Here’s a link to Part I of this series!
The owner of Mazur and Associates, Stephen J. Mazur Jr., recently went to the Annual Convention & Expo hosted by the NJCPA and was able to sit in on a talk held by Jason Dorsey of The Center for Generational Kinetics. Mr. Dorsey and his firm use generational analysis as clues to understanding people and how to manage them as employees as well as how to gain them as a client base. This following post is a summary of key points and advice from Mr. Dorsey’s presentation on “Crossing the Generational Divide at Work”.
According to Mr. Dorsey, generations are groups of people born at the same time and raised in similar places. He asserts that location and geography are important in analyzing generations and that connecting across generations is the key to better results within your business. There are unprecedented opportunities for employers that are able to adapt well to communicating inter-generationally.
It is important to realize that the driver of growth historically has been Baby Boomers but as that generation ages out, the power of growth is shifting to Generation Y. Where Baby Boomers believe that “less is more”, Generation Y is making money, spending, investing, building families, etc. For employers and business owners, the best way to offset the loss of Baby Boomer generated income is to gain Generation Y revenue. According to Dorsey’s research, Generation Y has the greatest lifetime value for business owners because they are the number one generation to refer their friends to businesses they’ve tried. As a generation Millennials also do not have any established loyalty to companies yet. According to Dorsey, both the job and the consumer markets are currently flooded with Generation Y adults and now is time to take advantage of it. A simple wat to begin using Generation Y’s habits to your advantage as a business owner and employer is to understand that Generation Y adults are excited to work but want to feel as though they are part of the team. Employers should give their new Generation Y hires business cards with their names on it. This way, they can refer their friends to your business using their card.
Though the job market is flooding with excited Generation Y applicants, Baby Boomers do have needed skills that generation y adults simply do not have. Millennials may outspend all other generations and be the largest generation in the workforce, but they also have a delayed adulthood that inhibits them in ways that other generations never had to face. Because of that, it is important to keep your employees diverse in generation. Teams are more valuable with more generations involved and integrated.
As previously mentioned, it is imperative for employers to understand how to communicate with each generation. While it is likely easier for today’s employers to understand and communicate with Baby Boomers, one tip Dorsey provides on how to communicate with younger members of your team or workforce is to understand how the generation thinks. Generation Y adults are not linear thinkers like Baby Boomers are. They are goal-oriented and outcome-driven workers. To reach them as an employer, it is best to start with the last step when explaining a project and backtrack to show the outcome and then steps to get there so that those steps will be followed.
Dorsey also touched upon technology during his talk. He spoke about how technology is only new if you hold onto the way it was before. Adapting is major in keeping up with Generation Y which is the main target for every business owner. He also noted that Millennials are tech-dependent rather than tech-savvy. They cannot build a phone yet they build their life around it. Technology for this generation is used for communication mostly via messaging, texting, and emailing. As an employer, it is important to be fluent in these forms of communication.
In order to build the ideal, diverse and intergenerational team that he described throughout his talk, Dorsey left his audience with a bit of insight into the value of soft skills within a team or workforce. He asserted that soft skills like project management, collaboration, influence, problem-solving, and leadership are really important as personal attributes that enable someone to interact efficiently and harmoniously with other people. Below we have broken each of those soft skills down for you to make them easier to understand and identify within potential new hires as well as within your current staff and even yourself as an employer and leader in your business.
- Collaboration: Requires a cooperative spirit and mutual respect in order to achieve your client’s goals
- Influence: Ability to help clients and teammates to make a decision one way or another
- Problem Solving- Not always having an immediate answer but having the ability to think on your feet assess problems and develop a well thought out solution
- Leadership- Providing a level of experience to give the client comfort and show that they are getting significant value from their investments with you
- Project Management- Ability to initiate a plan, execute, control and complete the work in order to help your team and client achieve their goals
Stephen had high praise for Mr. Dorsey’s segment at the convention as well as for the NJCPA event itself. We here at Mazur and Associates make sure to keep up with the latest information on both tax/accounting news as well as news on being business owners and employers to ensure that we are the best possible resource for our clients regardless of what sort of advisement they come to us for. If you have any questions or are seeking professional advice, give us a call at (732) 936-1230 to set up an appointment!