Reactions to Change

Reactions to Change

No two people are the same. When driving change within your team, each of your team members will exhibit his / her own response to the changing situation. Some will become defensive and uncomfortable. Others may be overly zealous and become impatient with the roll out. Below are the seven most common reactions. Thinking about likely reactions in advance will help you plan your response and improve the overall changes of success.

Reaction 1: People will feel uncomfortable and tense. This is particularly true when someone is asked to do something different. To understand this idea better, think of playing golf. Have you ever tried changing your grip? If you have, chances are that you have become more aware of the way you hold the club, the people watching you and the bad shot that may follow. The same is true in the workplace. During the first few days in a new job, people are very conscious of wanting to make the right impression.

Reaction 2: People will think first about what they have to sacrifice. For example, when a corporate restructuring is announced, the first thing that goes through people’s minds is not, “this is going to be great for my career” (although some people may be thinking that). Most are more concerned about losing their status, responsibility or team. Their thoughts are about what is going to be different. Only much later will they consider what they stand to gain.

Reaction 3: People are at different levels of readiness for change. Some will believe it is time things changed and will feel impatient to get on with it. They will even volunteer to be the ambassadors of change. Such people will be the most likely ones to switch jobs frequently, shift to new roles in the company, and typically believe disruption caused by new technology is a good thing. Others will see any change regardless of now insignificant, as the worst thing that could possibly happen. They have a mindset that denies change and will probably deal with it by believing that everything will be back to normal soon.

Reaction 4: People will often feel lonely. Most significant changes introduced in organisations have an effect on the staff. During a merger or a takeover, everyone in a department will feel the consequences. However, some individuals tend to feel that the change will have a bearing only on them. They are almost unaware of the feelings of the person sitting in the next cubicle.

Reaction 5: People can handle a certain degree of change. However, if the changes are too drastic and happen in too short a timeframe, people may be overwhelmed and fail to adapt accordingly. Imagine this: you hear about the appointment of a new managing director while moving offices to a new location after a leveraged buyout of your company by its rival. Taken independently, these changes may not be too big, but collectively they can be overpowering even for a person accustomed to change.

Reaction 6: People will feel that there are not enough resources. When change takes place, the general reaction is that there will not be enough time, people, systems and budget to meet the new demands. People often believe in the new goals but mistakenly think that the only way to achieve them is by doing what they have always done.

Reaction 7: People will revert to the old ways when the pressure is off. When change is introduced, the focus will be on implementation. Some are excited while others are nervous. However, regardless of initial reactions, when the focus changes from immediacy to continuity, people go back to the way they used to work.

The first step to navigating your organisation, division or team through change is to recognise how people will react.

Although it is useful to be aware of these seven reactions, they are only reference points to get you started. Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently and many will have some combination of reactions that appear over time.

Your job as a leader is to understand how the change will affect your team before it happens, anticipate their reactions, and put systems in place to ensure that positive opportunities are maximised and negative aspects are minimised. When you do this, the change in your organisations will become newsworthy – and will lead to success, not failure.


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Making a Good Impression

Making a Good Impression

When delivering an important message, a leader can follow a simple checklist for creating the right impression with the audience. Once the basic content and structure of the message is decided, shifting focus toward creating the right impression is a big part of ensuring that the message is well received and leads to prompt action. The following are three elements that you can add to your own checklist: channel, tone and observable behaviours.

1. Choose the right channel
Leaders have an understandable tendency to use email to communicate some of their most important messages. The reasons are obvious – instant circulation, immediate impact and consistency across recipients. But that may not be enough when you have to communicate something really significant. Before you deliver a crucial message to your team, ask yourself whether the idea is to inform, engage or persuade. Which method is the audience likely to prefer? Email and other electronic tools make it faster to share information (inform). However, if you need to impress your team as a leader, it is best to communicate in person and follow up, if necessary, with something in writing (engage / persuade). In a large organisation, where face-to-face meeting with every employee is not possible, you could consider a webcast as an option. They are easy to arrange, cost-effective and more personal than email messages.

2. Choose the right tone
To strike the right tone when communicating, every leader has to walk a fine line. At one end of the spectrum, you risk sounding too “macro”, falsely optimistic or too assertive. At the other, you can come across as obsessed with details, worried, or uninspiring. Either perception can lead to unwanted consequences. Just a few ill-chosen words or poorly phrased comments can result in a loss of support and trust, and can lead to inaction. The daily challenge for leaders at every level in an organisation is to steer clear of extremes and stay in the “credibility zone”. To do this, you must ask yourself what you want the message to achieve and what you think the audience wants to hear. The answers to these questions will help you communicate more effectively.

3. Choose the right observable behaviours
The way subordinates perceive you directly affects their willingness to co-operate or go the extra mile. If they see you as unprofessional, you already face an uphill battle when attempting to exert authority. However if you come across as competent and knowledgeable, the team is much more likely to work towards the goals you set. These perceptions do not have to be 100 percent correct, but they certainly count. A leader must be sure to create the right impression and should be aware that people are forming perceptions by observing seven specific things:

posture, movement, gestures, facial expressions, vocal delivery, choice of words and attire.

It pays to take a moment or two to think about how you want to be perceived. Once you have done that, consider any changes to make in these areas to have more effective style of leadership.


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Using Assertion to Influence Others

Using Assertion to Influence Others

The best way to influence others is to put yourself in their shoes. In our last post, we covered the persuasion cycle, which helps you to outline the statement, value and evidence for adopting your recommendation. In an ideal world the other person should be able to understand when a solution that is in their best interests, but that is not always the case. If the other person is having a hard time responding to you best use of evidence, emotion and rational appeals you may want to try being assertive.

This is the concept of saying “do this” constructively, while maintaining a positive and friendly tone. After all, if your aim is to continue working with the other person, you do not want to jeopardise your relationship.

The key difference between persuasion and assertion is the use of time, tension and ownership.
Assertion is a six-step process:

1. Define and own the problem
This is a crucial first step. Do not proceed unless you have clearly defined and assigned “ownership” of the problem. This eliminates the likelihood of people later denying there is a problem, stonewalling or getting side-tracked.

It does not matter if you own the problem or the responsibility is jointly shared, but it must be stated up front. For example, if the company is not serving clients to the best of its ability, admit that this is a problem. Once that has been done, it is time to focus on the solution.

2. Identify a solution
This can be done unilaterally, such as by suggesting that the sales team needs to have more face-to-face contact with clients. The key is to spell out clear and workable solutions. The more direct, succinct and articulate the message, the better the chances of success.

Another option is to use the facilitation approach. Instead of telling people what to do, consider asking them for ideas on how to resolve the problem. If you handle things this way, you must ensure a solution is identified at the time and that decisions are not deferred.

3. Transfer ownership
This can be subtle or very direct. However, the party you are dealing with must understand
they now own the solution and must take action. If it has been agreed the sales team should
spend an extra eight hours a week with clients, this should start without delay. Acceptance of ownership and execution by the other party shows your attempts to influence have worked.

4. Raise tension
If the previous steps have not achieved your objective, you may need to raise the level of tension. The vital thing is to be strong, yet subtle. You can do this by rephrasing your message, but with a more assertive tone and gestures.

5. Do not justify
Once you start to justify something you are no longer being assertive, but trying to persuade. It is not a mistake and, if you think it work, then adopt this approach. However, if you start persuading someone after trying to be assertive, you may just end up arguing

Besides, if you start to justify at this point you will appear on the defensive. This will lower the level of tension, and that is the key factor which makes assertiveness effective.

6. Change in tone
By raising the degree of tension, you hope to create an opening for the other party to agree. You can spot this by listening for a change in mood, or tone. It might last for only a few seconds. Therefore, pay close attention to any signals and, when you detect a change, repeat
the request.

When applying assertion it is important to continue to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and listen closely. Preserving the relationship means knowing when to step back and reduce the tension without justifying the source of the problem. Delivered effectively, assertion become a powerful tool for influencing stakeholders toward positive change.


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Using Persuasion to Influence Others

Using Persuasion to Influence Others

Why do we sometimes fail in our efforts to influence the other person? It may be because we are not focusing our attention on the right thing. The natural tendency is to look at every situation from our own point of view. We consider first the ways we need help, believe our own recommendations are best and set agendas that cater to our personal priorities.

In other words, when dealing with other people we are usually thinking: “What’s in it for me?” When two people approach a conversation with this same mindset, it is not surprising that the chances of reaching agreement diminish.

To get someone to accept your advice or opinions, you need to put yourself in their shoes. In doing this, you must speak their language and talk about the values or potential benefits that will mean the most to them.

For example, if you want a colleague to back a new strategy for client contacts, it would be better not to focus on what it means to you. Instead, concentrate on how the proposed strategy will help your colleague and the rest of the team.

You might start by saying you need their support, and then point out how the reorganisation will create more opportunities to cross-sell and that other companies have been able to increase revenue by 15 percent using a similar process.

The Persuasive Cycle: Statement, Impact and Evidence

This approach uses a “persuasive cycle”, which should contain three main parts. The first is the “statement”, which outlines in your own terms the main idea, recommendation or initiative. In the case above, it is the request for your colleague to support the new contact strategy.

The second part is “impact”. This should be delivered in terms most readily understood by the person you are trying to influence. The objective is to refer to the benefit they will get, or to give a compelling reason why your statement is important for them. Here, it is the chance to capitalise on cross-selling opportunities.

The final part of the cycle is “evidence”. Saying that something is a benefit is not always enough. You should back up your statement with facts, statistics, visual aids or even testimonials to provide added meaning and make it easier for the other person to take action.

In most cases, using the persuasive cycle will get you far in an influencing conversation. However, as we all know there are cases in which you might need to take a different approach. The colleague or client you are trying to influence may have an awkward personality, and some people just have an innate resistance to change or new concepts, even after the benefits have been expressed. Sometimes no amount of emotional or rational justification, clarification or evidence will sway a fixed opinion. In these cases, you may want to try being more assertive.

We will talk about an approach to assertiveness in our next post.


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The Right Way to Brainstorm

The Right Way to Brainstorm

The concept of brainstorming is simple. But that does not stop people doing it the wrong way. Participants might keep quiet, stick too closely to the status quo or put forward ideas that just are not related to the topic. Here, we will look best practices for leading effective brainstorming sessions with your team.

1. Set clear objectives
In order for the session to work, you need to first clarify the objectives so that nobody has any doubts on what is being asked. Before the session, conduct some problem analysis of your own and come up with a solid problem statement or SMART goal for your team to work with. Have this in writing for everyone to see. This will help you to set clear boundaries and give you something to refer back to when if the process gets stuck.

For example, when directing the team to come up with new process improvement ideas, rather than simply asking “how can we do this better” you could identify some specific pain points in the current process, summarise the what and why of a needed solution, and then ask for the team to come up with the how. On the other hand, you could take a step back and ask the team to suggest the pain points first. Either way, the team should know the scope of what you are asking for.

2. Allow time to think
Participants will need some time to think deeply about the problem and develop their ideas. You may hand out some post-it notes or sheets of paper for people to write suggestions – lots of them – and then decide which ones they are going to put forward. At this stage there should be no talking. The more time each person has to think, uninterrupted, about their suggestions, the more likely you are to get high-quality output when the time comes for sharing.

You may ask participants to think of “ideal perfect world solutions” where time, budget and resources are no object. The point is to generate as many ideas as possible with no restrictions. Later on, you will get to narrowing down and selecting ideas with a decision matrix or other analysis tool, but for now the goal is to get all sorts of new ideas out in the open.

3. Let ideas flow
Next, ask everyone to share with the group what they have come up with. Let the ideas flow and record everything without discussion or elaboration. If you have handed out post-it notes, have them come to the front of the room, present their idea and stick it on board. Remember that during a brainstorming session there are no bad ideas. Often, team members will be tempted to comment on or even criticise someone else’s ideas. Criticism of any sort should not be tolerated. It will put a damper on creativity and participation. As a leader of the process you should actively discourage any commentary, especially the negative kind. Keep things moving, adopt a light tone and get everyone to participate in the process.

4. Narrow the options
Only after all ideas are on the board and you are satisfied that everyone has had a chance to participate should you then begin to narrow the options. As before, avoid any criticism. Rather than ask about “pros” and “cons” of each idea, focus on the “pros” and get the participants to weigh in on what they like best. You can have a vote to identify the top ten options – but again, the outcome is best if you are elevating what the team likes, rather than eliminating what they don’t like.

Remember that the point of a brainstorming is to be creative and identify possibilities. Don’t expect to leave the session with a fully-baked solution and action plan. You could go into a separate decision-making process in which you weigh priorities and come up with one or two solutions to plan around – but then you will have moved well beyond the brainstorming stage. To get the most of your team, it’s best to put your critical mind aside for a while and just let the creative juices flow!


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5 Learning Trends to Watch in 2017

5 Learning Trends to Watch in 2017

In many ways, 2016 has continued to break with global norms in technology, industry, business and politics. The new ways in which people consume media have been disrupting established flows of information around the world and impacting virtually everything we do in business. What are the implications for your organisation’s learning and development initiatives? Udemy, an online e-learning course provider, shares their perspective in a report on the trends and predictions they have seen for 2016-2017.

The 5 Key Trends:

1. People Around the World Increasingly Learn Online

Online sources now are critical to how people around the world take in information. 70% of modern learners rely on search engines like Google to find in formation and 50-60% now access online courses in one form or another. It’s not surprising then, that today’s workforce is now much more comfortable with online learning for L&D training than in years past.

To keep up with modern search, browsing and reading habits, online learning platforms need to be responsive to the devices people normally use to access online content. For many this means mobile. In fact, according to Udemy’s research, mobile now accounts for one quarter of all learning worldwide.

2. Millennials are Addicted to Learning and It’s Reshaping L&D

Millennials now make up more than one-in-three U.S. workers today and have surpassed Generation X in 2015 as the largest segment of the workforce, according to the Pew Research Center. Having grown up with the latest technology, Millennials have a keener interest in technology-based learning solutions and tend to be more open to new approaches than older generations. Research also suggests that Millennials tend to be more interested in career development than pay, and being relative young, Millennials are still highly focused on skills development. This dynamic is shaping L&D for the future as organisations respond to the demands of the incoming crop of managers.

3. Mobile Video On-The-Go is the New Normal

Video is by far the fastest growing category of online mobile traffic. According to Gartner Research, video is expected to account for over 60% of mobile data traffic in 2018, and Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 55% growth in mobile video traffic, every year, through 2021.

As the general population spends more free time on smartphones, consuming all types of video content (sports, news, entertainment, how-to tutorials, etc.) we can be certain that workplace skills development supported by mobile video will be expected.

4. Optimal Learning Occurs Mid-Week

Employees expect to be given time to learn new professional skills while at work and prefer not to spend time studying on their weekend. Wednesdays, mid-afternoon (around 3:00 p.m.) is the most popular time of day for workplace learning. For mobile self-directed learners, content also tends to be consumed during the morning commute.

5. Technical Skills Across Industries Continue to be In-Demand

Online learning is especially popular for technical skills such as IT, software development, office productivity, data analytics and design. Each of these categories saw massive growth during 2016 and are expected to continue growing in 2017.

At the same time, certain areas of soft skills development will continue to rely heavily on coaching and immediate facilitator feedback delivered in a classroom or during a virtual instructor led training session on a platform such as WebEx. In the coming year, L&D departments will need to consider approaches that blend online learning with live instruction, so that each of the right skills are developed using the right approach.


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Mentoring Pointers for Team Leaders

Mentoring Pointers for Team Leaders

Mentoring and coaching individual team members is essential to driving performance. However it can also be demotivating if not delivered in the right way. Here are some pointers to ensure constructive criticism is delivered in a way that motivates team members to improve.


Pick the right moment
If you need to give fairly harsh criticism, avoid a long preamble and get to the point. When something has to be said, do not put it off indefinitely, hoping the problem will go away. Also, choose the moment carefully. Do not deliver personal criticism in a public forum.


Be timely and accurate
It is a mistake to let a number of issues accumulate, waiting for a chance to deal with them together. You should avoid exaggerations and talk about only what you have observed. During a coaching session, try not to use absolute terms such as “always” and “never” and think carefully about how you want to express yourself. The aim should be to initiate a discussion, not provoke a confrontation.


Focus on what can be changed
It makes no sense to focus on characteristics that cannot be easily changed or areas that are generally sensitive. Therefore, take special care when making personal remarks and recognise that any real or implied criticism of a person’s integrity, honesty or moral courage is potentially dangerous territory.


Avoid comparisons
It might be easy to illustrate a point by making a comparison but remember that no one likes to be thought of as inferior. Comparisons often make people stop focusing on the main point the speaker wants to make and can easily miss the mark.


Do not discuss motives
Passing judgment on motives can be taken as censure on the person. Not to mention, it is too easy to draw the wrong conclusion. Remember that people are often not fully aware of why they do or avoid certain things.


Avoid amateur psychology.
After criticising, do not apologise if you criticise someone and then apologise, it only creates doubt and possible misunderstanding of motives. As the coach or manager, you should decide what has to be said and, if appropriate, thank the other person for listening. You may think that apologising for your comments somehow softens the blow but it actually causes confusion.
Each session should concentrate on getting feedback. Ensure that problems are explained and propose a plan for subsequent action. The key to successful coaching is to focus on individuals and their specific behaviour.


Structure reactions
One model to use when giving feedback about ways to improve performance is the so-called AID approach. First, the action that needs attention should be identified. Then explain its impact or potential impact. Finally, specify the desired action that you’ hope to see. By structuring feedback in this way, you make it easy to link cause and effect and point out the implications of certain behaviour.


Listen to learn
The coaching process requires you to be alert to both verbal and non-verbal signs. When listening; pay close attention to the choice of words and tone of voice used when describing interests, issues and opinions. Listen also for the reasons used to support particular points of view and assess if they are factual or an expression of personal feelings. Observe any hesitance or non-verbal clues. Remember that you can often learn as much from what is not said as from what is stated. Look for changes in emotion and register where the ups and downs occur. Without needing to probe too directly, you will be able to pick up a lot of useful information that can then be used when deciding what changes to recommend.


Ask vital questions
Every mentor must have an inquisitive streak and want to find out more about the reasons that affect performance. Therefore, be ready to keep asking questions, mix them up so that the session does not seem like an interrogation and, most importantly, give the other person time to answer.


Set objectives
The best coaching sessions end with agreement on an action plan. This does not have to be too formal but, when setting objectives, it helps to use the SMART approach. Following this acronym, the plan should be specific by clearly defining what must be accomplished, should be measurable against agreed standards, achievable, result oriented and have a time frame to keep things on track.


The ideal teacher
Coaching skills and techniques can be learnt. However, to be a great coach requires more than just going through the motions. A great coach helps others achieve their potential. Do you have what it takes to be a good coach? Here’s a check list: a good listener, good communicator, sincere, honest, accessible, role model, sensitive, articulate, succinct, fair, even tempered, smart, takes pride in other’s achievement, willing to give a person a chance, passes on credit to where it is due, motivator and enthusiastic.


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Structuring the Meeting

Structuring the Meeting

All of us have attended team meetings that turn out to be a waste of time and money. This happens even when considerable effort has been made to organise things and fix an agenda.

The goals may be lofty – redefining human resources policies, brainstorming about a marketing plan or reviewing budgets and forecasts – and getting people together may seem the best way forward. However, many business meetings are unable to achieve any results and even end up creating more problems than they solve.

A lot of this has to do with how the meeting is structured and managed. When planning, it’s important to go beyond agenda setting, and depending on the circumstances, the process can take anything from a few minutes to a few months. Here are 9 recognised steps for making meetings more effective:


9 Key Steps

Audience analysis – understand who will be present and who is critical to the meeting’s success.

Set an objective – be sure about the desired outcome. Research – understand the issues to be discussed, decided, solved and acted upon.

Create a structure – establish the agenda and the order of tackling issues in the time available.

Get attention – start the meeting by focusing attention and explaining the relevance of the

Follow guidelines – conduct and control the meeting so as to keep things on track.
Summarise and confirm – make sure everyone understands the outcome and what they are supposed to deliver.

Document and distribute results – ensure other interested parties know about the key decisions.

Review the process – after the meeting, ask yourself what went well and what could be done better the next time.

These steps will provide a structure for the process and to ensure that energy is focused on adding value, not on managing conflict.


A checklist for opening the meeting

A simple but effective way of opening a meeting is to consider what is going through the minds of the participants. They are probably wondering what it is all about, the duration and why they are attending it. If you have convened the meeting, have specific answers ready for these inevitable, but often unspoken, questions. You can then make sure everyone is on the same page by starting the meeting with an introduction of around 30 seconds, in order to provide the answers. This should have five main elements that deal with the following questions:

  • What is the meeting for?
  • Why is it beneficial, urgent or of consequence for those present?
  • How will the meeting be run?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • Who will participate and why?

The introduction can be informal. For example, you might say: “OK, let’s get started. I have invited Bob from the finance department to talk about the implementation of the new CRM customer relationship management system. It should take about 30 minutes. I hope we can learn more about the cost overruns for the project, so we can then decide which departments should absorb them.” The meeting then has a clear purpose, which helps you to keep things on track and achieve your objectives.


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Using the Decision Matrix

Using the Decision Matrix

When your team is having a hard time setting priorities and making decisions in the face of too many options, a simple tool can help you to organise your ideas and focus on those that deliver the biggest impact with the least amount of effort.

The decision matrix is designed to evaluate ideas that are most likely to offer the best outcomes. It is a very easy way of bringing more objectivity to the decision-making process. What leaders like about it is that it helps them to judge very different proposals against the same set of criteria.

When using this tool, start by clearly defining the categories in the grid to avoid excessive debate later on about where to place different items. There should be four main categories: easy to do and yields a big improvement; easy but only a small overall improvement; difficult and yields a big improvement; and difficult but just limited progress. After debating ideas, criticisms, suggestions and possible solutions, assign them to one of the four boxes.

On examining the matrix, it will be clear that items in the first category should be implemented immediately. Those in the second category also deserve a high priority. More planning may be needed for ideas that fall in the third category but there should be no delay in getting started. Anything that falls into the fourth category can be forgotten.

The decision grid helps to sort out disparate ideas effectively and provides the basis for an action plan at the same time. It also encourages participation and helps build consensus among the team because everyone gets the chance to express an opinion or cast a vote.


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Gen Z and Millennials Collide

Gen Z and Millennials Collide

A new report released by Randstad and Future Workplace entitled Gen Z and Millennials collide at work paints an detailed picture of how multiple generations collide and interact in the workplace. As millions of Baby Boomers retire and Gen X advances up the ladder, Millennials are now taking on many key management roles. Also entering the workforce are members of Gen Z (those born between 1994 and 2010). Gen Z can in many ways be considered an exaggerated version of the Millennial generation – with some differences. As these generations interact in the workplace, the Randstad report highlights some potential areas of conflict, and opportunities for development and collaboration.

Millennials in management

According to the study, Millennials are generally not well equipped to manage others in the workplace. Making matters worse, when Millennials oversee members of other generations, particularly Baby Boomers and Gen X, the problems stemming from inexperience are amplified. This reality has led to measurable increases in dissatisfaction and turnover, leading to what Randstad describes as a “serious crisis”.

83% of survey respondents have seen Millennials managing Gen X and Baby Boomers in their offices. Among the older generations is a feeling that their younger managers are not qualified or prepared for their managerial position. For example, 45% of older respondents felt that their younger managers’ lack of managerial experience could have a negative impact on their company. Meanwhile, 44% of Millennials reported that they felt their generation was the best generation to lead in the workplace. Only 14% of all survey respondents agreed with this sentiment.

Related are some hints toward feelings of inadequacy among Millennials – only 27% of whom reported that their personal skills in dealing with corporate politics were adequate. Preparation for management roles may also be impacted by the fact that only 28% of Millennials reported that their current job relates well to what they studied in their education.

Gen Z are digital natives

Since Gen Z has grown up with technology, many younger members have never known a world without mobile devices or the internet. As a result, digital mediums are an obvious component of engaging and interacting with Gen Z. According to the study, Gen Z have high expectations for digital connectivity. Companies who see the most success are those who allow access to social media and other technologies and have a culture in which their workers can challenge established norms and assumptions around the use of technology in the workplace. Digital technology will certainly play a greater role in engaging, retaining and training members of Gen Z in the future.

Collaboration is still key

Despite their attachment to technology, the younger generations still see face-to-face collaboration as the preferred way to work with their teams. 39% of Millennial and Gen Z survey respondents reported that the most effective communication takes place in person, and that this kind of collaboration is a means of producing their best work.

Regular collaborative interaction also has implications for performance management. For Millennials and Gen Z, gone are the days of the annual performance review. Instead, the rising generations lean on feedback delivered either daily (19%) weekly (24%) or other regular intervals (23%). For these groups, annual reviews now only account for 3% of cases.

Millennials and Gen Z both reported that the best way for their managers to engage with them and help them deliver their best work were: by listening and valuing their ideas and opinions (51%) and by mentoring and giving quality feedback regularly (46%). Organisations seeking to draw on effective collaboration should zero in on these kinds of interactions between generations in order to get the most out of their teams.

Development opportunities for your multigenerational team

When it comes to the aspects in which Millennials reported their educations did not prepare them for their current jobs, the following areas stood out:

  • 29% resolving conflicts
  • 28% negotiating
  • 27% managing other people
  • 22% working with older people
  • 22% working in a team

Finally, summarising the report are some key recommendations that may increase effective development of Millennial managers and entering Gen Z.

From the report – Successful organisations today and in the future will need to implement important workplace processes and programs including:

  • Collaboration: Collaborative tools and processes to fulfil the expectations of Gen Z and Millennial generations, while seamlessly integrating them into existing workflow to maximise workforce performance
  • Career advancement: Frequent and abundant professional development and career advancement opportunities
  • Financial stability: Shoring up of wage disparities and providing employee recognition and rewards that deliver younger generations the financial stability they desperately seek
  • Technology: Integration of the social and emerging technologies that will satisfy Gen Z and Millennial desires for such tools, while enabling more productivity and less distraction
  • Managerial training: Talent assessment and development initiatives for Millennial managers so they may effectively perform and succeed in their valuable roles
  • Work/life balance: Formal work/life balance programs that will help younger generations manage workplace stress

We highly recommend that you download and read the entire report, which can be found at the Randstad website.


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