- For Leaders
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The people who have fulfilled the world’s need for skilled workers over the past three decades are now moving into retirement. This shift in demographic has a huge impact on companies that want to remain relevant and strong in changing times
While the Baby Boomers are moving out, Generation Y has moved into the workforce pipeline. The Human Capital Institute estimates that by 2025, Generation Y will make up 75% of the workforce.
The key to creating a profitable, sustainable business is developing a strong leadership pipeline.
Unfortunately, many companies continue to use “old-school” management practices that were originally targeted at Baby Boomers. This means that these organisations are not equipped to attract, engage, and retain Generation Y employees.
During our time helping business to power up their people, we’ve seen reluctance to targeting this demographic. Gen Y has a reputation for their lack of corporate loyalty; they change their jobs as often as they change their hair style.
But, for companies that stop “blaming” and develop strategies to meet the needs of this group, Gen Y stops jumping from job to job because they feel engaged and satisfied in their position.
We are now right in the thick of a workforce demographic shift; it is now more important than ever to prepare your organisation to fulfil expected talent shortages as Baby Boomers step out of skilled roles.
How Do You Do This?
First, you need to be fully aware of the needs of Gen Y, how they operate, and what makes them tick. Second, you will need to implement marketing, recruitment, staff engagement, and corporate culture strategies to ensure you meet those needs.
Here Are Some Quick Tips:
The 15th Annual Global CEO Survey 2012 revealed that Gen Y prefers development and growth opportunities three times more than a cash bonus as a form of benefit. When you communicate the future direction of the company and develop a personalised plan of how a Gen Y employee can develop in line with that vision, they’re more likely to stick around because they can see a clear path forward for themselves.
Provide Flexible Working Conditions
Unlike Baby Boomers, Gen Y don’t chase the idea of work life balance because they actually have a healthier perception that two aren’t mutually exclusive. This generation has a reputation for slacking off at times, but this is in comparison to Baby Boomers who have a belief of “success=work your butt off 100% of the time”. Things like flexible hours, flexible working conditions, and flexible “procedures” will help Gen Y employees to maintain the perfect blend of work and life. Focus on the outcomes, results and achievements they make rather than the how and when. If they check their Facebook Page every hour, does it really matter, especially if they achieve all that’s expected?
Create A Culture Where They Can Question The Status Quo
As Gen Y have a burning desire for professional development, it’s important to create a culture where they are safe to challenge the status quo. This is will not only keep them engaged, it will also grow a corporate culture of innovation and creativity – giving your company a unique competitive edge!
Finally, succession planning is a brilliant strategy to fulfil your workforce pipeline with skilled employees. Teaming your experienced Baby Boomers with upcoming Gen Y leaders has a three-way benefit. Your Baby Boomer feels valued because they are given an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with others. Your Gen Y employee is engaged because she is being groomed for further development and is learning new skills. And your organisation continues to build a culture of learning, sharing, teaching, and growth.
Here at UQ Power, we believe creating the right culture is the number one strategy to building businesses with influential brands. If you want highly specialised support in powering up your people, UQ Power’s Culture Improvement Program will turn your employees into loyal company advocates.
Everybody uses the “F” bomb. It’s a word that we attach so much negative emotion to – ego, pride, fear. Too many people connect their self-worth to the word – failure.
Failure is not an end point
If scientists saw their first attempts at creating cures for disease as a failure, we would not have any known cures in the world. If you think about it, we would be living a VERY simple, primitive lifestyle if everyone throughout history saw their mistakes as an end point – a time to give up on curiosity and discovery.
Replace “failure” with “lesson”
When an infant learns to walk, she has to find her centre of gravity by trial and error. She will wobble and stumble and fall for some time before she walks on her own two feet without support. When she leans to the left too much, she learns that it will tip her sideways. When she leans too far forward, she learns that she’ll tumble to the ground.
People who have all four quarters of their UQ Power House in balance, in particular their IQ quadrant, understand that failures provide lessons by a process of elimination.
When you’re mentally strong, you know: what not to do, what chemical compound doesn’t belong in the cure, leaning to the left will make you stumble, and what success doesn’t look like. So you try again with a more informed foundation of knowledge.
The saying “Success never comes without failure” should really say “Success never comes without a lesson to be learnt”.
A leader with a strong IQ also knows when it’s time to call it quits. The difference with this leader is that he takes with him is a better idea of how he can succeed.
A recent Forbes article that went viral with popularity also pointed out that mentally strong people know when it’s time to move on.
“We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.”
The end of year is a great time to reflect. Today, power up your IQ quadrant by contemplating all the wonderful lessons you’ve learned throughout the year.
Please share with us below how your past “failures” have helped to move you closer to your goals (because that’s exactly what they do!).
Open plan offices with cubicle partitions were created in the 1950s to encourage communication and boost teamwork. It’s a trend that is still in fashion, but a recent study has revealed that this type of environment attracts higher levels of staff dissatisfaction.
The Downside Of Open Plan Working Outweighs The Benefits
Working in an open plan office has its benefits, especially if you love to take regular breaks to share hilarious tales of your life from the weekend. But it’s this type of distraction that could affect staff productivity and satisfaction levels.
The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, involved analysis of 42,764 survey samples collected in 303 office buildings across the globe. Noise and lack of privacy and space were the top gripes.
Professor Richard de Dear, Head of Architectural Design Science at the University of Sydney and a co-author of the research paper, said worker satisfaction was important because it was linked to productivity.
“The productivity benefits of teams working together have been used to sell the open plan office for decades. Yet, if you do these evaluations and actually talk to occupants of open plan offices, very few people think that they are productive spaces. You need places to concentrate.”
A Better Way Of Working
New to the 21st century, savvy companies are bucking the antiquated open plan trend to create an Activity-Based Work Culture.
When the Commonwealth Bank moved its headquarters in 2011, it used the opportunity to change the way their employees worked day to day.
The Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, David Craig explained: “Activity-based working recognises there is a spectrum of work styles and demands and that each day, people will have different activities to complete requiring varying levels of concentration or collaboration.”
In an activity-based working environment, employees aren’t necessarily stuck to the same desk. It recognises that sometimes they’ll need quiet time to focus. Sometimes they’ll need access to technology and sometimes they’ll need to brainstorm or share tasks with others.
At places like the CommBank’s headquarters, there are quiet, enclosed spaces, open spaces for collaboration, and areas for formal and informal meetings. Employees choose where to set up for the day, the morning or afternoon according to what type of work they need to do.
“Activity-based working delivers the working environment and tools for staff to choose different work styles to suit their work activities. It is about empowering them and engaging,” Craig said.
Your Environment Affects Your Psychology
Your physical environment has a huge impact on your brand, your culture, and how your business is perceived (by employees and customers alike). At an individual level, it affects how people carry out their work, how they feel, and how well they perform.
Take a look around your workplace now. Does it scream efficiency and precision? Does it encourage creativity and innovation? Does it feel fun, cosy, or friendly? Does it have dedicated spaces to cater for different activities?
Every day the UQ Power team visit organisations from a range of industries and we see a lot of desks. We can usually tell straight away what the appearance of a desk says about the desk owner and the company culture of the organisation. See for yourself here - http://www.uqpower.com.au/_blog/desk-a-day
For many companies, a knee-jerk reaction to the challenges of increasing costs and outside influences has been to shrink, cut, slow, and reduce. Businesses from a range of sectors are shrinking the size of their workforce, cutting services, slowing production, and reducing diversified investment activities.
While it’s important to make these moves to stay in the game, it’s now more important than ever to power up your people. Job cuts and redundancies also affect the remaining employees and overall company culture. Shrinking and tightening the organisation in these ways makes the remaining employees see their position as being “vulnerable”. They go into survival mode and become protective of their patch – creating competition amongst peers rather than collaboration.
Rather than going to ground, now is the time to invest in and grow your people. After all, it’s valued and engaged workers who contribute the most to their employers and its companies that stand out from the crowd and tap into their UQ Power that get the customers.
Training and development is one of the best ways to power up your people. Here’s why:
Invest in your staff and enjoy the benefits - The benefits of developing and training your employees to help them reach their full potential are boundless. Not only will you see participants improve their performance as a result of what they learn you can also make use of action learning projects to solve some longstanding company challenges that might otherwise never have been addressed.
Invest now and reap even more benefits later - We all know business isn’t just about the present – we are forever looking to the future to secure our longevity. By investing in your company culture and employees now, you will expand and improve the quality of your company’s bench strength and have a larger pool of qualified talent when developing the company’s succession plans.
Retain your top talent - Showing you care about the future of your employees by contributing to their development demonstrates to them just how valuable they are to the company. This could help you to retain some of your top talent that you might not otherwise have kept.
Bring performers into the spotlight - By giving your employees the chance to shine in a more forgiving environment, such as a training workshop, you may just start to see them in a different light and find new ways to put their talents to work.
Weed out under performers - You will be able to identify some employees who had seemed to be rising stars, but who fail to perform well in a learning program, which will help the company avoid potentially costly promotional errors.
Reconnect to the business - With the pace of business today it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. By bringing your executive team on a learning and development journey you will help company executives feel more connected to many parts of the business through their participation in the training.
Power up fast
With less workers to share the load no doubt you’re wondering how you can fit in training programs to up-skill your employees. By using a Bite Sized Learning approach and focusing on your company’s key competencies, you will quickly help employees develop the business acumen and execution skills they will need when they assume new leadership roles.
Rather than spending a lifetime studying degrees and higher qualifications, short bite sized courses gives people the opportunity to update their skills in only a fraction of the time. Ranging from 1.5 – 3 hour workshops, our bite sized workshops are perfect if you’re looking to build upon existing talents or increase motivation.
Drop us a line at http://www.uqpower.com.au/contact-us to find out more about our Bite Sized Learning program.