Recently, I was asked to counsel a group of angry 40-something managers on career advancement. These Generation Xers felt they were caught in between “greedy” Baby Boomers, who won't move over to give their generation a shot, and “entitled” Millennials, who won’t put in a decent day’s work.
Generational influences play a significant role in shaping our values, motivations and behaviors. Nowhere are those influences more apparent and the behavior more divergent than in the workplace. Take the Baby Boomers. Their large numbers drove them to be competitive in all parts of life, including work. In their push to get ahead Boomers added a full month’s worth of work per year to their schedule. Now that they are ready to recalibrate work and life, things have gotten complicated. Past spending habits and drops in retirement portfolios have made the prospects of even gradual retirement obsolete for many.
Some trends in HR are great. Trends toward data-driven decision making, technology-enabled hiring, and even flexible schedules are significant improvements to the industry.
Other trends are not so great. Before we dig into the newest trend, I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
- What are the key skills/competencies necessary for your company to grow in the next 5 years?
- What are the skills you most need to cultivate in your next gen leaders? What are you doing to foster those skills?
- What is your succession plan for the top 10 positions in your company? How are you preparing the next potential leaders in your organization for those roles?
And now here’s the most important question; who determines which skills receive training in your organization- managers or HR?