Tell me if this sounds familiar:
“Today’s generation has no work ethic; they expect everything to
be hand delivered to them instead of working their way up”
“This generation entering the workforce has no time-management
or communication skills”
“Technology and social media are ruining today’s youth. They
have no idea how to be professional or deliver guest/client service.”
Have you been a part of similar conversations or overheard
leaders complain of these problems?
In my experience, I have heard these complaints and many more
similar repeatedly. I’m finding this to be the number one complaint in HR
Departments and in Training Departments.
And while I do think there are truths to these statements, I
believe we as leaders, are looking at these issues from an entirely wrong perspective.
Instead of focusing on the problems, let’s
focus on SOLUTIONS and let’s have a strengths-based perspective.
What do I mean? Instead of sitting and bemoaning all the issues
while never actually getting to any solution discussions, what if we committed
ourselves to only identifying problems in order to find appropriate solutions?
The problems will not go away on their own. We either step up as
leaders and help fix the issues or leave it to someone else to take care of, if
that will ever happen.
I am someone who does not like to sit in a problem centered
perspective without turning the dialogue to a solution focused perspective. I
find that sitting in a problem perspective is never productive.
So, the question then arises,
How to create a
generation of competent, creative professionals?
Focus on Solutions
What are the strengths
of this generation entering the workforce?
The younger generation entering today’s
workforce is looking to be valued in
the workplace and will not accept the old ways of working non-stop without
They are creative and their ability to
use technology to create a more efficient use of their time should be applauded. Why
should we belittle them for finding ways to accomplish tasks in half the time
it used to? Let's celebrate the creativity of the younger generation.
needs to be developed?
This is a huge opportunity to mold the
younger generation into phenomenal employees who reflect what we have learned
to be true for efficiency and productivity.
We know that the values of hard work and great customer service
of the old days are great values to have.
But… we also have learned so much more about how people work
best, how a balanced work/life positively affects productivity, how diversity
and equity need to be addressed, and how to best serve clients in ways the
generation before just didn’t realize.
My point is, let’s seize the moment to
develop a workforce capitalizing on their strengths and intentionally develop
their communication and soft skills to maximize on a new wave of brand
ambassadors in all industries.
What are action
steps once we are solution focused?
Create a development
A great place to start is looking at your company’s core values.
Honestly evaluate if your management team is living out these core values. Do
they know what the core values mean and how to actively implement them on a
If the answer is not a shining yes, then start there. Most
managers are not developed AT ALL when
promoted to their positions. They are usually promoted because of their hard
skills, but not given any training on soft skills to make them successful at
Start with developing your managers to
be effective communicators who are leading with your company’s core values.
This development can be done through coaching, workshops, or courses. But it’s
not a one-time thing. This needs to be a part of an ongoing development plan.
If we truly are solution focused and wanting to create a better workforce, and
not just looking to put a band aid on a deeply rooted issue, then invest time
and resources into developing your management.
Create a Communication
in CNN Business gave research based on a recent Gallup poll of
over 67,000 US workers, and guess what’s the “single habit to develop
high-performance relationships more than any other single leadership activity”?
Meaningful Weekly Meetings
This one action is the number
one action to create a more engaged team.
Managers who are actively developed
will also actively develop their teams.
And managers who create a
communication strategy that involves weekly meetings will have the opportunity
to develop their team through that connection time.
And the thing is… employees want this!
This younger generation which has
generated so many complaints about their work ethic and experience are
desperately seeking the development and tools to grow! For the most part, they
have been failed. They have not been given the tools necessary to step up to
their maximum potential, but they want to.
Let’s not assume this younger
generation of managers and entry-level employees are lazy and unwilling to
grow. Let’s instead, listen to what they are asking for, and give them the
tools they need to grow.
We can do that through intentional
development utilizing communication strategies.
By doing this, we will efficiently and
effectively create a generation of creative employees who can communicate and
problem solve better than our generation ever could!
This is an issue I’ve been passionate
about for a long time and have created courses as a solution to this issue. My
online courses develop managers and entry level employees, effectively training
them on over 50 soft skills.
Find out how you and your team can
utilize these online development courses in your development strategy.
When the question changes from “What
are the issues with today’s workforce?” to “How can I solve the development gap
in today’s workforce?”, you have a magical opportunity at your fingertips.
Please reach out for a free
consultation about how to set up a development and communication strategy for you, your
teams, your managers, or your company!