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Via Stuff : Millennials set to take over the workforce by 2020

It’s the generation the other generations like to rag on.

But in just a few years, Millennials – those born between 1982 and 2004 – will be the dominant force in workplaces around New Zealand.

Millennials are often accused of speaking another language, always on their cellphone, and invested in social media, but they are also driven, fast-paced workers who can multi-task effectively.

Price Waterhouse Coopers commissioned a survey looking at this group across 75 countries which found career progression was a top priority for millennials, and they preferred to communicate through technology, rather than face-to-face or even over the telephone.

It also said millennials development and work/life balance was more important than financial reward, and there was a strong appetite for travelling and working overseas.

But loyalty to their employer was not a priority, with 54 per cent saying they would expect to have two to five employers over their work life. They were comfortable working with older generations, but thought senior management didn’t relate to younger workers and their personal drive was intimidating to other generations.

Businesses are having to keep up and adapt with the influx of millennials into the corporate work force.

New Zealand global software company Xero employs a lot of millennials.

It has bean bags and gaming consoles, and modern training and development programmes.

Xero graduate team lead Suraksha Setty, 25, looks after the new graduates and interns, including interviews, inductions, training, performance reviews and fortnightly catch-ups to make sure they’re on the right track and settling in.

Apart from technical training, Xero also has “soft skills” training, which focuses on public speaking, meet ups outside of work, interaction with other companies and learning about diversity in the work place.

It is about creating balance, Setty said.

“While we treat everyone the same, the majority are young people [at the Auckland office] which is really awesome. There is a lot of support for the younger talent.

“We are such a modern tech company, so the forward-thinking nature that young people bring is fitting for the environment we’re in. We’re encouraged to speak up and share our opinions and ideas. Feeling valued is really novel in the workforce.”

She said new grads and interns are paired with a senior person in their team who helps show them the ropes. Team members come from a range of backgrounds in gender, age, cultures and ethnicities.

Xero communications advisor Isabella Couwenberg​ has tried hard not to label herself a millennial.

“But of course, given my birthdate, I am a millennial,” the 23 year old said. “I do think that millennials get a bad rap, which is a very “millennial” thing of me to say.”

The term is associated with negative connotations and stereotypes, she said. Generalisations were “a bit unfair”.

One stereotype is they expect a trophy for showing up to work and want special privileges, she said.

“We’re very technology abled, as well as willing to embrace new ideas. We’re able to work well under pressure and juggle a range of tasks as well as move at pace. We operate in a quick thinking environment with a lot of hustle, which I enjoy.

“I thrive under pressure so it’s great. I’m really lucky in that I get to work with a lot of senior people who can learn so much from and I’m good at putting my hand up, which is perhaps something that the more reserved older generations didn’t do so much.”

Auckland University of Technology, University Director of Diversity, Professor Edwina​ Pio said it’s a two-way street, and organisations and millennials must work together for the success of the company.

“Employers have to understand it is a vastly changing landscape. You must take risks on young people, but you can’t do the same training and development you’ve done in the past.

“Millennials expect a variety of different kinds of training. You can’t use old models – it’s not going to work.They are very driven and we shouldn’t extinguish their flame.”

Millennials currently accounted for 34 per cent of New Zealand’s labour force and by 2020 would be the majority.

“They are our future leaders, our future CEOs, our business leaders who walk the corridors of power.”

Via Inc : Want to Run a Successful Business in Southeast Asia? Hire More Women

If only for the sake of profits, women should not be excluded from the process of imagining and creating new products.

In her book, Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley (Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2018), journalist Emily Chang explores how men came to dominate the tech industry and profiles some of the women fighting sexism and harassment. In this edited excerpt, Chang looks at some of the women-inclusive businesses and how this method of hiring has led to payoffs.

Silicon Valley has long celebrated failure, encouraging founders to aim big and fail fast, pick themselves up, and try again. In that spirit, there’s one big failure to add to the list: Silicon Valley has failed women, period, and it’s time for the industry to own it. At the current rate, with VCs celebrated for hiring their first (first!) female partners and companies ever so slowly achieving single-digit increases in the number of female engineers and managers, it will take us a generation or more to get to anywhere near fifty-fifty. That is unacceptable. Women not only represent half the population but drive 70 to 80 percent of consumer purchases. If only for the sake of profits, women should not be excluded from the process of imagining and creating new products.

There are a few founders who see the opportunity here. Everyone is looking for a competitive advantage, and some tech leaders have realized that there is an abundance of talent and valuable ideas in the populations that, for the last three decades, have been largely untapped. Looking at their new women-inclusive businesses and work- place cultures can give us some idea of the potential payoffs.

I ran into Dick Costolo in April 2016, 10 months after he had left Twitter, and he was nearly giddy, having just hired another female engineer at his new personal-fitness start-up, Chorus, the fourth company he has co-founded in two decades. From day one, Costolo focused obsessively on making sure he hired as many women as men, even if it took longer to find them. “Once you fall behind, if just two out of 20 engineers are women, it’s impossible to catch up,” Costolo told me. “Any one of these companies, the underlying disease is that it’s 90 percent men,” Costolo says. “Everything, literally everything, is reinforcing the problem.”

Jack Dorsey, who returned to Twitter as CEO when Costolo left, is also taking an innovative approach to improving the environment for women at his other company, Square. New female engineers joining the company are placed on teams that include other women rather than alone with a group of men. The hope is to engender camaraderie and networking and mitigate the “imposter syndrome” that women often experience when they are the only female in a room of male engineers. Still, with a limited number of female engineers, there is a trade-off to this strategy: Some teams will remain all male. It’s an experiment, one that Dorsey believes is worth trying. In the meantime, Square has developed a strong bench of female executives. “It’s not just creating a sense of belonging that’s important,” Dorsey told me, “but also making sure women contribute to decision making.”

And then there’s the most straightforward strategy, that having women in charge will naturally attract more women. Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite, says the company’s gender balance is 50-50 and that this has happened organically perhaps as a result of simply having strong female role models at the top.

These founders are attempting to create products that will be used by everyone, no computer expertise required. Hiring only the stereotypical computer nerd that IBM and others were screening for in the late 1960s and early 1970s (those who “don’t like people” and “dislike activities involving close personal interaction”) would ensure disaster for these sorts of endeavors. Following James Damore’s broken logic from his Google memo and hiring mostly men because they supposedly systematize rather than empathize would be equally shortsighted. What these companies need is a tech-savvy workforce with a deep empathic understanding of people’s behaviors, interactions, and preferences. For new technologies like these to reach their potential, they simply must be created by teams with a diverse set of perspectives.

Via AZ Big Media : 3 reasons hiring older employees is a smart move

In the 2015 movie The Intern, Robert DeNiro starred as a 70-year-old widower who returns to the workforce as an under-appreciated and seemingly out-of-step intern working for a young boss played by Anne Hathaway.

Initially, Hathaway’s character can’t quite relate to this baby boomer who ditched retirement out of boredom, but by the film’s finale she comes to appreciate his skills and experience.

In real life you’re unlikely to encounter many septuagenarian interns, but it’s not unusual for people to re-enter the labor market or launch new careers when they are well into what was once considered retirement age.

And that can be good for businesses that are willing to take advantage of all those decades of hard-earned experience, says Andrew Simon, a partner in Simon Associate Management Consultants, who himself is in his 70s.

“Starting a new career after 60 is not for everyone,” Simon says. “But it can be rewarding for those with energy and commitment levels that are high, and who are willing to learn new skills and keep up with the constantly evolving technology.”

The question is whether businesses will balk at hiring workers who, in many cases, are old enough to be the parents of the people supervising them. Sure there are downsides, Simon says, but the upsides can be tremendous when it’s the right fit for the right person.

He says a few things businesses should keep in mind as they weigh whether to hire older workers include:

Experience counts. Baby boomers come to the table with a whole set of experiences, including 30 or 40 years of interpersonal people skills that make them more adept at dealing with unique situations or different types of people. “On the flip side,” Simon says, “some of them could lack the technical skills that we take for granted in today’s workforce. So, be careful what you are asking them to do.”

Self-motivation. The odds are older employees will be self-motivated. “If these potential workers would like to join an organization or start a new career after 60, they probably like the idea of work,” Simon says. “They need to do something every day. Perhaps they view their job as intellectually stimulating.” You do need to make sure of their motivation, though, he says. If they’re just working for a paycheck, that might not cut it.

Different age groups have their own behaviors. Baby boomers often have a very different set of values than millennials. “Different things motivate them,” Simon says. “The culture of an organization is very important and can be tricky. You want to make sure these older workers have an opportunity to thrive in your new environment.” While it’s best to avoid stereotyping the generations too much, in general Baby Boomers tend to be productive, loyal to the company, willing to put in long hours to get the job done and prefer to have conversations in person.

“Companies that pass on hiring older workers risk missing out on people who could become some of their most valuable employees,” Simon says. “Age shouldn’t be the issue. Instead, as with any hire, the issue is what skills and experiences each of these people can bring to the workforce.”

Via Forbes : Employee Engagement Is A Lagging Indicator Of Culture

I once heard an author describe the “crisis” of disengagement among employees in our workforce as “a disease affecting the central nervous system of our economy.” And he’s right. There are many different measures of employee engagement out there, but pretty much every report I have read presents some pretty depressing numbers.

Gallup is perhaps the most widely cited, and they peg the percentage of truly engaged employees in the U.S. workforce at about 31%. And perhaps even more alarming, nearly 20% are described as “actively disengaged.” Think about that for a minute. Imagine that right now, in your organization, about one out of every five people hates their job/work so much, that they are actively sabotaging your organization. Sounds like a crisis, doesn’t it?

OK, but here’s the part that might surprise you:

Engagement is not the problem.

We spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year in this country trying to fix the engagement problem, but in the last several years, we have failed to move the needle on our overall engagement numbers by more than a percentage point. The reason is simple: Engagement is a result.

When you measure engagement, you are documenting a state of mind among your employees that was created over a period of months or years — in the past. That means that your detailed (and depressing) picture of today’s disengaged workforce, unfortunately, gives you very little you can use to actually solve the problem. If cars start rolling off your assembly line with the steering wheel located in the back seat, you don’t come up with a plan for moving each individual steering wheel to the front seat as it comes off the line — you go back into the manufacturing process, and you fix the problem where it started.

For employee engagement, the solution lies in your culture.

It is your workplace culture that generated your poor engagement results. Period. Your workplace culture defines in no uncertain terms what is truly valued inside your workplace, and what is valued then drives behavior. Over time, those behaviors start to grate on people and sow the seeds of disengagement.

Like the fact that once you discover that a process isn’t working, you know it will take six months to a year to get it fixed, given the propensity for red tape in your organization. Like that every time you want to reach across the hall to work with someone from another department to get things done, you stop — because you know you’ll have to get permission from the boss first. Like the way you get shot down every time you ask to bring in an outside expert to share new ideas with your team because your organization doesn’t respect anything that was “not invented here.”

These building blocks of culture create disengagement because they fundamentally interfere with the success of your employees. The more misaligned your culture is with what drives your success, the more likely you will be to have disengaged employees.

So stop asking people every year if they like their benefits package and then changing the package when the color of the bar next to that question dips into the red. Go back to the “manufacturing” process. Discover what your culture is and how it gets in the way of the success of both your people and the enterprise overall. Then roll up your sleeves and start fine-tuning the alignment of culture and success. When you start fixing those problems, the engagement numbers will start to go up on their own.

Via Human Resource Executive : Does Your Onboarding Need Some Work?

According to a new survey, HR leaders think their organizations’ new-hire programs are lacking.

Onboarding—or the process by which companies acclimate new employees to their positions, and to the organizations’ policies and practices—can be a vital opportunity for new hires. However, it’s one many companies are missing out on, according to a new report.

New Hire Momentum: Driving the Onboarding Experience, by Kronos Inc. and Human Capital Institute, surveyed 350 HR leaders about their companies’ new-hire strategies. One of the most significant findings was that 76 percent of respondents—who represent U.S. companies of varying sizes and in different industries—said their organizations underutilize onboarding. Nearly a quarter of participants said their employer has no onboarding program at all.

Of those that do have an established strategy, the focus may need some work. Study organizers proposed there are three main types of onboarding content: people, performance and paperwork. Far too often, they found, new-hire programs center on the latter.

Survey respondents said that more than 40 percent of their onboarding programs for external hires are paperwork-centric, such as filling out benefits forms and going over compliance documents. But that’s not where the emphasis should be, they said.

Sixty-two percent of participants think the primary goal of onboarding is to integrate employees into the office culture. In reality, that “people” focus only accounts for 30 percent of onboarding for managers, and just 27 percent for non-managers.

Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., notes that many organizations aim to get new employees right “out on the floor,” leaving HR to “cover the paperwork.”

“The reality is, employees would be more productive if they had time to digest all of the change and newness that comes with starting a job,” Lauby says. “New hires would be more engaged if they understood how they fit into the organizational culture and how their actions contribute to strategic goals.”

Among the activities survey respondents said can best acclimate new employees to a company’s culture are meetings with key stakeholders and senior leadership, team-building activities and peer mentoring. It’s not just about making small talk with the person in the cubicle next to you; the study found that companies whose new-hire programs more strongly emphasize a people approach report better talent and business outcomes.

That statistic supports other research that points to the business case for good onboarding: For instance, a 2007 study from the Wynhurst Group found that new hires who undergo a formal onboarding program are nearly 60 percent more likely to stick with the company three years later than those who didn’t.

However, respondents in the Kronos/HCI study largely reported that their organizations weren’t well-positioned to support an effective onboarding process. Fifty-seven percent said managers were overtasked and don’t have time to invest in acclimating new hires. Other challenges include the inconsistent application of onboarding programs, a lack of tools to measure their effectiveness and insufficient technology to automate the process.

Lauby—an author, writer, speaker and consultant on HR topics—says companies can face those challenges by simplifying the onboarding process to three key elements: what employees need to know, when they need to know it and how they can get that information.

“Do employees need to know about performance expectations during week one? Yes. Do they need to know how to transfer to a different department? Probably not right away,” Lauby says, adding onboarding should be looked at as a “long-term process,” and one that also encourages new hires to do some self-learning.

“By effectively managing new hires’ time and company resources, employees can become productive at an optimal pace,” Lauby says.