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Learning Industry News and Opinion

Gen-Y Workforce And Workplace Are Out Of Sync

January 24, 2012 14:30 by Ann Pace

(From Forbes.com) -- This week, I am honored to attend and speak the World Economic Forum at Davos as part of the first Global Shaper delegation, a group of 70 millennial leaders from around the world to help leaders ‘think younger’ about today’s global challenges and the future of work. As I prepare for my panel on Leadership Across Generations, I wonder, how aligned is the vision of work for today’s world leaders with the vision for me and my Generation Y peers?

The recession has also influenced the way young people view work. Millennials who couldn’t get a college education or suffered after the recession have been forced to start in new ways, building online businesses or becoming freelancers. They know that pension and 401K plans won’t operate the same way anymore. They know that getting a job is about being innovative and working across fields.

What I’m noticing is that most corporate structures are out of sync with the lifestyle desires of Generation Y. Companies need to rethink the way their employees work, making major changes that will accommodate the unique work desires of Gen Y. What’s in it for companies? They will increase employee performance by reducing turnover and have happier, more productive Gen Y employees. A BPW Foundation’s Gen Y study published in April 2011 also noted that by 2025, Generation Y will make up roughly 75% of the world’s workforce. With this many millenials making up the majority of the workforce by 2025 — only 13 years away — employers can’t afford not to take notice.

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Workplace 2011: Overworked and under-engaged

January 12, 2012 14:00 by Ann Pace
(From cbsnews.com) -- Think you may be working longer and harder? Recent surveys show that you are not imagining things.

A recent survey of 4,400 employees for CareerBuilder.com reported that one half of employees are taking on more work and 37% are doing the work of two people.
In a new book, The Enemy of Engagement, author/researchers Mark Royal and Tom Agnew report that nearly one third of employees lack resources and information to do their jobs. One half are bothered by "inadequate staffing levels in their work areas."
"Frustration isn't an 'employee' issue; it is an organizational issue," said Agnew, who is a consultant for the Hay Group. "Managers must listen for clues and serve as the voice for frustrated employees."
Bingo! So what's a manager who knows his team is overworked to do? Especially in these days when overwork is so common and the fear of getting downsized is so pervasive?

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The Expanding Roles of Millennials in the Workplace

December 13, 2011 11:00 by Ann Pace

(From Forbes) -- I have a deep interest in Gen-Y workplace research and ideas, which is why I reached out to Lauren Rikleen. Lauren runs the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, which is designed to create a more dynamic, inclusive, and strategically aligned workplace. She is also the Executive in Residence at the Boston College Center for Work & Family and has just released an executive briefing called “Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders: the Expanding Roles of Millennials in the Workplace.” She is also the author of Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women’s Success in the Law. In this interview, she talks about generational differences in the workplace, what millennials really want from companies, and profiles the millennial leader.

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Blog: What Students Don’t Learn About Work in College

November 22, 2011 12:00 by Ann Pace

(From usnews.com) -- For all the talk about how college is essential to landing a good job after graduation, higher education often fails to prepare students for the workforce in several key ways. Even with a degree from a competitive school and a high GPA, many students graduate without ever having been taught these 10 essentials for the workplace:

1. Effort doesn’t matter; results do. It’s great to try hard, but if you’re not getting the job done well, it ultimately won’t matter. In the workplace, you’re judged by the quality of what you produce, not by how hard you worked to produce it.

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Blogs: When diversity still had meaning

October 17, 2011 12:54 by jllorens

(From New York Daily News) Profound information arrives casually in America. My mother grew up in Texas under segregation and went to California with her parents in the mid-1930s. By the early '50s, when my younger sister and brother began going to school in Los Angeles, she made up her mind about something - and it predicted our nation today.

While there was a neighborhood black school, she did not send us there. The reason was clear to her: "The world is full of all kinds of people, and you all need to start meeting them right now," she said. The school she chose, the 28th Street Elementary School, was fully integrated.

It was after World War II, and one easily learned stereotypes about Asians, especially the Japanese. But that did not stop one from seeing how well Elizabeth Wu, Barbara Minato, Harry Quan and Alan Funo did in class and in sports. And in assemblies, we might see traditional Japanese dancing and hear tales of how it felt to be young and terrified in a fallout shelter while Hiroshima was devastated by a nuclear cloud.

We also celebrated Cinco de Mayo and had great fun beating open the piñata we had built together in class and suspended from the ceiling of our auditorium. Someone like Henry Ramirez, who was a good student and athlete, might invite you and your family to his home for a dinner of exotic Mexican food.

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Social Media And The Workplace: Virtual Worlds and Legal Realities in 2011

October 10, 2011 17:45 by jllorens

(From Transworld Business) Radical revolution. Breaking boundaries. Peak performance. Sounds like the last ten years in surfing, skating or riding, right? Probably.

But that also describes the advances in personal communication platforms. These changes have altered how we all play, live and work. What was once spoken, or written and edited, is now instantly uploaded for all to see and hear. Coupled with eroding workplace boundaries, employers face new challenges with employees.

This article briefly discusses how these personal communication platforms (i.e., social or new media) are impacting the workplace. And potentially increasing liability risks for employers.

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Workplace social policy gets an overhaul

October 5, 2011 13:27 by jllorens

(From btobonline.com) Think your company has an adequate understanding of how employees may or may not use social media? Think again. Last month the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision that roiled the common thinking about how companies can govern the social media activities of their employees.

The NLRB ruled Sept. 2 that Hispanics United of Buffalo, a New York social services nonprofit organization, must reinstate five employees with back pay after they were fired for griping among each other on Facebook about a co-worker's job performance.

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Friday Fun: 6 Tired Work Buzzwords to Avoid

September 16, 2011 12:00 by Ann Pace

(From The Huffington Post) -- Ever been in a meeting where you think everyone is speaking in some kind of code? Workplace lingo often abandons the normal rules of the English language in favor of wonky expressions that are not only obnoxious—they make absolutely no sense.

We’re not sure if those who use this cryptic dialect actually think they sound smarter or are just attempting to solidify their membership in some sort of exclusive corporate tribe, but—we beg you—step away from the jargon.

For starters, here are six commonly used business expressions to banish from your vocabulary forever:

Rock Star/Ninja

“We need someone smart for this project. We’re looking for a rock star.”

“She’s a real programming ninja—the best engineer we have.”

Whether you’re sitting in on an annual performance review at a consulting firm or talking to a hiring manager at a tech company, you’ll hear these absurd non-titles everywhere. But unless your co-worker has actually toured with Mötley Crüe or wields nunchucks at the office, there is no reason to call her a rock star or a ninja. Also to be avoided: guru, wizard, and god. If someone has excelled professionally, praise her for what she’s actually done—don’t rely on cutesy hyperbole.

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For a happier workplace, get beyond the small talk

August 15, 2011 15:23 by jllorens

(From The Globe and Mail) At a time of economic turmoil and increasing consumer anxiety, workplace colleagues can be forgiven for limiting their social contact to small talk. “What’s up?” or “Did you see the game last night?” is unlikely to unleash an angst-ridden response. Whether people are afraid to upset or provoke others, or think that upbeat chatter creates a positive atmosphere, there’s often a Don’t Worry, Be Happy approach to office banter.

But a recent study shows that this may not be such a good thing. Genuinely satisfied people have deeper, more meaningful conversations more often than unhappy people do. “Our data are pretty clear in that the happiest person had 10 per cent of small talk [in their social interactions],” and had twice as many substantive conversations as unhappy people, said Matthias Mehl, a professor of social psychology at the University of Arizona, and lead author of the study.

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BLACK ENTERPRISE Announces the 40 Best Companies for Diversity

July 29, 2011 12:25 by jllorens

BLACK ENTERPRISE has released its seventh annual listing of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity as featured in the publication’s July issue and on BlackEnterprise.com. The companies singled out for distinction demonstrated a commitment to diversity in one or more of four key areas: board of directors, employee base, senior management and supplier diversity.

Of the 40 best, McDonald’s Corp., Fannie Mae, Verizon Communications Inc. and WGL Holdings Inc. demonstrated significant strengths in all four areas surveyed. Darden Restaurants Inc., Pepco Holdings Inc. and Sodexo Inc. were cited as solid in three. Making their fist appearance on this list are Allstate Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife Corp., Nationwide, Prudential Financial Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.

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