Word-Of-the-Week #621: Understanding

June 29, 2016 by  

WOW Word-Of-the-Week #621

Understanding – having knowledge and awareness.

Have you ever thought you had understanding of something only to find out you really didn’t? How is your understanding of the generations younger than you? Do you have a lot of long term staff or does there seem to be a lot of turnover?

The Washington Post featured “MISUNDERSTANDING MILLENIALS. Generation looks for purpose, progress more than fun.”

“Working millennials ask a lot of their employers, but game rooms and rock walls are low on the list. In fact, baby boomers more than millennials seek out jobs that are fun and encourage creativity, according to a new Gallup report that identifies what employers get right, and wrong, about millennials in the workforce.

What that rising generation seeks is actually pretty simple: Millennials – those Americans born between 1980 and 1996 – just want to know where they stand and where they’re going.

“They want a workplace that helps them progress, but they also want to see their own value,” said Jim Harter, chief scientist for workplace management and well-being for Gallup’s workplace management practice.

The report – the results of surveys of tens of thousands of Americans – lays out six broad changes that organizations can make to attract and keep what is now the dominant generation in the US workforce.

  • The first is a shift in focus from paycheck to purpose. When professional and personal lives were more cleanly separate, a paycheck was enough. But because of the erosion of the wall between work and play, millennials also expect to derive a sense of purpose from their jobs. Work is life.
  • Job satisfaction still matters, but millennials are increasingly concerned with their development; they want to see their careers progressing. As a result, bosses should act like coaches, and rare, formal reviews should be replaced with ongoing conversations.

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  • “Giving out toys and entitlements is a leadership mistake, and worse, it’s condescending,” Gallup Chairman and chief executive Jim Clifton writes in the report. “Purpose and development drive this generation.”
  • Employers should take note, especially because millennials are a particularly flighty generation. About 60% report being open to a new job opportunity – a full 15 percentage points higher than non-millennial workers. More than a third – 36% – said they will actively look for new work if the job market improves in the year ahead, compared with just 21% of non-millennials.
  • But don’t mistake that flightiness for a lack of commitment. Millennials are just dissatisfied: 55% report feeling unengaged at work, five points higher than Gen Xers, seven points above boomers and 14 points more than traditionalists.
  • “Many millennials likely don’t want to switch jobs, but their companies are not giving them compelling reasons to stay,” Gallup reports. “When they see what appears to be a better opportunity, they have every incentive to take it.” When they’re looking for new work, millennials want to see signs that bode well for their career developments. The top five things they consider, according to Gallup, are: opportunities to learn and grow, quality of their manager, quality of management in general, interest in the type of work and opportunities for advancement.”

This week’s focus is on understanding. Do you feel your staff or co-workers are committed to the organization? Do you work in an environment that allows for everyone to learn and grow? Is there opportunity for career advancement?

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