What Millennials Want in the Workplace

What Millennials Want in the Workplace

Most millennial workers are approaching their careers with high expectations.   They want to find a role and organization that fit their life and give them a sense of contributing to something bigger than themselves.  They are very interested in doing work that feels meaningful and purposeful to them.  And they want to be able to use their talents to do their best work and are consistently looking for opportunities to get better through learning and development.

Now when it comes to engaging your talent, millennials are no different from every other worker in every organization – one size does not fit all.  Every generation of talent want to be treated how they want to be treated.  As a leader, this means uniquely enabling each worker with the personalized skills, competencies, rewards and recognition that they want, when they want it.

Many argue that workers of the non-millennial generations tend to stay longer in their jobs, so that makes them more worth investing in.  However, with the new work economy moving so fast and continuously changing, even so-called loyal employees will move on if they are offered a better opportunity to learn and grow with an organization.

As a generation that is growing in the workplace and swiftly moving into more management and leadership positions, learning is consistently rated as a top driver of employee engagement and attraction among millennials.  Gallup found that, “Millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is “very important” to them (45% of millennials vs. 31% of Gen Xers and 18% of baby boomers).” (Gallup, 2017).

A key takeaway for leaders from the vast amounts of research focusing on millennials is that they are speaking up and letting their employers know what they want and their passion for growth and learning is playing a huge role in driving workplace change.

As a leader, the key areas you should focus on when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining your millennial talent are learning, development, work-life/family balance and flexibility.  As a leader your primary role should be listening to your talent and removing obstacles that get in the way of successfully delivering these things to your workforce.

Although there are small variations in the levels of engagement, and desired perks and benefits for the millennial, GenX and Baby Boomer generations, a lot of the larger picture findings were very similar.  All generations of talent consistently report that they want to feel acknowledged, they want to be enabled with learning and development, and they want to be rewarded (with personalized perks and benefits) for their good performance.

For more information about how you can develop your talent with learning opportunities get in touch for a 15-minute demo of our global, mobile learning solutions.

Is a Robot Going to Take Your Job?

Is a Robot Going to Take Your Job?

I recently wrote a blog about re-skilling the workforce to prepare for technology, which got some traction amongst readers.  This is an extremely popular topic lately, due to the nature of the changing work economy and the proliferation of technology in all aspects of our lives.

Companies are turning to technology, robots, apps and kiosks to streamline their service, automate simple tasks, save money and increase profits.  Technology can be a great option for organizations to improve their processes and procedures; however, it is important that leaders consider all the implications that technology can have.  And it is important for individuals to consider what they should be doing to re-skill and grow to make themselves irreplaceable.

Answer this question honestly, would you rather interact with a computer/robot, or a friendly, caring, human being who can personalize your service?  Please take note, the friendly, caring and personalized part are extremely important to this question, because not all human beings are going to deliver the service interactions that their colleagues and customers desire.  That is why as a leader it is critical that you focus on re-skilling your talent with soft-skills such as authenticity, friendliness, fun, and hospitality, that 1. A robot cannot duplicate and 2. Makes them the most desirable to interact with.

I’ll give you a scenario to consider.  Have you ever been at a grocery checkout and noticed that the line for the self-checkout was shortest?   But once you proceeded to check out, you had trouble with the scanner, an “unidentified object” in the bagging area and your points card wouldn’t scan properly.  This has happened to me on many occasions, and I’ve noticed the customers around me who chose the human cashier have typically gotten out much faster.

Technology can be great in some circumstances, but often, organizations are trying to implement technology in place of humans to reduce costs at the expense of the best service.

In a recent interview with Quartz, Bill Gates floated the idea of the government taxing robots which replace human workers to potentially slow automation and fund other types of employment for humans (Quartz, 2017).  Right now, robot automation is primarily effecting front-line roles such as customer service agents, phone center reps, warehouse workers, and probably drivers in the future.  Re-directing some of the funds in some sort of tax would still net a profit for those companies changing to robot automation, but it would also support the re-skilling or re-focusing of the humans being displaced by robots.

What do you think of a robot tax?  Could it work to slow down automation and help re-skill workers into new jobs?  Share in the comments below!

Check out my latest book The Seven Personalization Principles to find out more about how you can re-skill yourself and your employees with 7 soft-skills focused on personalization that will make you irreplaceable, not matter what job you’re in.

How Cultural Obsession with Cellphones Can Impact Employee Learning and Engagement

How Cultural Obsession with Cellphones Can Impact Employee Learning and Engagement

Let’s start by answering these few questions:

  • How far away from you is your phone right now?
  • How many times a day do you check your phone?
  • How many minutes/hours a day do you spend using your phone for reading, accessing email, apps and other content?

The truth is, 94% of smartphone owners carry their phone with them frequently and 82% say they never or rarely turn their phones off.  Plus, 59% of smartphone owners report they use apps on their phones at least several times a day and 27% saying they use them “continuously” (PewResearchCenter, 2015).

These stats don’t surprise me.  In fact, excluding phone calls, 99% of my business interactions are done on my phone or tablet.

As a leader, it is critical that you acknowledge these behavior patterns that your employees are so clearly displaying!

When it comes to recognition, engagement and learning, your employees want what they want, when they want it.  That means making your Employee Engagement and Learning programs completely mobile integrated.

Think about it, as a leader you would be able to reward and recognize your talent with a tap of the screen (maybe when you’re out grabbing a coffee or waiting for your conference call to begin).  Plus, your administrators can access real time reporting and redemption information from anywhere!  And finally, as an employee, having mobile integration means having access to their reward portal to redeem points, browse the peer-to-peer recognition feed to congratulate their colleagues, or accessing their learning modules when and where it’s convenient for them.

I talk a lot about leaders removing obstacles that get in the way of their employees doing their best work.  Mobile learning and employee engagement gives employees easy access to their organizational engagement portal 24/7 so they can engage with the platform when it’s convenient for them!

In the engagement and incentive market, recognition happens in the moment. By having a truly mobile experience, this fills the gap of only being able to give incentives and recognition when you’re at your desktop. By having a flexible, multi-device platform that is both easy and intuitive to use, it increases utilization and engagement.

Additionally, mobile capabilities are so important for a global workforce, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally.  Employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. Having mobile integration increases ROI for global organizations because it will be accessible for even more employees.  Plus, delivering layered learning through the convenience of a mobile app, companies will be able to provide just-in-time training and education to accelerate the results.

Think this is something you would like to integrate into your organization?  Find out more about GES’s completely mobile integrated, global Employee Engagement and Learning Solutions.  Plus, sign up for a free 15-minute demo to experience the platform for yourself!

Avoiding Employee Burnout and Finding Work-Life Balance

Avoiding Employee Burnout and Finding Work-Life Balance

It’s Friday!!  How many of your colleagues come in every Friday saying TGIF, Thank Goodness It’s Friday!  It’s become a sort of catch phrase in our society, obsessed with clocking in long hours, burning the midnight oil, and then crashing on the weekends.

But what if you stopped living for the weekends and started living everyday saying TGIT, Thank Goodness It’s Today! That instead of loathing the 40+ hours you put in at your job, you found a job that fit your life.

Burnout has become a real epidemic in the workplace and once an employee hits a certain threshold there’s often no going back.  64% of North American employees report high levels of stress (Statista, 2016).

Some signs that you or a colleague might be exhibiting employee burnout include, feeling tired or sick, muscle tension, headaches, no longer caring, procrastination, irritability, and no sense of satisfaction or pride associated with your work (OfficeVibe, 2014). 

As an employee, some things you can do to reduce your stress and burnout when at work include:

  • Relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
  • Making time for exercise (even if it’s a 20 minute walk around the block on your lunch break).
  • Taking time off.  This time away from the office can often give you time to reflect on how you can perform more effectively and efficiently when you’re there.
  • Communicate openly. Learn to communicate with your team and let them know when you are overwhelmed or are unable to take on any more work capacity.  When you communicate, you will often find people who are able to help with a project.

As a leader, you play a critical role in preventing employee burnout and stress and creating a work-life balance and environment conducive to productivity and high performance.  Some ways that you can create a culture where employees are engaged, loyal and want to refer others are:

  • Remove obstacles that get in the way of your employees doing their best work. This might include examining unnecessary policies and procedures such as dress code, vacation time, remote working, or flex time.
  • Provide Learning and Development opportunities. Give them the tools they need to do their job. Your talent want to feel enabled to best serve their colleagues and customers and want skills that will make them more marketable now and in the future.
  • Give autonomy to your employees. Don’t micromanage your workers.  This just makes them feel small and unimportant.  Train your employees to understand your company’s values and vision and allow them to make good decisions within that framework.
  • Communication openly and authentically. Schedule regular meetings where you can touch base on your employees. Once a week or every 2 weeks is a good time frame, this way you stay on top of knowing their workload, when they are overwhelmed, and when problems arise you can help to solve them quickly.
  • Recognize and reward service and performance.  Authentic recognition is so important to make your employees feel acknowledged.  When you recognize your employees (both monetarily and non-monetarily), they will feel more engaged and energize and willing to put forth their best efforts.

For more information on creating a company culture where your employees (and customers) will want to stay longer, and positively refer others get in touch for a 15-minute demo of GES’s Employee Engagement Solution.

The Best Mission Statements from Inspirational Organizations

The Best Mission Statements from Inspirational Organizations

The best organizations seek to create exceptional experiences from the inside out for their employees and customers.  When conducting research for my latest book, The Seven Personalization Principles, I came across many great company mission statements that focused not only on the logical and physical elements, but also the emotional connection the organization has to their employees and customers.

Some of these companies are profiled in my 7P book (indicated with *), which takes a deeper dive into deconstructing how the organization’s strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff and skills contribute to an experience of personalization for their employees and customers, which makes them stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.

Here are some of the top mission statements I came across:

  • Starbucks* “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
  • Nordstrom* “to provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time.”
  • Southwest Airlines* “dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”
  • Amazon “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
  • Facebook “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
  • Red Hat “to be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way.”
  • Hyatt “to provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day”
  • American Express “to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”