Posts Tagged ‘organizations’

In our last post we discussed the first two areas where savvy organizations are helping newly hired Gen Ys enter the workforce – – –

A) Getting them contributing (and feeling valued) very quickly and

B) Establishing clear standards for behavior so the new hire fits into the culture.

Now we’ll talk about the third area where Gen Ys sometimes need help – – – building good people skills.

C) People skills – These are hard to change because they are deeply intertwined with how we see ourselves, the world and other people.  People skills are formed, and then selectively reinforced, throughout life.  But people can change.  I have found that annual classes teaching proven inter-personal techniques for everyone is a great idea and are most effective if taught in a lighthearted, humorous style.  Humor relaxes us so we lower our defensive guards and become more receptive to new ideas.  There is evidence that such training can bring about lasting changes in how we relate to others if those changes are doable, result in better relationships and are continually reinforced.  So enlightened organizations are providing new Gen Ys with both training and with frequent nudges that reinforce the good behavior and correct the areas where they need to improve.

Frequent Feedback

Actually, that is a key point across all aspects of working with Gen-Ys:  frequent feedback. Tell them what they did right or wrong and how to improve. Our Gen Y students have told us:

  • “I cannot believe my boss waited for a year to tell me about 2-3 things I was doing wrong!  I could have been improving since I first got here but I had no idea I was doing those things wrong.  What a stupid process the ‘annual performance review’ is here.”
  • “Nobody says squat around here about what we do right or wrong until the ‘review’ and that only happens every calendar quarter if we are lucky.  I’d like to hear every month what I am doing right and wrong.  Then I can do something about it.

This need for frequent feedback goes back to the issues we discussed in Part 1 of this series of posts:  an ego that needs frequent reinforcement from others in order to feel secure.  So for the first six months, sit down every month with each new employee’s mentor and ask about the employee, how others feel about them, how well (or poorly) they are working with others, early strengths and weaknesses that may be emerging, etc.  Then meet one-on-one with each new employee, and discuss how they see themselves, their progress, fears, suggested improvements, etc.  And here’s a technique I’ve used:  schedule the 2-hour employee “performance discussion” at 4 pm on a Wednesday (“hump day”) and then continue the chat for an hour at a nearby bar or lounge where a medicinal glass of merlot or a beer will bring out the Gen Y’s real thoughts about the organization, him/herself, processes, procedures, and becoming a valued member of the team!

Choice of a Mentor/Boss

The choice of mentor is crucial but the first boss is even more so, impacting a new employee’s career perhaps more than anything else.   A poor communicator and/or insecure, overly judgmental boss can drive a new hire out the door for greener pastures.  Unfortunately, it has been our experience that the older the boss is, the more likely he/she is to make snap judgments about people and, hence the more dangerous is their assignment to supervise a new Gen Y employee fresh from college.  The difference in peoples’ perspectives usually increases with the age gap and if too wide, the two generations may not be able to relate well and no rapport is established.  Gen Y behaviors, while age-appropriate, may then trigger irreversible impressions and inaccurate conclusions in the boss’s head.  Gen Ys are still very much a “work in progress” when they leave college and often for 3-5 years after that.  Give them an initial boss who sees them that way and will help gently shape them properly.

Arranging for new Gen Ys to initially work with other Gen Ys initially also makes for an easier transition than immediately assigning them to multi-generational teams, but emphasize from the start that working well with others of all ages, not just with other Gen Ys, is essential to being promoted and given more responsibility (and more fun assignments) in the organization.

When a new person of any generation joins an organization, an unwritten agreement is formed.  Each party agrees to do their share in making the “marriage” work.  So far we have talked about what the organization can do for the new Gen Y worker.  In the next post we will talk about what the newly hired Gen Y person must do to ease the transition into that new job.

Copyright: Solid Thinking Corporation

Character and Personality #4: Time

by Gary Monti on July 27, 2010

Would you like to quickly determine where synergies and problems exist in an organization? Come along to see how knowing individual’s temperaments can help predict possible outcomes in situations.

Traits

Temperament refers to preferred ways of thinking. Traits refer to preferred behaviors. They correlate well. Let’s look at a mythical company with the following temperament mix:

CEO – NT (intuitive thinker)

Senior staff member – NF (intuitive feeler)

Operations manager – SJ (sensing judger)

Programmer – SP (sensing perceiver)

None of them want their time wasted. The problem is with their perception of time. Here is the order in which they prioritize past, present, and future. Also, their nicknames have been included to give a hint as to where their priorities lie.

TRAIT Nickname Past Present Future
NT Field Marshal 2 3 1
NF Organizer 3 1 2
SJ Enforcer 1
SP Doer 1 2 3

So how does this play out in the work place? Take a look at the table below.

TRAIT Nickname Positive Traits
NT Field Marshal
  • Sees where the company can be in the future.
  • Sets standards and holds to them.
  • Delegates today’s activities to others.
  • Strategic thinker
  • Holds on to the vision throughout difficulties.
  • Leads the way and doesn’t waver.
  • Main interest is achieving dreams and accomplishments.
  • The past informs the future. Incorporates lessons-learned into future plans.
NF Organizer
  • Takes interest in others and how they are brought together to get things done.
  • Pays attention to the overall-balance among key factors
  • Puts “teeth” into the NT’s strategic plans.
  • Will look towards the future by focusing on generating cooperation today.
  • Works as a shock absorber between the NT and lower ranks.
SJ Enforcer
  • Focuses on NOW.
  • Stays on task and gets things done.
  • Knows the limits of available resources.
  • Tactically-oriented.
  • Supports the strategies that come down from above
SP Doer
  • Prefers a structure be presented within which work can be performed.
  • Wants to know what the orders are for getting work done.
  • Prefers others develop strategies.
  • Wants involved when tasks are defined.

As you have probably guessed by now, there can be a dark side to all this.

TRAIT Nickname Negative Traits
NT Field Marshal
  • Doesn’t hesitate to change on-going work in order to leverage the future.
  • Believes the project is complete at the moment of delegation.
  • Does not want to be distracted by problems from the present.
  • Risk management is for nay-sayers. It can distract from the future.
  • Positive criticism downplayed or ignored.
  • Negative criticism emphasized.
  • Little interest in people and their requirements.
  • Can ride roughshod over others and have a short memory regarding those behaviors
NF Organizer
  • Can lose sight of the need to mend problems from the past since there is push for today and the future.
SJ Enforcer
  • Rules are to be enforced, not questioned.
  • The past can’t be fixed and the future is out of reach so don’t waste time on either of them.
  • Finds strategizing, planning, and spending time on what-ifs boring.
  • Wonders if strategies are sane.
SP Doer
  • Wonders if the plan is sane.
  • Can be rebellious yet wants no risk.
  • Can go in own direction without informing others.
  • Gauges work and others based on how the SP was treated in the past.
  • Change is viewed with suspicion. The past needs to be resolved.

The Leadership Challenge

You can see that avoiding wasting time can quickly turn into a multi-dimensional problem quickly. Taking the time to understand others pays huge dividends by providing clear vision as to strengths and limits in situations. With that as a base planning and execution can proceed realistically.