Today’s Corporate Annoyance, Tomorrow’s Corporate Leader

January 25, 2007

We are often called slackers and are generally perceived by older generations as lacking a strong work ethic and having an unjustified sense of entitlement. These older generations are beginning to phase out of the workplace. Some of the elder Baby Boomers have already begun to retire and many more will follow suit in the next decade or two. It will be on the shoulders of the Millennials to back fill those positions, including leadership roles, vacated by the older generations. So how do we go from the slacker kid kickin’ it in his/her cube navigating between several Firefox tabs listening to their MP3 player to becomming team leads, middle managers or even executives?

  • Identify Hot prospects and Replacement Candidates – discuss those rising stars and how best to prepare them for management or specific higher-level positions.
  • Career Planning – allow for individuals to freely discuss career goals and future aspirations within the company.
  • Formal or Informal Mentoring –provide guidance and regular feedback to help younger workers identify strengths and weaknesses. Mentors should provide advice that facilitates that individual’s growth through the company.
  • Corporate Management Training Program – provide a source of future managers, support diversity goals and bring in fresh ideas.
  • Cross-Functional Training Program – infuse some new hires in different technology services to expose them to different areas of the organization.
  • Apprenticeships That Incorporates Other Parts of the Business – the more steeped employees are in business knowledge, the more aligned IT will be with the business side.
  • Leadership Development Programs – combines training, assessments, coaching, networking, etc.
  • Educate Those Rising Through the Ranks – bring in outside help as management consultants and send some workers to management seminars and classes.
  • Succession Planning – allows for the company to quickly react to sudden departures by placing the appropriate individual in that new role based on their long term career goals.

Great leaders are made not born. Potential leaders need to be hand picked by their predecessors and be provided the necessary skills and knowledge to become tomorrow’s corporate leaders while maintaining the characteristics that make members of the Millennial Generation so unique.

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Let the Battle Begin…

January 22, 2007

I ran across this interesting article out of the UK, IT chiefs must prepare for informal “Generation Y”. The general gist of this article is that companies need to begin to accommodate the Millennials entering the workplace or else they will be left in the dust. Those companies who begin to offer more flexible, informal work environments will be much better equipped to recruit and retain this next generation of workers.

So as a millennial in the workplace, what is your company doing to keep you happy and retain you as a valuable asset and what are they dong to recruit other young, tech-savvy workers of tomorrow? Are they providing teleworking opportunities and distributing mobile devices such as Smartphones, UMPCs, Tablet PCs, or laptops? How about your work environment in general, is it a fun corporate culture or is it uptight and stuffy?

My company has given me a laptop and offers a nice broadband VPN to work from home, however you cannot access the Internet while connected to the VPN nor are there any formal telework policies which leaves me chained to my desk Monday – Friday. The overall vibe at my workplace is relatively uptight due to a workforce whose average age is double that of my own. Granted it is a utility company whose roots can be traced back to George Washington. That certainly doesn’t mean that this company or any other, regardless of history, should not have or be working on a plan for addressing the technology and workplace needs of our generation.


Coming of Age for the Millennial Workforce. WTF?

January 20, 2007

Sounds kind of heavy right? Well it isn’t. it just means members of the millennial generation, the largest generation since the Baby Boomers, have recently begun trickling into the professional workplace and will continue to do so for years to come. As these former students transition to active members of corporate America, many changes will be required of companies to recruit and retain these highly-skilled, tech-savvy workers slated to replace the retiring Baby Boomers. The goal of Millennial’s At Work will be to define members of this generation including their role in the workplace, to discuss what “experts” are saying about us and what that means to our employers and more importantly to ourselves, and talk about personal experiences as working millennial’s.