificate or a low-cost gift card to Starbucks. Have monthly team meetings to recognize high-achieving employees that month!

3. Sunshine Programs: Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, and to make sure you don’t forget, create a “Sunshine Team” each year who runs the program.

4. Empower your employees to come up with innovative ideas (i.e. like that one employee at 3M who came up with Post-It Notes!)

5. Challenge your employees each time they reach a new goal. Set the bar higher each time, and see how it affects your team’s potential and growth!

There are millions of other ways that you can motivate employees to succeed, get creative and have team leadership meetings once a month to collaborate with your managers as well. The more ideas that are out on the drawing board, the more successful your efforts will be.

#Teamworkmakesthedreamwork

Don’t Tip the Scales: Creating a Work/Life Balance

It seems like an elusive idea that people work toward but very rarely ever find! Perhaps the problem is that the idea of it is so simple and people expect that having it will be just as simple. In reality, work/life balance is something that must be worked at continuously. Just because you have it one week doesn’t mean it is going to be there next week!

So how do we take steps to start balancing our time better? First, define what that balance looks like. This is going to be different for every person. If you have a target in your mind, it is going to be much more achievable than if you are firing blind!

Alright, have you got your definition of balance in your mind now? Good. Now it’s time to schedule it. Are you expecting spontaneity to make this happen – has it worked yet? I’m guessing not, or you wouldn’t be reading this article.  Just like you put important client meetings on your calendar at work, do the same for non-work activities. That dinner date with your significant other? Schedule it. Coffee with your best friend? Schedule it! That Yoga class you’ve been meaning to take but never seem to have the time? …You guessed it! Schedule it! If it is on your calendar it is accounted for and then when it comes time to move things around, for that deadline that suddenly got moved up a week, those important non-work related activities are part of the planning process, instead of getting the backburner.

Feeling the time crunch? Time to limit your distractions. Ever add up how many minutes here or there that you lose by checking your phone or social media or having that conversation with your coworker that went just a little longer than planned? Those few minutes here and there add up! Imagine if you shut out distractions and set your mind on plowing through your to do list, then you could go home feeling like you DID accomplish your tasks that day. We’re all guilty of wasting time here and there, but in order to enjoy the bliss of balance, sacrifices must be made! (And I’m guessing your Facebook wall will still be there if you aren’t checking it 5 times throughout the day).

Simplify your life. Think about those things in your life that are draining you of your energy. Whether it’s a coworker that is continuously gossiping or the friend that always NEEDS your support – if it’s draining you and not benefitting you, then it’s time to rethink the amount of time you spend on it. It may be disappointing to your coworker that you don’t join in on the bashing of so and so or it may be shocking for that friend the first time you don’t answer the phone when they call, but we’re committed to finding this balance right? Simplifying is a good way to do it. Also think about this with your task list. Instead of running to the post-office, can you order the stamps online? Maybe you and your neighbor can check in with each other before running to the store for that carton of milk you forgot to pick up yesterday.

Be deliberate in the choices you make. Work/life balance is not found, it is achieved. If you are clear about what your balance looks like, you will be able to make it happen. “If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Why Millennials Leave

We Won’t Pay For Your Lexus, Boss Man!

We have written about millennials several times, and there’s a reason for that. We promise. Not only do some of us here at Peoplescape identify with the millennial label, we have been subject to the stereotypes placed on our colleagues (and at times ourselves). You know the ones: Millennials are fickle, they never settle in one place, they’re selfish, and they don’t care about the companies that they work for – always in search of the next big thing. While these stereotypes may be true of SOME millennials, they can also be applied to baby boomers and Generation X’ers. So let’s flip the switch a little bit and see why millennials are dumping you, their managers and companies who simply don’t get what these youngsters are after! Elizabeth McLeod penned a note to management in Forbes.com recently. What do you think of these millennial breakup lines? #millennials #careeradvice #multigenerationalworkforce

Dear John….it isn’t you, it’s me. No, but really, it’s you. Here’s why I’m leaving:

1. You put up with low performing employees. This doesn’t work for us, because millennials are driven. We want to make a difference and be top producers. The low-performing employees that you hang on to for loyalty’s sake are slowing us down.

2. You are too focused on money. While we aren’t opposed to working hard, we aren’t going to do it simply to pay for your new Lexus. We want our work to make a difference, and that is bigger than the bottom line dollar.

3. Company culture means something different to us. We don’t want free meals (we’ll take them, but we don’t necessarily want them or need them to motivate us!). We want a manager who is a leader, who wants to inspire us and challenge us to think outside the box.

4. You treat people like a number. We are people. We have thoughts and ideas and opinions and feelings. If you treat us like a cog in the wheel, we will show up for the paycheck, but don’t expect the top producers who you hired. This isn’t fun for us, and work is supposed to be something that we can engage in. Show us why our work matters, and be an example to all of us.

After reading these points, doesn’t it seem like the millennial next door to your cubicle might not be that different from you after all?

When Employees Don’t Show Up

Terminating an employee is always a tricky topic to navigate. No matter the size of your organization, letting employees go is something to be dealt with very carefully as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. This time, let’s focus on if/when/how you are legally allowed to terminate an employee who is out on leave. What should you do when employees don’t show up? #terminations #FMLA

It is never legal to fire an employee simply because he or she took Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time off. But, if an employee is out on FMLA and has committed one of these offenses, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit recently issued decisions that backs up an employer’s decision to do so when these issues were at play prior to the employee taking leave.

1. Employee failed to comply with a direct and legitimate directive from supervisors.

2. Employee was often absent and/or tardy to their job.

3. Employee failed to perform work duties as required and outlined by job description and reviewed in employee performance appraisals.

4. Overwhelming performance issues prior to the leave.

5. Non-compliance with absence policy by the employee.

Looking at each of these items, it is clear that if there were issues prior to the leave, then the employer MAY have a case for terminating an employee on leave. However, always speak with your HR expert or labor law attorney before making these decisions!

If an employee is fired shortly after returning from a leave such as FMLA, make sure that there is adequate documentation and evidence of a prior issue of performance, and that the decision was in the works PRIOR to the employee’s leave. At Peoplescape, we can help you cover your bases, and make tricky termination decisions a little easier! #termination #employeerelations #YourHRConsultants