Today's post is written by Kronos Summer Intern, Megan Grenier. Megan is an intern on our mid-market marketing team. She'll be returning to Saint Anselm College this fall where she's studying communications.

My experience as an intern at Kronos this summer has been incredible. I have had the opportunity to learn and do so many new things. One of the most interesting aspects of my work experience - and sometimes one of the most challenging - has been learning to communicate appropriately with colleagues who span many generations.

When I first started, I had to learn many new technologies that I was not accustomed to. Next, I had to learn how each person I work with communicates. I work with fellow Kronites who span Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. It can get a little tricky trying to balance all of the communication styles!

I have had to ask a lot of questions: when should I send an email versus an IM? When is an in-person conversation the best option? Is it okay if I stop by my boss's office unannounced?

With so many questions, I have made a few mistakes: like not hitting “reply all” on an email or starting to work on a task my manager just emailed me about without first telling him that I was available to do so. While I have made my fair share of mistakes, I have learned a lot because of them. Perhaps the biggest two things I have learned is that it is okay to ask questions, and it is better to overcommunicate than to under-communicate.

And so, based on my experience, my two pieces of advice to future interns would be:

  1. Ask as many questions as you need to: It is better to get clarification early on, so you can be led in the right direction, rather than making errors along the way. I have noticed that my managers and coworkers appreciate my consideration, and it makes my life a whole lot easier.
  2. Overcommunicate. My managers always prefer when I give them more information than less. They want to be kept in the loop. So, it is okay if you send them that extra email, they will appreciate it.

Communicating with people in general can be a challenge, but multigenerational communication is a whole new ball game. To learn more about the topic, check out my series The ABC's of XYZ on Kronos's What Works blog, where I dive deeper into these questions, to help bridge the communication divide in a multigenerational workforce.

Last week, I wrote about my semi-retirement strategy.  Today's post comes to us from our board member John Hollon, a fellow boomer who is taking a very different approach.  
OK, I admit it -- I was inspired by Joyce Maroney's recent Workforce Institute post about her move to a "phased" retirement where she is "transitioning to a part-time position as a means of achieving more work life balance without giving up the personal and economic benefits of work."
I'm incredibly envious of her and that she has been able to transition to "the more leisurely rhythms of life as a part time worker after 40 years of go-go-go."
Well, I wish I could do what Joyce is doing, however my life seems to be accelerating and go-go-going in the opposite direction.
I'm not retiring just yet, or going to a part-time schedule either. In my case, I just can't afford to give up "the economic benefits of work."
No, my plan is to work for as long as I can or until I'm flush enough that I can travel with my wife as much as I want for as long as I want. But getting to that point keeps me pretty busy.
I've got a new job as well as a gig as an adjunct professor at a local university. I'm building a consulting business on the side, serving here on the Workforce Institute Board, and volunteering time for both my Homeowners Association board and my church.
Plus, I'm writing and writing a lot -- as one of the resident experts at Fistful of Talent, in my role as Editor-at-Large at ERE Media, and on occasion, here at The Workforce Institute.
Sounds pretty busy, I know, but somehow that's not enough.
While Joyce is down-shifting to part-time work and finding fulfillment traveling and meditating on life in places like Japan, I've got my foot on the gas and headed 100 mph the opposite way.
Yes, instead of travel and phased retirement, I'm taking on as much as I can, including starting up my own blog called ... big drumroll please ... The Skeptical Guy.
The name comes from my friend Laurie Ruettimann who had a blog called The Cynical Girl. I liked the sound and cadence of that, but I'm much more skeptical than cynical, so I settled on The Skeptical Guy.
Having spent my career focused on leadership, talent management, human resources, and smart workforce practices, I'm naturally examining a variety of workplace issues from my skeptical point of view - from the very good reasons Millennials job hop to what are the most popular jobs on LinkedIn and why. I'm also exploring more local issues like my frustration at the California Legislature wasting time designating surfing as the state "sport" and completely arbitrary topics like how hearing Amazing Grace Reminds Me of Pete Conrad Walking on the Moon. I figure at my age, I'm entitled to write about what moves me - whether it's workplace-related or not.
So, as my friend and WFI Board cohort Joyce Maroney watches for spring as she sits in 34 degree temperatures in Massachusetts, I'm a continent away in California sweating out a 90 degree April day and our first early blast of summer.
She's cool and easing down while I'm hot and cranking up.
Just goes to show you that our Baby Boomer generation will be re-defining what "retirement" looks like in a variety of ways.
What do you want your retirement (or un-retirement as fellow board member Sharlyn Lauby calls it) to look like?

Millennials2016 (2)The following guest post was written by Peter Harte, managing director of Kronos Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. Thanks, Peter! 

Self-centered, lazy, and _too big for their boots' are words commonly used about Millennials. On the other hand, so are socially conscious and collaborative. The traits of Millennials have been written about ad nauseam. By all accounts, Millennials are a worldwide workplace epidemic - but should tactics to manage this generation differ by country?

To find out, we undertook a study in Australia to understand how managers can harness positive Millennial traits and navigate perceived downfalls. We surveyed 600 Australian employees with 50% of the sample being made up of Millennials and 25% made up of Generation X and Baby Boomers, respectively, to find out what motivates them.

While known for job hopping, we found that Millennials are more open to managerial discussion when we dug deeper. Only 19% said there was nothing an employer could have done to prevent their departure.

And what could be done? Flexible benefits, an increase in pay, or a promotion were all cited as effective levers by Millennials. Interestingly though, an open conversation about potential could deliver the same impact!

But what if you find out the employee's goals are not aligned with the company's, or worse, they are using this opportunity as a stepping stone to what they see as greener pastures?

I've outlined three possible conversations you could have with your Millennial employees to demonstrate you don't just care about them as an employee, but also as a person. Being open to their growth ideas could increase innovation through engagement.

1.) Be open to discussing their goals both inside and outside of the organization

Energy and productivity trump longevity when it comes to tenure, and 60% of Millennials had left an organization within a year of feeling they were no longer giving their best. Keeping them motivated and engaged while in your employment is critical, so find out what inspires them and how you can help.

Departing Millennials who leave on good terms will provide you with positive word of mouth. This may result in recommending possible candidates, or even becoming “boomerang” employees, returning to your organization themselves (which The Workforce Institute found that boomeranging is an increasing trend).

2.) Explore opportunities within the company

Two-thirds of Millennials say they'll stay at an employer as long as they are acquiring the skills and training they think will benefit their career, compared to a third of Generation X and 27% of Baby Boomers. Explore other opportunities within the company if it's time for them to move.

3.) Work together to uncover a solution or action plan that works for both parties

Millennials respond positively to personalized plans. Two-thirds (65%) say they'd have stayed longer if management had shown interest in them as an individual. Implementing a plan that shows clear progression and regular review points will satisfy their thirst for feedback and reward.

What do you think? Weigh-in by posting a comment below.

Connect with us

Subscribe to our blog

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram