Generation Y in Today’s Workplace

May 19th, 2016

There’s no getting around it: Millennials are integral to the modern workplace, and with each year that passes, more members of the generation born after 1980 flood into the offices and factories of the adult world. This much-maligned and much-celebrated generation is getting older, for sure; the first are now entering their late 30s. But new arrivals are constantly appearing, and “digital natives” and the children of helicopter parents are now the new normal in most workplaces.

So if you’re managing a team of millennials, what can you do to keep them happy and productive? Keep these considerations in mind.

Know what they want and need.

In order to keep your employees onboard and reward your top performers, you’ll have to provide the basic compensation they need and the special bonuses they’re willing to reach for. Which means you’ll have to find out what these things are. The best method is to ask them. But if you’re managing a large team, some broad strokes and general assumptions can help. For example, members of this generation tend to value time as much as (or even more than) money. So consider providing schedule flexibility and more time off for high performers.

Let them connect to the company network.

Millennials typically come with devices, since they were born with cell phones and tablets in their hands. Allow them to connect their devices to the company network, and set clear boundaries and rules regarding connectivity and response times. For example, do you expect them to close down or stay connected during weekends and vacations?

Push them a little.

Millennial employees are not known for their willingness to step outside of their comfort zones. Since the dawn of time, workers in their 20s have always been optimistic, ambitious, long on idealism and short on experience. In earlier generations, this often made them bold (sometimes even foolish) risk takers and cheerful mistake makers. But modern millennials are historically concerned about messing up and incurring the disapproval of their supervisors, so take this into account. Give them room to stumble, fail and grow. If you crowd them too much, they’re not likely to push back. But if you nudge them toward independence, they may astonish you with their youthful and innovative decisions and ideas.

For more on how to work with millennials and encourage them to thrive under your supervision, reach out to the Belmont staffing team at PSU.

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Networking in 2016: Top Strategies to Stay Connected

May 5th, 2016

Technology may change, and the methods and formats we use to communicate may evolve rapidly, but the basic principles that support effective networking tend to remain the same. More than anything else, most people seek out friendly, familiar faces and voices. They feel a sense of pleasure and reward when they learn something new, and feel an equally strong sense of pleasure and reward when they share new information, teach something new, or help someone else accomplish a goal.

So what do these essential facts mean for your 2016 networking strategy? Keep these tips in mind, whether you’re communicating by text, email, phone, social media or face-to-face conversation.

Focus on others

When you’re trying to spark a conversation or keep an active dialogue open and in motion, don’t emphasize your own issues. Turn the spotlight toward the other person, and turn statements about yourself into questions about your companion. If you can’t think of a way to start your message or a way to break the ice, think for a minute about your audience. What does she do? What’s been happening in her life recently? What topics in the local and national news have probably had an impact on her daily routine?

Every touch can resonate

If you’d like to follow up with a recruiter or touch base with a potential contact, be proactive, and recognize that a little goes a long way. A short, polite one-line message or question might be enough to accomplish your goal; and if so, there’s no need for a five-page message or a constant stream of pushy, repetitive texts.

Feelings come through

People have an uncanny ability to sense when we’re trying to make a meaningful connection and when we’re transparently networking. So be nice. Don’t think of your intended connection as a career-building move, think of it as an opportunity to learn more about someone you admire or respect. The best networkers, ironically, are those who don’t network at all. They just enjoy the company of others and genuinely like making new friends.

Remember everything

When people tell you something about themselves or their companies, remember what they say. Pay special attention to needs, pain points, goals and desires. If they’re struggling with something, they want something or they’re facing a challenge, remember this fact. Even if you have nothing to offer at that moment, you never know when this might change.

Be thankful

The two most powerful words in your network-building toolkit are these: Thank you. Whenever you have a reason to thank someone, even the flimsiest reason, do so. There’s never anything wrong with showing gratitude and appreciation.

For more on how to build your connections and strengthen your relationships during this year—or any year—reach out to the Charlotte career management experts at PSU.

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