According to Pew Research, the Millennials have finally overtaken Boomers in the workforce. This demographic shift has a lot of repercussions in the workplace. For years we’ve been talking about similarities and differences between the generations at work. The stereotypes abound – Milliennials are digital natives, Boomers have trouble with the remote control; Millennials want it all now, Boomers worked their way up the ladder, etc.
Whether some of these multi-generations cliches are true or not, the Millennials are entering the management ranks as they mature and their Boomer bosses start to head for the retirement exit ramp. What happens now?
I had that conversation recently with two of our Workforce Institute board members, Dan Schawbel and John-Anthony Meza. Dan is a bestselling author and founder of WorkplaceTends.com, a research and advisory membership service for HR professionals, as well as managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. John-Anthony is the Human Resources Officer (HRO) for the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), where as a member of the senior leadership team, he provides strategic leadership and direction for all facets of human resources.
Some of the topics we discussed included:
- What is different about Millennials?
- How should organizations be preparing for the Boomer brain drain?
- What skills do Millennials need to develop in order to assume leadership roles?
You can listen to our conversation here.
What do you think? Is the rise of the Millennial Manager the dawn of a new age, or more of the same?
Sue Meisinger on When The Boomer Levee Breaks
Research conducted by Dan Schawbel:
GenX/Baby Boomers on what they think about Millennials
Millennials and women not aspiring to senior leadership
Millennials want more frequent feedback
Millennials lack soft skills
Fans of our blog and the podcast series should be very familiar with the work of MIT business professor Zeynep Ton. We’ve cited her book, “The Good Jobs Strategy,” on several occasions, as well as her research showing that paying workers better and treating them better is – surprise – better for the bottom line. We’ve also cited research from Gallup indicating that companies with a highly engaged workforce outperform their competitors by almost 150% in earnings per share.
Time and again research proves that engaged employees create happier customers, which leads to better company performance. At The Workforce Institute, we call this the virtuous cycle of engagement. So what does it take to put the right people in the right place at the right time to deliver a great customer experience?
Dr. Scott Spera has some thoughts on that question. Scott is the director of analytics solutions at Convergys, an organization that helps its clients improve customer loyalty, reduce costs, and generate revenue through programs like customer care, analytics, and tech support. Scott is directly responsible for designing and implementing best practice customer experience measurement and improvement programs. One of my responsibilities at Kronos is to lead our Voice of the Customer program, and we happen to be a Convergys customer – so was very pleased to have the opportunity to speak with Scott about how Convergys uses metrics to drive performance.
You can listen to our conversation to hear his anwers to the following questions:
1. How have you been able to measure the relationship between improved customer experience and higher revenues?
2. What are the biggest drivers of employee engagement at Convergys?
3. How do leaders create and sustain a culture where engagement can thrive?
4. What are the reasons for a break in the chain where the vision of the organization does not connect with first-line supervisors or vice versa?
5. Are there any engagement tips you’d recommend to get leaders onboard, or to help with building engagement in other companies?
Listen to the podcast here.
At a recent board of advisors meeting, members of The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated discussed the top issues we believe will impact the world of workforce management in 2015. Individual board members also recorded personal predictions that will affect their respective industries that you can view on youtube.
We’ll be discussing these predictions – and yours? – during a Tweet Chat on Thursday, Jan. 22 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET to discuss 2015 workplace trends and predictions. Use #KronosChat to participate.
Top Trends for 2015
- Regulations Shake up the Workplace: Minimum wage law changes and looming U.S. Affordable Care Act deadlines dominated 2014 headlines, but organizations will feel the impact of these and other legislated changes in 2015. Additionally, with continued public discourse on non-exempt workers and topics surrounding a living wage, new legislation is expected to arise in this final term of the Obama Administration. With today’s regulations administered not only at the national and state levels but down to the city, municipal, and individualized union levels, new compliance requirements will shake up processes for organizations while adding another layer of complexity for national and multinational organizations.
- Employees are an Asset: Successful organizations have learned that excellent financial returns do not have to come at the expense of the employee. Research shows that employees – especially the front line, hourly workforce – should be seen as an asset, not just a cost to be managed. Successful organizations will invest more in their workforces to increase employee engagement and create a virtuous cycle that leads to happy customers.
- Seismic Shift in Generational Workforce Dynamics: Baby Boomers – the largest generation to ever hit the workforce – will continue retiring in droves as their children take on more workplace responsibility. As their predecessors exit the workplace, many Generation Xers could see increased opportunity, including long-awaited pay raises. Millennials will take on management positions for the first time. Talent retention and career development will be key in 2015 as organizations train new managers while working to simultaneously shrink the skills gap and hold onto knowledge assets of a retiring workforce.
- Analytics for Evidence-based Decision Making: Most organizations drowned in data in 2014, as many have not yet unlocked the secret to analytical success. However, organizations that have lagged behind will take notice of winning big data best practices from previous years, while workforce management tools will deliver analytics for evidence-based decision making in 2015. Industry-specific solutions, visualization technology, and new applications from specialized consultation and services vendors will utilize existing workforce management data to create actionable insight.
- Consumer Technology Infiltrates Workforce Management: Human resources, operations, and management professionals would be wise to keep an eye on news from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, as consumer technologies are poised to dramatically impact workforce management. Mobile devices and social media have transformed the way employees and employers communicate, while gamification and wearable technologies are expected to win in the workplace. Workforce management software suites and mobile platforms will continue to evolve with consumer software design concepts, including increased focus on the user experience (UX), responsive design, and drag-and-drop and touchscreen performance.
If you’d like to hear all of these predictions and more directly from our board members, you can find them on youtube.
2015 Major Tech Trends for Small & Medium Businesses
When Will (or Did?) Wearable Technology Come to Your Workplace?