The Conversation around Segmentors and Integrators: 5 Steps to Addressing Conflicts in Work-life Balances

As we rely more and more on digital means of communication—like email, instant messaging, and facetime—the concept of a "work-life balance" becomes a bit more blurred. With the addition of digital devices like smartphones in our lives, it gets harder to leave work at work and not let it enter our personal life. While a predictable nine-to-five work...
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Millennials: A New Generation is Reshaping the Workplace

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by INC and examines how Millennials are reshaping today’s workforce. Over a third of today’s workforce in the United States is currently comprised of Millennial workers, and this number is constantly growing. In the last few years, Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the dominant generation in the workplace and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand what Millennials want in order to attract and retain top talent. Per Sylvia Ann Hewlett, research from the Center for Talent Innovation identifies three areas of focus that are important to this generation that progressive companies are taking note of. 1. A Diverse and Inclusive Workplace – As the most diverse generation in the workforce to date, with 44.2 percent identifying as non-Hispanic white in the latest census, an inclusive and diverse workplace is incredibly important. Millennials desire a work environment that mirrors...
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The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?

Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... we are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about each generation that is being offered up as the "capital T" truth. Millennials now make up more than half of the general workforce, which may explain why they are taking a large ma...
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Leadership Tips: Bridge the Generation Gap

Chances are you work closely with someone who is of a different generation than you. Maybe he or she is your boss or your newest hire. Regardless, if they're on your team or you work directly with them, your relationship with said person(s) directly impacts your results. So how do you think you do at building relationships with people of a different generation than you? I've always done really well connecting with colleagues who are almost exactly my age or those in the Boomer age range. My values, how I see the world, and what we think is funny or interesting often times seems to be the same. And yet, do I work with people much younger than me or Gen X'ers? Yes. The reality is that it's important to be self-aware about who you form relationships with more organically and who you need to be more intentional with. It's...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 2 Highlights

Day two of the fabulous Fierce Summit has come to an end, and today’s sessions came with powerful takeaways. Starting from earliest to latest… Regent Cornell: How to Build a Culture Ultimate Software’s tagline “People First” wasn’t drummed up by the marketing team to win awards or sell more widgets. It’s the way things are done at this fast-growing cloud computing company that landed it a top spot on Fortune’s 2016 List of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” With a personal story that was both humorous and insightful, Regent Cornell revealed the five distinguishing characteristics of ‘Best Companies’ and demonstrated the bottom-line impact of putting People First: 1. Gratitude, 2. Respect, 3. Engagement, 4. Authenticity, and 5. Trust. Learn more about how Ultimate Software made the list here . Susan Scott: Become a Great Conversationalist In this intimate session, Fierce founder and CEO Susan Scott made the connection...
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Leadership Tips: Bust Generation Stereotypes

The media is buzzing every day with news of the latest epidemic of generational conflict. Millennials are flipping things completely upside down while the boomers stand sternly, clenching status quo. Well, how much is this really happening? I've traveled to several conferences and corporate events, and during that time, I had several conversations about generations in the workforce. Most people say the generational gap is a real one but admitted to knowing people who don't fall into their generations' stereotypes. So I ask you: When have you defied your generation's stereotypes? When have others around you?  I am an “older” millennial, yet I hold some very “boomer” values and tendencies. In our Fierce Generations workshop, we do a values exercise in which participants choose values most important to them. The beauty is that most people walk away from the training acknowledging that they have values from all the different generations. There...
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How to Prepare for Workplace Changes Brought on by Millennials and Gen Z

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Business Journals and examines how companies can prepare for changes brought on by Millennials in the workplace. Much has been said about Millennials in the workplace for better or worse. One thing is certain—with a new wave of workers claiming most jobs in the United States, changes are sure to occur. As the older generations of managers begin to retire, Millennials are stepping into leadership roles and filling the void. The biggest question being asked by companies and leaders that are transferring their knowledge to the next generation is, are they prepared? “According to a recent Randstad global study, one of the top things that millennials feel their educations did not prepare them for is managing other people.” Although a lack of experience and training may be prevalent, the desire to become leaders and earn the respect of their peers within...
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Leadership Tips: Reflect on Your Generation

I am proud to be a millennial. And this is despite the many demoralizing stereotypes. It may be weird, but yes, I do prefer face-to-face conversations when I have a difficult topic to talk about with someone. I also am not a serial job hopper; I can actually be loyal to a fault. I also don’t expect to get something unless I work very hard, and then if I achieve it, I work more to share gratitude for all the people who inevitably helped along the way. Yes, I am not the stereotypical millennial. However, I do not believe the publicized generalizations apply to most of my millennial peers. That’s the thing - it is an amazing time to be in business. Sometimes it seems easiest to just keep bucketing people in a way that “makes sense” and allows us to feel more comfortable. The landscape is constantly changing, and...
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How the Best Companies Do Diversity Right

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Fortune.com and explains how the best companies are getting diversity and inclusion done the right way. The benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce are no longer a mystery. It can increase revenue, it breeds innovation and encourages people to work harder. Yet, so many companies have muted efforts to grow their programs and reach the positive results that are attainable. Or even worse, they invest the bare minimum into diversity and inclusion for fear of criticism if they don't and to improve public perception. These are not the reasons to invest in diversity and inclusion. When people feel like they are included, they are more willing to approach leaders with new ideas and strategies, or simply feel comfortable enough to have a candid conversation. “At a time when our national social fabric has frayed, workplaces that are great for all...
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Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by HBR.org and explains why diverse teams work smarter and more efficiently. Organizations must stop seeing workplace diversity and inclusion as a box to check off and instead truly understand the business impact that a diverse workplace can have on a business. “A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.” Per David Rock and Heidi Grant, HBR, a few key reasons diverse teams perform better than homogenous team are: They Focus on Facts. The idea of diverse perspectives creating innovative ideas is nothing new. Working with colleagues that have different backgrounds and think differently tasks our brains to think of challenges and obstacles in a different light. With diverse views come constant revisiting of facts that allow...
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How to Leverage Millennial Strengths

Statistics show that millennials now make up more than half of the current workforce . And in case you haven’t noticed, millennials have received a wave of criticism recently in the news, via social media and in the workplace. This recent uptick in criticism is no doubt connected to the rise in working millennials who are mixing and mingling with individuals from previous generations. Workplace friction has resulted. Older generations may be stumped as to how to accommodate and deal with the supposed millennial mentality, while millennials may be feeling frustrated, marginalized and unappreciated by their employers. A recent blog from Born Again Minimalist goes so far as to say that millennials are experiencing a type of cultural gaslighting: “Generations before us completely drove the bus into a lake and it’s somehow our fault everybody’s drowning...the millennial generation has been tasked with fixing the broken system we inherited and chastised...
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Leadership Tips: Be Inclusive

One of our Fierce predictions this year is that diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs will continue to grow. With the current global and political climate, it is becoming known that the convergence of competing views can be volatile when the skills are absent and the expectations are not set. The goal is to foster inclusion in the workplace, and furthermore, to ensure individual workers do not feel marginalized, unsupported, or unwanted. In addition to the cultural and emotional benefits of inclusion, there are bottom line implications. McKinsey research Diversity Matters examined proprietary data sets for 366 public companies in various countries. They found: Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.   Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective...
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How Millennials Are Disrupting the Workforce -- For The Better

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Forbes.com and discusses how millennials are disrupting the workforce in a positive way.   Millennials often get a bad rap for being difficult to work with, and some of justified. Millennials in the workforce often carry with them a sense of entitlement that has been well documented. What hasn’t been discussed as much are the positive impacts that millennials are having on organizations. One of the ways that millennials are changing the workplace for the better is in their ability to anticipate and embrace change. Most millennials entered the workforce just prior to or during the economic recession and learned that change is constant and part of today’s business landscape. This has made millennials adept at problem solving and allows them to work at high levels in chaotic ever-changing While many are accused of being serial job hoppers, much of this hopping...
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3 Mindset Shifts for Millennial Leaders in 2016

Millennials have recently become the largest generation in the workforce . Because of it, we are seeing a shift that signals more workplace adjustments are on the horizon. The mindsets, expectations, and values of the workforce are changing. And when our external worlds change, we must too. Here are three shifts in mindset that all leaders today should take into consideration. And if you are a new millennial leader, use these to set a fierce foundation for the years to come. Shift #1 “Your job is to be right” to “ Your job is to get it right” As a leader, this is a huge mindset shift with how you show up…every single day and in every conversation. If you go into conversations (whether one-on-ones or meetings) to justify and build the case for your “brilliant” ideas, then it won’t take long for others to pick up on the fact...
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The Important Question Every Employee Should Be Able to Answer

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fortune and delves into the relationship between profit and purpose. For the past few years, organizations has been focusing on how millennials aren’t motivated by money, but rather by purpose. This has sent shockwaves through corporate America. How can organizations attract the top millennial talent, while working to improve their bottom line? But as the article The Important Question Every Employee Should Be Able to Answer points out, profit and purpose don’t have to be mutually exclusive focuses. In fact, many organizations have discovered that profit exists so we can fulfill our purpose. It starts with holding your employees able to achieve sustainable results and empowering them to work towards their purpose. Where does purpose lie in your organization’s value list? “One way we have resolved this in the companies in which I am involved is through a document called Prosperity Principles...
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5 Changes Millennials Will Make in the Corporate World in 2016

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Business 2 Community and explores the influence of millennials on workplace culture. 2015 marked the official passing of the torch, as millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. So I ask: How will the millennial dominated workplace affect company culture? According to 5 Changes Millennials Will Make in the Corporate World in 2016 , we should expect to see them fully exert their generational influence by continuing to shift company values around purpose and work-life integration. Leaders will be pressured to adopt real workplace flexibility programs, because unlike previous generations, millennials don’t feel guilty embracing work-life balance. Where else will this generation lead us? “Thanks to the increased mobility and option to work remotely that Millennials have demanded, employees will have less personal space in the workplace during 2016. In fact, because some offices may turn to using only...
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4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on The Huffington Post and outlines four ways to revamp your work culture to help retain and attract new talent. A 2015 study by Deloitte found that more than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. This shift has made company culture one of the most important factors in attracting top talent to a business. The challenge is how you maintain a balance between satisfying new talent and keeping your current employees happy. 4 Ways Smart Leaders Are Shaking up Their Culture recommends creating a collaborative learning environment where employees can engage with leaders at all levels of the company, at their own pace. This will ensure organizations’ talent delivers on business outcomes today and in the future, while also creating a more inclusive...
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The Generational Divide: Recruiting Millennials and Boomers

In this current landscape, the talent war is on. So we ask you: What are you pretending not to know about recruitment? We often hear from clients and partners about assumptions they have about talent. So Chris and Stacey came together to debunk four myths about recruiting millennials and boomers. Two common recruiting myths about millennials – debunked by a millennial. 1. Millennials want to only work with other millennials. I often hear people make comments about how millennials only want to work at places like Google, Facebook, and Uber, where the average employee age is below 30 aka millennial mecca. While it may be attractive in the way that it is for any other generation to work together, it is a gross exaggeration to think millennials only want to work with millennials. As a matter of fact, one of the core desires in most generational research is millennials’ desire...
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The Forgotten Generation: Reflections from a Gen Xer

Uh, hello? Remember us? The ones commonly referred to as “latch key kids”? {ahem} Okay, sure. Even though we like to come off as tough, we may feel forgotten and voiceless in this battle between generations. And, yes, we can come off as self-absorbed as our desire for change occasionally trumps relationships. But “slackers”, we are not. We hunger for diversity, for changing the system, for achieving some sense of balance in a lop-sided world. We have utmost respect and gratitude for our parents who worked themselves to the bone so we could enjoy a richer life. And we appreciate the younger set as they continue to push the momentum for a more connected world forward. We want to work with both of you, Boomers and Millennials, to help bridge any gaps of skillset and mindset so we can all come out on top. We found our way, Millennials, so...
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How to Manage Different Generations

This article was originally published on The Wall Street Journal  can be found here . How to Manage Different Generations is still a common theme throughout the leadership and development space and has been for several years. The question still exists, how do you manage a multigenerational workforce? Well, the answer may be more simple than it appears. How about a spoonful of communication, prompted with a big question: how do we connect and what should we be talking about? Start with the question- what knowledge do we need to retain for our company to exist? Think: history of the company, strategic decisions, and what the future holds. " Facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more cross-generational interaction . Younger employees should learn to seek the experience and wisdom offered by senior employees. Older employees should learn to be open to the fresh perspectives offered by younger employees."...
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Millennials: Creating a New Workforce

Generation Y isn’t working to survive or to bring home a paycheck. They seek fulfillment and active participation in a bigger, more important organizational vision. They’ll pay their dues, put in their time and even take less pay as long as they feel they are contributing to an organization’s big-picture goals. But when they feel marginalized, millennials walk out the door without hesitation. The impact of this attitudinal shift is being reflected in the ways Gen Y leaders are beginning to create a new workplace culture. Here are three changes they’re inspiring: Connectivity: The workplace is becoming a social organism. Call it the Facebook effect. Gen Y employees and their leaders are building cultures that foster stimulation and creativity through constant contact with others. Co-workers no longer connect at the annual office party. They connect professionally and socially every minute of every day.   Collaboration : The old maxim that...
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The Generational Divide: Who Will Win?

Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... We are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about millennials that are being offered up as the “capital T” truth. If you look at the press and commentary you’d think that Millennials (insert zombies) are coming in mass to get us. They will soon take over business as we know it, booting out boomers, trampling Gen Xers, and demanding every entitlement under the sun. So we thought we’d add to the chatter a different perspective, from both sides of the generational divide. From Stacey, the Millennial: Sure some millennials can be needy at times - wanting feedback on a weekly basis. And yes, some millennials think they deserve their promotions before they have shown impact in their roles. Others not so much. As a generation, we do love our technology and continually improving our devices and toys. The thing is - there are...
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What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation

This week's Fierce resource was originally published on FastCompany.com and was written by Stephen R. Fussell. What Companies Are Getting Wrong About Every Generation  addresses the idea of multiple generations that make up today's organizations. Over the past year we've seen a fifth generation enter the workforce and now more than ever companies are challenged with how to manage this diverse workforce.  Instead of thinking about each generation as different, change the way you look at generations by asking yourself- what makes us the same? Have a conversation, you may be surprised what you find. What commonalities do you share with those in your workplace? "But in the actual workforce, the picture is more nuanced, and honestly, more important than one single workforce generation. Successful companies are woven from individuals working together in teams whose makeup spans the generations. They don’t revolve around one employee subgroup, despite what the headlines...
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5 Ways to Foster Baby Boomer Engagement

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the Talent Management website and was written by Leon C. Prieto and Simone T.A. Phipps. 5 Ways to Foster Baby Boomer Engagement looks at recent research by Gallup , which finds that baby boomers have not only the lowest levels of engagement, they have the highest level of active disengagement. While companies may be tempted to put more time and energy into the up and coming generation of workers , further the research from Gallup shows that boomers plan to stay in the workforce longer. "Employee engagement plays a key role in fostering productivity. It conveys a sense of the connection employees have to their organization as well as the passion they have for their work. A lot of focus in recent years has centered on ways to better manage and engage the youngest generation in the workforce, Generation Y. But according...
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8 Ways to Successfully Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce

This week's Fierce Resource was first published on the work intelligent.ly website and was written by David Raymond , a Practice Manager at Ricoh’s Output & Distribution Consulting Practice. 8 Ways to Successfully Manage a Multi-Generational Workforce gives insightful tips on how to engage the different generations represented within your organization. The truth is, we're more alike than we are dissimilar. The goal for leaders is to encourage conversations among the different generations, and to realize that what motivates one might not motivate the other. "At Ricoh, the development of a successful multi-generational workforce is a key priority. That’s why we have built an entire corporate council, known as the Generational Diversity Council, around the idea of attracting and retaining the best talent, making strategic investments to foster a mobile workforce; and most importantly, striving to become a preferred employer for workers of all generations." To read the full article,...
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What Conversation Are We Missing With Veterans?

According to the latest stats by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics , the unemployment rate among post 9/11 veterans is averaged at almost 10%. The overall number for unemployment for all veterans isn't that much better at 6.9%. Both numbers paint a dismal picture if you’re about to leave the military world and transition to civilian life. According to the collective wisdom, some of which comes from articles posted this week in TIME Magazine , the Washington Post , and CNN , top contributing factors to these high statistics are the increased number of veterans who have disabilities upon returning from war, bureaucratic stickiness, lack of civilian work experience, and the generational divide. The average unemployment rate among 18-24 year old veterans in 2012 was 20.4%. That's 5% higher than non-military individuals in the same demographic. While I don't underestimate the complexity of an issue like this, I have to wonder:...
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Resolving Conflict Across Generational Lines

We should all work in a multi-generational organization. Whether it is decision-making or brainstorming, there is so much richness and wisdom that comes from soliciting different perspectives. However, with all the positives that come from the different generations working together, there are also unique challenges. Difficult conversations are necessary to a business' success across generational lines. Why does it sometimes feel harder to confront an issue when it’s with someone of another generation? Typically, we sidestep having the conversation because confronting behavioral or attitudinal issues is just not fun to do. Add on that you need to confront someone of a different generation who reports to you or someone who has been in the field longer than you have been alive, and you have a situation that is appealing to avoid. What’s the problem with avoiding these conversations? First, the issue will not just go away. The unresolved conflict will...
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Leader as Listener

  (From left to right: Andy King, Blake Harris, and Stacey Engle from Fierce, Inc. at SITE 2013) Fierce is currently at the Society of Insurance Trainers & Educators 2013 Conference in Portland, OR. We are extremely honored to be with the amazing people here digging into topics like culture building, generational gaps, and informal learning. We have blogged about listening in the past, and I wanted to share some insight from yesterday's keynote at the conference. Kevin Toth's keynote Who's in the Center? Leader as Listener was filled with insights and challenges to becoming a better leader by focusing on being present and open to other's perspectives and ideas. From Kevin's talk, here are three tips to listen more effectively: 1. Talk less. This is a necessary first step. I love the tongue and cheek component of this, and it is so true. We need to make a conscious...
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3 Tips to Motivate a Multigenerational Workforce

A common question that leaders have to wrestle with is: What motivates my employees? What moves them to action? What gets their fire going? The challenge is that even when you figure out what inspires one group of people, that very same thing may not work for another. This is never truer than across the generations. Leaders today have the unique experience of having up to four generations working together.  This trend is very likely to become the norm. Given that, as a leader, you need to motivate many generations simultaneously. How do you do this successfully?  Below are three tips to help leaders learn how to motivate a multigenerational workforce and leverage the opportunity. Tip #1: Realize that we’re more alike than different. In  Fierce Generations , we explore the characteristics of each generation, from Traditionalists to Gen Y. Then we ask the participants to choose which of those...
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Millennials Strive for Work/Life Balance

One of the worst things someone could say about me is that I am lazy. As a Gen Y’er who has held a job since I was fourteen, nothing is a bigger source of pride for me than the fact that I have always worked hard. As a result, I already qualify for some social security benefits due to the almost fifteen years of paying into the system. And I actually brag about this! That being said, there is nothing I look for more in an employer than one that makes work/life balance a top priority. Each generation strives to do things a little differently than the one before. Better or worse, we hope to make a mark, something that will define us. Picking up from previous generations, Generation Y chases the pursuit of having it all- a successful career we’re passionate about, time to volunteer our service, friends, and...
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New Report: The Multigenerational Advantage - 3 Strategies to Leverage the Strengths of Each Generation

We're pleased to share with you a new Fierce, Inc. report that shows that while many companies rush to accommodate the latest generation, forward-thinking organizations are creating work environments with universal appeal. They seek to extend beyond generational tendencies and unlock the potential of every employee, regardless of age. The Multigenerational Advantage: Three Strategies to Leverage the Strengths of Each Generation now available for complimentary download , explains how companies can get a multigenerational advantage by creating a culture where the different generations truly listen to each other. This paper will teach you techniques to help your company embrace the unique characteristics and insights of all generations. Discover three practical strategies to bridge generational gaps and encourage open communication. How many generations are represented in your workplace?  Are they learning from each other? You can download your complimentary copy of The Multigenerational Advantage: Three Strategies to Leverage the Strengths of...
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Social Media, Gen Y and You

There’s so much hype lately about Gen Y needing to be careful about what they post on their social media pages. These things, after all, are being looked at by recruiters, by prospective universities even. I mean, who would hire you if you were dancing on top of a bar during Spring Break in Cancun? Silly question? Take a look at the number of "Boomers" who will be leaving the workforce soon and ask that question again. They will get hired. Trust me. They will also continue to use social media while they are employed by you. What does that mean?  For you? For your organization? It’s time to think about that. Maybe this new generation gets something we ( from the older generations ) don't.  They don't think publically talking about the things they've done or are thinking about doing is such a big deal.  Many of them even...
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How Gen Y Will Shift the Generational Workforce Culture

Recently I had the privilege of spending a good deal of time with several generations of my family. We all hadn’t seen in each other in years and so we spent a lot of time asking the usual “What’s going on in your life?” questions. Something that really struck me during all of this was the relationship that my generation (Gen Y, often referred to as Millennial’s) and my parents’ generation (Baby Boomers) had towards their work. The Baby Boomers looked at work as something they must do to survive and while many that I spoke to enjoyed their jobs, they had no sense of entitlement that loving what you do should be a job requirement.The Millennials were the complete opposite. They spoke about their work from an emotional point of view and that they expect not to have jobs but careers. They expect to be emotionally fulfilled and if their...
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Virtual Online Training: Building a Fierce Connection

If you look up the word Virtual its antonym is   Authentic , this is something I strongly disagree with. The biggest misconception about the virtual world is that it lacks deep connection and that somehow a physical conversation is superior to a virtual one. I agree that maybe at some point this was true but the last ten years has seen the virtual landscape transformed; now you see families, friends and companies having impactful and authentic conversations through technology. This is why I am so excited about Fierce launching our Virtual Instruction Led Training (V.I.L.T.), the ability to bring these qualities of courage and candor to the online learning world  opens the door even further to defy space and time in order to connect with a fellow co-worker. However, incorporating these new learning forms into your business to just purely satisfy a growing “Gen Y” workforce undercuts the process and shuts...
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