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Champion Leadership Blog

Millennials in Your Workplace – The Generational Battle That Isn’t & Shouldn’t Be

I continue to hear complaints from business owners about the younger “millennial” generation in the workplace. I find it comical. I really do. For a couple of reasons:

1) The “younger” generation has always been a problem in the workplace. Even the more senior/veteran generation in the current workplace was the problem in the workplace when they were the younger generation.

2) This “younger” millennial generation is currently leading some of the largest, most highly valued companies in the world, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and:

  • Lyft found John Zimmer, 34
  • Spotify founder Daniel Ek, 35
  • Instagram founder, Mike Krieger, 32
  • WordPress founder, Matthew Mullenweg, 34

Before you give me a hard time that it’s all men in that list, check out this list of 15 female millennial and Generation Z (the generation after the Millennials) entrepreneurs you haven’t heard of yet, but you may very soon.

3) A generation is a very long window of time, between 15-20 years. As I have posited to my audiences in seminars on this topic, “do you think an older Millennial at 35 years of age, has the same needs, desires, and interests as 21-year-old Millennial?” They all agree the answer is “no.”

My point is that there are good and bad people in every generation, there are wide variances in needs, desires, and interests across the timeline of people in each generation. It’s time to stop blasting an entire generation.

Do those in the Millennial generation and Generation Z have different attitudes, habits, work ethics, interests than those in the older generation? Absolutely!

Just like every younger generation always does. The key is to “seek to understand” what drives them, what interests them, how they like to work, and work with them, coach them, and help them lead your company into the future.

Some may remember that back in the 1950s and early 60s when the older generation was thinking Elvis Presley and the Beatles were undermining society?

More than 10-years ago I had a client who complained to me about the work ethic and the focus of his Gen Y employees.

His complaint was that they weren’t motivated enough for advancement. They were too complacent and comfortable and only wanted to focus on their personal life and family. They weren’t ambitious enough for him.

Now, this generation, for some, is too ambitious. They have an entitlement mentality, think they know it all and should be advancing before they’re ready.

You can’t have it both ways.

And, I will argue you should want more of the latter and less of the former.

They’re easier to mold and coach to become what they want and what you may need. I say embrace that latter mentality and use it to your company’s advantage.

Every one of my clients has at least one young millennial who is a superstar at their company, pushing older generation folks to get better, faster, up to speed on technology.

I think that’s a good thing.

Maybe the problem isn’t the younger generation in the workforce but the older generation doing the hiring.

And, remember, if you’re still worried about the Millennial generation in the workplace, it’s too late. You better start learning about Generation Z, which is already starting to infiltrate the workplace.

‘til next time,

 

 

 

 

P.S. – The Brand New Your Championship Company Community Facebook Group is now 165 new members strong. Filled with like-minded business owners like you, discussing issues like the one above.  Are you ready to join us? Go here to learn more and request to join.


Creating the Character You Need From Employees in Your Small Business

Years ago the great sales trainer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was credited with the quote,…

“Circumstances don’t create character. They reveal character.”

Character in the workplace, whether it be the character of the business owner, the boss, or the employee is vital to a company’s success.

But, I don’t believe that it’s that black and white.

I see it similar to the concept of nature vs. nurture.  It takes both to raise an effective adult from a child.

Circumstances, or as I like to call them “conditions” influence greatly an individual’s character.

And, when conditions change, an individual’s character will adjust. Individuals can learn what’s appropriate under varioius conditions and circumstances and what isn’t and they will create their own character norms from what they learn.

I’ve seen it in my clients.

You’ve seen it in your employees.

A simple test for you is to look at your present team of employees.

How many of them did you hire with great promise and expectations that they were going to be strong contributors to your company?

Which, they probably did for some period of time.

Then, at some point, you may have noticed their attitude and performance slip.

Was this just their character waiting dormant for the right time to come forth?

I don’t think so.

It was the conditions in the work environment that influenced the change in character.

To get the old character back requires an assessment of the cause.

That assessment can only come from a direct, candid, humble, and maybe even vulnerable conversation with these employees.

This conversation is a three-step process:

Step 1:
Let the individual know you are open to their opinion and you want to hear it and you are asking because you want to create a more positive and productive work environment.

In that part of the conversation also let them know that no matter what they tell you promise there will be no negative repercussions.

Step 2:
The second part of the conversation is to ask a simple question, “what, specifically, is preventing you from doing an even better job?”

Step 3:
Is to do something with what you hear. Too many business leaders may ask similar type of questions and get answers, but the question and potential solutions go into a black hole.

Those who shared their deepest concerns feel cheated and wonder why there was no follow through on their suggestions.

Allowing these suggestions and ideas to fall into a black hole is worse than not asking at all.

Don’t fall into that pattern.

I’m wondering if you have?

This conversation is one of five steps in creating Your IDEAL Championship Work Environment.

I’m writing a new guide and report on the process that outlines step by step how you can implement it into any company in any industry of any size.

Use this process and you will change the character of the people working at your company.

If you’d like a copy of this new guide, which should be out in a couple of weeks, just write comment below with a simple, “YES,” and i’ll add you to this list to let you know when it’s available.

‘til next time,

Skip 🙂

P.S. – Remember last week I re-launched the Your Championship Company Facebook Group.  25 new members, like-minded business owners like you have already joined so, go here to learn more and request to join.

 

Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Ending Employee Entitlement Mindsets in Small Businesses – You’re In Control

People who run small businesses are amazing.

I’ve worked with enough to know.

One thing stands out, time and again.

It’s the business owner’s commitment to their employees.

Many business owners have said to me, “I don’t really need to do this anymore.”

“I could sell this business and retire, or go do something much less stressful and frustrating.”

I ask, “well, why don’t you?”

They all respond with something to the effect of, “I feel responsible for the lives of my employees, they count on this company for their livelihood and I can’t trust it will be there if someone else owns the company.”

I’m blown away by this attitude.

The empathy that they feel for their employees that fuels this attitude, is the same attitude that is also killing the motivation and morale in their work environment.

It’s quite a paradox.

The reason for this is that the empathy they feel for their employees causes them to dole out:

  • salary increases and holiday or year-end bonuses with no substance,
  • allow employees to work extra hours when the workload doesn’t justify, even paying the extra for overtime hours, just because it’s become an expecatation (or some would call an entitlement).

Asked, “how did you determine those disbursements?”

In return, mostly, I get something to the effect of, “I don’t know, it’s kind of a feel based on what I think they deserve or its based on what we did last year, or in terms of hours because it’s ‘expected’ and people will be upset if they don’t get it.”

When I press them on why it’s not more formalized with accountability to performance, they admit…

“Well, it’s always been this way and I don’t like it because most don’t deserve it.  The ones that do deserve it are upset because they know their teammates are getting the same or similar and don’t deserve it.

“It’s killing morale,” they add.

This is of their own making.

This is how entitlement mentalities in the workplace are created.

You probably notice that it’s not just the “millennial” generation in your workplace. My clients see it across generations.

Regardless of the generation, it is NOT the fault of the employees.

It is the fault of the business owner who continues to tolerate poor attitudes, poor behaviors, and poor performance, and still…

Doles out raises, bonuses, and even promotions!

I want to start a movement away from an entitlement culture and towards an accountability and performance culture.

Are you with me?

If you’d like to explore how to make performance management actually work at your company, let’s jump on a call and assess you present approach, then you can begin leading to create Your Championship Company. 

Go here now to find a time that works for you.

More to come, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


Communicating Change in a Small Business Work Environment

Your employees continue to resist change.
This article explains why.
 
Basically, it’s because they don’t care. Or, at least they
don’t care enough to make their life more difficult and
uncomfortable.
 
Add to that the fact that you, the business owner, know
how important implementing this change initiative is to
the future of your company.
 
So, it’s no surprise that the real issue, is communication.
 
It’s both what you’re communicating and how you are
communicating it.
 
Chances are you are trying to sell the benefits of the change.
 
That makes sense, right? That’s what everyone wants to know,
isn’t it?
 
NO. That’s not.
 
As a matter of fact your employees don’t care about the
benefits.
 
And, I don’t mean just the benefits to the company.
 
They don’t even care about the benefits to them.
 
They’re not listening.
 
They’re tuning out to your proclamations about all the great
benefits they’ll receive from implementing this change.
 
Why are they tuning out?
 
Because you’re not speaking to the frequency your employees
are tuned into in times of change.
 
Even the smallest change like just using a different software
program on their computer.
 
You’ve probably been taught to speak to the WII-FM.
You know, “what’s in it for me?” from the employees’ perspective.
 
Yet, this is ALL wrong!
 
People won’t listen to the WII-FM until you speak at some other
frequency they need to hear first.
 
You see, there is another “radio frequency” people are tuned to
when it comes to change initiatives.
 
If you want your employees to embrace change and actually help
you initiate the change you need to speak to the WIM-FM.
 
WIM-FM is an acronym representing “What’s It Mean – For Me.”
 
You see employees don’t care about any benefits, no matter how
great they may be, until they understand “what it means for them.”
 
If the effort is too hard, or the change is too complicated, or it’s
going to turn their world upside down, the benefits DO NOT matter.
 
Before you ever try to sell the benefits, the WII-FM, you MUST
assess what the change will mean for each employee and customize
your communication so that each and every employee understands
what it means for them.
 
You also need to let them know you’ve thought about what it means
for them and how you are going to mitigate and minimize the difficulty
they will experience during the implementation.
 
Until employees understand what the change means for them, and
that you’ve thought compassionately and empathetically about it from
their perspective, they will continue to resist your change initiative.
 
That’s true no matter how large or how small a change.
 
Remember, speak to the radio station WIM-FM
“What Does it Mean – For Me” from the employees perspective.
 
And you’ll get employees to listen to you, and buy-into what you’re
asking of them in times of change.

If you’d like additional help communicating to motivate employees
in your workplace I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


The Road to High-Trust Workplace in Small Business

In the last article, you read that the ultimate goal of any small
business owner should be to create a high-respect culture.

This is where each employee respects his or her co-workers as
professionals.

The path to a high-respect workplace is through trust.

You may have read my statement in the last article that…

Trust is the currency of respect.

And, that there can be no respect without trust. But you can have
trust without respect.

So to get there you have to first commit to trust.

How important is trust?

Well, in Stephen M.R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust
his research shows very directly how important trust is.

My favorite quote from The Speed of Trust is;

“As trust goes down, speed goes down, and costs go up.”

And,

“As trust goes up, speed goes up, and costs go down.”

The same is true for respect but you can’t get to respect
without establishing trust first.

What is trust?

I define it as, “the absolute belief that you have my best
interests in mind.”

Or it could also be the team, the organization, the company,
the project, etc.’s best interest in mind.

There are 5 different contexts that need to be aligned between
individuals for high levels of trust to be in place that leads to respect.

The 5 include, each person believing the other:

Always has their, or the organization’s, best interest in mind;
Always communicates and acts with the best of intentions;
Can do what they say they’re going to do (capability)
Will do what they say they’re going to do (willingness)
Will be non-judgmental and helpful when they go to them in
a state of vulnerability.

If those five components are aligned you have a high-trust
relationship.

Consistent communication with the seven critical communication
skills that overcome the seven communication sins will allow the
mutual respect to manifest.

That starts you on the trust road to respect.

How far down that road is your company?

Or…

Is it stuck on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance?

If you’d like roadside assistance to build that high-respect
workplace I have a FREE resource for you.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

Go here to learn about how my FREE, no obligation Workplace
Communication Assessment Call would benefit you and your
company.

More to come next week, stay tuned.

‘til then, Communicate With Power!

 

 

 


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