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Organizational Change Is Good, Part 2: You Must Teach New Dogs, New Tricks to Maintain Employee Engagement of Younger Workers

The Wall St. Journal (The Young Are Happy at Work) this week offered an article about younger workers being happier in the today’s workplace, but much less loyal to that workplace.

This may seem like a contradiction but its not.

It makes perfect sense.

The younger generation has grown up with constant change.

Technology for them has been evolving every day since they were born.

I would also assume that many more have experienced more change in their personal lives growing up as well, with less stable family situations. Whether growing up in a broken home and a one parent family, to shuttling back and forth between divorced parents, to stable parents who have been forced to change jobs more than ever.

It’s no wonder they get bored with status quo much faster than previous generations and continually need new challenges to keep them stimulated and engaged.

This is a tremendous asset to business leaders that embrace it.

This is also a tremendous challenge to both business leaders that embrace it, and those that shy from it.

Why? Because it is going to take much more time, energy, forethought and communication to keep the younger generation engaged in their work.

They get bored much more quickly than previous generations.

Again, quite possibly, because of the world’s fast pace in the 21st Century, this change can be good.

Leaders must embrace this change and begin communicating in a way that connects with them to find out what’s most important to the younger generation in the workforce and find ways to give it to them in order to keep them around.

As I write in my latest white paper report, “3 Simple Secrets to Employee Engagement and Real Performance Results: Applying the 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication for Maximum Motivation” (download for free here) leaders should be investing much more of their time in 1:1 conversations with the people they lead and much less time trying to motivate the team as a unit.

The team meetings, rah-rah speeches, going over the numbers are going to bore the younger generation to death. Limit those meetings and use that time to invest in connecting 1:1 with your people.

It will pay dividends in the short and long-term and may even get that younger generation in your workforce (the one that is driving you crazy) to stay around longer than they originally intended and can add value to your organization that can make a difference.

If you want to learn more about The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication join me for a Free TeleClass this Thursday, October 20th at 4pm Eastern time/1pm Pacific, register here .

Feel free to leave a comment on your experience hiring, motivating and working with the younger generation (and multi-generations) in the workplace!

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

There are 4 comments. Add yours.

  1. Skip-Great post. I agree that leaders are going to need to spend more one on one time and really get to know what motivates the individuals. Real communication is vital to all relationships.

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      Thanks for reading and being inspired to leave a comment. Yes, “real” communication, that is sorely lacking in the interactions between business leaders and their subordinates, I find. Which leads to a dearth of trust in organizations with significant and somewhat undeterminable costs. Although the GAllup Organization estimates about $300 billion in the U.S. alone.


  2. Skip, this is certainly a relevant topic for the current times. One on one communications give the best shot for active listening and conveying messages. It could be real time consuming but worth the effort. Gordon McAleer, McAleer & Associates

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      Thanks for reinforcing my point in the blog. I also believe that if the leader is communicating frequently in these 1:1 sessions, they don’t have to take up a lot of time and can actually enhance productivity if done correctly. And, if they’re scheduled and everyone comes prepared (with an open mind for two-way feedback), they can be very effective and productive.

      On a topic for another day, I’ve found managers/leaders tend to have 3 types of conversations in reverse order of what they normally are:
      1) Issue based
      2) Performance based
      3) Career/Future based

      Way too much time is spent with #1, not enough constructive, positive time spent in #2 which often really defaults to #1 disguised at #2, and little, if any, in #3. A client of mine just lost a good employee because of not digging deep enough into the career desires and future aspirations and were surprised when they took a position at a competitor down the street (OUCH!)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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