Elder Care in the Workplace — Calculate Your Company’s Loss…Then Manage Your Company’s Risk

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

From time-to-time, my research uncovers great perspectives that help illuminate the challenges associated with “Eldercare in the Workplace”. Dan Henry, Chief Human Resources Officer at Bright Horizons, ran the numbers on elder care as it relates to employers and their employees. In September of 2014 he stated the following.

adding up figures concept with modern white calculator in officeSome numbers just hit you over the head. This is how I felt when I read a Gallup poll the other day called the Cost of Caregiving to the U.S. Economy. The study breaks down the cost of elder care in this country. Here are two of the highlights:

  • One-in-six employed Americans are caring for an elder or disabled relative
  • Each of those people miss an average of 6.6 days each year

Thatƒ’s a pretty significant number all by itself. Then I started to do the math. In a company of 1000 people, one-in-six employees missing an average of 6.6 days annually add up to a loss of more than 1,000 days every year. Thatƒ’s 1000 employees who have elder care responsibilities x 6.6 missed workdays = 1,100 lost days.

Calculating Future Business Losses

That kind of time loss isnƒ’t just days — itƒ’s years. So if youƒ’re running a business with 1,000 people, youƒ’re paying literally the equivalent of three years in lost time every year because people have unsolved elder care challenges. And that was just in 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau says our population is aging, which means the number of people caring for aging relatives is only going to go up. Our own Modern Family Index tells us many employees are seeing elder care in their future.

Sobering Statistics for Employers

For employers, these are sobering statistics and proof that elder care is not just a personal problemƒ’itƒ’s a business problem. Like any other trend ƒ’ technology, demographic, scientific ƒ’ itƒ’s altering the business landscape. And smart employers are looking at it exactly that way ƒ’ pragmatically. Theyƒ’re saying to themselves that to preserve their bottom lines theyƒ’re going to have to approach it head on. Theyƒ’re leading a trend of programs that offer both guidance to employees about how to sift through all the options and also actual, tangible care.

The Importance of Solving for Elder Care

The other aspect to this equation that canƒ’t be ignored is the positive performance effect. Being ƒsandwichedƒ between generations is hard. Taking care ofRisk Management children and elder relatives is hard. Taking care of an elder relative and working is stunningly hard. People who get support from the people they work for (in this case, with elder care) are gratefulƒ and relieved. They pay their employers back not just by showing up, but by being great employees. Elder care responsibilities are a fact of life. Numbers donƒ’t lie. That one-in-six number says your company is going to be affected, no matter who you hire, where youƒ’re located, and what business youƒ’re in. Itƒ’s yet another reason conversations about working families are taking on such urgency. Families arenƒ’t only children. As Ellen Galinsky told NPR IN 2014, ƒ”We may choose to have children but we donƒ’t choose to have parents.ƒ” That makes addressing this challenge good business no matter how you look at it. Because itƒ’s a simple equation: solve for elder care, or watch literally years of hard work go down the drain.

Well said Dan! Helping businesses mitigate this risk is what we do here at Caring Concierge. We have been doing it for years and we’ve been able to assist companies large and small.

Determine Your Company’s ‘Sobering Statistics’

Take a moment to apply the ‘one-in-six’ formula above and you can get a feel for how your company is impacted with respect to employee missed workdays due to elder care issues. Then give us a call. Caring Concierge can help to greatly reduce your companies exposure and enable your employees to confidently and proactively address their elder care issues.

I wish each and every one of you a healthy and successful 2015!

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Survey Shows Elder Care a Growing Concern for Adults Balancing Work and Family!

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Perhaps it is a sign of age! Not only did 2014 seem to fly by, but each year now seems to come and go faster than ever before! I’m happy to see another year coming and I continue to look upon December both with reflection of the year that was, and with optimism for the year to come.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the years you know that I like data and that I like to report out on what the data tells us. That said, according to a recent study ofAnalytics_iStock_000016503756XSmall_1  more than 5,000 U.S. workers, mid-career employees have become  increasingly dependent on employer-sponsored back-up eldercare  programs. This increase in demand for elder care mirrors the increase in the number of people providing care to an aging relative – more than  40 million people had responsibility for an elder’s care in 2012,  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The Lasting Impact of Employer-Sponsored Back-up Care, a study conducted by Horizons Workforce Consulting and Russell Matthews, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, confirms that working men and women  ages 40 to 60 are embracing elder care supports in order to focus and  remain productive at work while feeling confident that their aging  parent – or spouse – has access to quality care.

Sandwich Generation employees, those who care for their aging parents while also supporting their own young children, are particularly impacted. Roughly one out of every eight Americans between the ages of 40 and 60  fall into this group, according to the Pew Research Institute, and  between 7 million and 10
million Americans are providing care for their aging parents from afar with little or no back-up support in the case of an emergency.

“The tensions of child care, eldercare, and work make the Sandwich  Generation most prone to acute caregiver stress.  Not only are they  overwhelmed trying to balance their careers with the demands of  parenthood but also with the responsibility of caring for their own  aging parents. “Having access to  quality back-up care for children and adult relatives can go a long way  toward alleviating stress for these employees and reducing absenteeism  and loss of productivity for their employers” according to David  Lissy, Bright Horizons Chief Executive Officer.

In fact, a recent study surveyed employees who used this type of program within a 6 month period. Of the respondents with adult/eldercare responsibilities:

  • Two-thirds are providing daily living support for an adult relative.
  • Three-quarter are providing health-related supports for their aging family members.
  • Nearly 100% said that having an eldercare benefit like the Back-Up Care  Advantage Program has provided them with a level of comfort and  increased their productivity.
  • Nearly 70% of those surveyed who used the eldercare benefit said that this  benefit has allowed them to work on a day they would have otherwise  missed, and, on average, having access to adult back-up care has allowed employees to work six days in the past six months that they otherwise  would have missed.

If you are like so many companies in the U.S. that have not provided for some form of eldercare assistance for your employees, then make 2015 a year of action. Your company and your employees will greatly benefit from this action. Remember, employers in the U.S., including your company, have an aggregate loss in worker productivity in excess of $33 billion every year directly attributed to employees having to address elder care issues.

Generations @ Christmas1aHAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL

Please reference my blog post from December of 2011 titled Home for the Holiday’s … Gather Critical Information on Your Aging Parents, and my blog post of December 2012, Home for the Holiday’s — Time for an Assessment! I believe that each contain timeless information that you should reference with respect to your aging loved ones. Each of these blogs are less focused on employer/employee issues of lost productivity resulting from the urgency of adult caregiving. Instead, they ask that each of us pay special attention to their older loved ones during this time of the year when family visits are so prevalent.

Eldercare & The Workplace: A Professional and Personal Conversation!

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

On Thursday, September 18th, Visiting Angels of Cleveland, Ohio will co-sponsor the Health Care Forum sponsored by Crain’s Cleveland Business. I mention this because I am privileged to be a panelist during one of the breakout sessions at the health care forum. The forum will take place in downtown Cleveland at the new Cleveland Convention Center from 7:00AM to 1:00PM. Preceded by networking and breakfast, the morning will begin at 7:30AM with a keynote address.

FORUM OPENING KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: “Health Care Reform: One Year Later”

• J.B. Silvers, Ph.D. John R. Mannix Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Finance, Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics – School of Medicine CWRU, Weatherhead School of Management

Visiting Angels’ Cleveland, Ohio office is also participating in a breakout panel titled Your employees, their eldercare concerns, your bottom line: What’s it Crains Health Care Forumcosting you?” This panel will be moderated by Crain’s Cleveland Business Publisher John Campanelli. I encourage you to attend and participate in this 90-minute panel that begins at 8:45AM. Below is an overview of the content that will be discussed along with the panel participants.

PANEL #1 – “Your employees, their eldercare concerns, your bottom line: What’s it costing you?”
• Eldercare costs U.S. Businesses more than $33 Billion each year in lost productivity
• How can you calculate your company’s risk?
• What resources are available to help your employees handle their caregiving duties?
• How can businesses build support systems for employees who have significant caregiving duties?

PANELISTS
• Richard Browdie, president & CEO, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
• Eiran Z. Gorodeski, director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Connected Care
• Kevin Johnson, managing director, Visiting Angels
• Claire Zangerle, president and CEO, Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio

As readers and subscribers of this blog know, Eldercare and the Workplace is an important topic. So much so, that Visiting Angels of  Cleveland, an independent company that specializes in providing home care for seniors, works with Caring Concierge to extend the assistance available for their clients who are caring for seniors. As a Certified Senior Advisor, and as co-owner of Visiting Angels’ Cleveland, Ohio office, I provide content and subject matter awareness to both company’s.

The health care forum will conclude with a keynote presentation featuring some of northeast Ohio’s national leaders in health care. An overview of the closing keynote presentation and the panel participants are below:

FORUM KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: “Checking the pulse: A conversation with Northeast Ohio’s health care leaders”

PANELISTS
• Akram Boutros, MD, President & CEO, The MetroHealth System
• Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, President & CEO, Cleveland Clinic
• Terrence P. Kessler, President & CEO, The Sisters of Charity Health System
• Thomas “Tim” Stover, MD, President & CEO, Akron General Health System
• Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO, University Hospitals

I hope you will be able to attend this informative event. We look forward to speaking with you. For all of the information regarding the Forum, please access the following hypertext link, Crain’s Health Care Forum.

 

Note: Visiting Angels (at Fairhill Partners) is an award wining, full-service senior home care agency providing a comprehensive range of non-medical services. Our experienced caregivers are bonded and insured. We are in our 12th year of operation  and are honored to have served hundreds of seniors in the Greater Cleveland area and surrounding suburban communities.

What Can Management Do…Consider Revisiting MBWA!

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

From time-to-time, I’m asked to facilitate “lunch and learn” sessions at companies that list us (Caring Concierge) as a benefit resource to their employees. These are excellent sessions for employees to learn how to get prepared for ‘what’s coming’ with respect to adult caregiving or to ask questions about what they are currently trying to manage with regard to eldercare for an aging loved one.

Recently during one of these sessions, I had a senior manager ask me a great question. To paraphrase, he said, “in light of the reluctance of many employees to reveal that they are having adult caregiving issues that are distracting them from their work, how can management help their employees with eldercare issues”. He specifically referenced my comments that many employees are reluctant to share these issues with their employers. I asked him to consider the following.

EMPLOYEE BENEFIT INTRANET — It may seem like a ‘no-brainer’, but some companies do not place benefit resources in the most convenient locations for employees to reference them. Some of the ‘best practices’ I’ve seen include using an internal intranet that employees can reference. It must be kept up to date, and the company intranet must not be allowed to be a ‘passive resource’. Companies have to continue to make sure that it is up current, and that their employees are notified of new opportunities which they might avail themselves. So many employees forget to look internally, at company provided resources, when a crisis arises simply because they haven’t seen these resources since their “New Employee Orientation” session!

iStock_Lunch&LearnSession_PMCompanies should regularly create opportunities such as ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, to keep their employees aware of the assistance resources that are available for them to leverage when necessary. So many companies have benefit resources available for their employees, but spend very little effort in making sure their employees are aware of their existence along with how, why, and when to use them. I believe employers can reduce employee lost productivity by keeping available resources fresh in the minds of their employees.

MBO and MBWA — In management theory and practice, there are a number of methodologies used to task employees and evaluate their outcomes with respect to company goals. Management by Objectives (MBO) remains one of the most prevalent; it is both personally and organizationally focused. However, I believe the best managers still employ a form of an older, less direct method that we used to call “Management by Walking Around” (MBWA). With MBWA, managers kept abreast of work progress by regularly interacting with their direct reports at their assigned work locations. It’s value was not only in knowing the progress of work assignments but it also gave managers the perfect opportunity to interact with the employee in a less formal manner. It was during these ‘walking around’ sessions that sometimes personal issues would come to light. In other words, MBWA often facilitated a ‘deeper’ manager-employee relationship whereby personal issues or crises in the lives of employees would emerge. This was management’s window into reminding employees of benefits that are available to help.

My point is that in our current down-sized/right-sized-high efficiency work environments, by and large, MBWA has gone by the way-side. Nevertheless, incorporating some method of indirect communication with employees is a great way for management to know what’s going on and to remind them of resources that your company might already have available. Together, these are great approaches to reducing lost productivity in the workplace. This includes the+ $33 billion per year that employers in the United States lose directly resulting from employees addressing adult caregiving issues.

Employers: Improve Employee Loyalty in the Post ACA World

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

As the Affordable Care Act was coming on line last year, I spoke to a number of employers who suggested that the health benefit plans they offered to their employees were really instruments of competitive advantage. These employers felt that their employees selected to work for their respective company’s, in part, based upon the quality of the health care plan. I thought that was extremely interesting. In my experience, the only employees that actually compare benefits prior to applying to or accepting a job, are those employees that had to address a ‘special-needs’ situation in their immediate family. By far this is a much smaller subset of employees.

Well with the running implementation of the Affordable Care Act, employers might consider another benefit that will provide real value to the majority of their employees. This one has application to a broader employee base and can provide comparative competitive advantage versus other companies that might be competing for great employees.

Addressing the Primary Needs of Working Caregivers

Managing both work life and family life has become a major issue for a large and growing number of family caregivers and their employers. With the aging of the Baby Boom generation will come a dramatic increase in the long-term care needs of our population. As policy-makers consider our options for meeting these needs, supporting working caregivers takes on national importance.” – Margaret Neal and Donna Wagner

There are four areas of need that have implications for structuring workplace settings and providing support for caregivers:Exhausted Business Woman_PM2

  1. Flexibility
  2. Information and assistance
  3. Emotional Support and
  4. Tangible assistance

FLEXIBILITY
Employed caregivers routinely note the importance of both flexible work hours and being able to take unscheduled time off to handle caregiving responsibilities when needed. A recent study of working “sandwich generation” couples (e.g. those raising depending children and caring for aged parents) found that couples who felt they had work schedule flexibility experienced less work-family conflict. Work schedule flexibility and other work-based supports offered by employers to their employed caregivers have generally been perceived positively on the part of the caregivers. This, in turn, has led to increased loyalty and satisfaction with those employers.

INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE
The needs of employed caregivers vary according to the care situation and the needs of the care recipient. Regardless, however, just as do their non-employed counterparts, employed caregivers need information on the community services that are available to support the needs of elders. Most caregivers of elders have had little or no previous experience either with providing care to an elder or with negotiating the aging services system. Thus, information about caregiving, health conditions, and where to turn for help is a critical need for employed caregivers. Because of the complexity of many elders’ health care situations, employed caregivers, like other caregivers, can find it difficult to know even what is needed, let alone decide which service approach is best for their elder. Professional expertise can be invaluable for assessing the elder’s needs, providing referrals and advice, determining eligibility and payment options, and packaging the needed services.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Emotional support for employed caregivers can come in the form of support from co-workers and supervisors at the workplace, support from other family members, and support from friends. A recent study found that, not surprisingly, lower levels of family related supervisor support were associated with higher levels of work-family conflict. Similarly, a less supportive workplace culture was also associated with work-family
conflict.

TANGIBLE ASSISTANCE
Employed caregivers need help with legal, financial, and health insurance matters and the paperwork associated with these. Helping an elder manage the paperwork associated with his or her medical care is a daunting task. Similarly, securing and completing the legal forms for durable power of attorney, wills, reverse mortgages, and the like can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Adding assistance with eldercare benefits that apply to most of your employee base can provide real competitive advantage versus other companies that are competing for great employees; including employees that are currently on your staff. In the process you can differentiate your company from your competition in a way that is really important to your workforce. Caring Concierge can help you create an affordable, elder care benefit program that makes sense for your company.

Referral: University of Wisconsin

Defined Contribution Benefits Model — Don’t Forget Advance Care Planning!

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

With the introduction of health insurance exchanges and full implementation of the Affordable Care Act by 2015, ‘change’ is the operative word in employer-provided benefits. Many employers are moving to a tool called a “Defined Contribution (DC) Benefit Plan”. From Wikipedia, a defined contribution benefits plan is a type of retirement plan in which the employer, employee or both make contributions on a regular basis. Individual accounts are set up for participants and benefits are based on the amounts credited to these accounts (through employer contributions and, if applicable, employee contributions) plus any investment earnings on the money in the account. Only employer contributions to the account are guaranteed, not the future benefits. In defined contribution plans, future benefits fluctuate on the basis of investment earnings. The most common type of defined contribution plan is a savings and thrift plan. Under this type of plan, the employee contributes a predetermined portion of his or her earnings (usually pretax) to an individual account, all or part of which is matched by the employer. In the United States, Internal Revenue Code specifies a defined contribution plan as a plan which provides for an individual account for each participant and for benefits based solely on the amount contributed to the participant’s account, and any income, expenses, gains and losses, and any forfeitures of accounts of other participants which may be allocated to such participant’s account.

Employers say the top two reasons for contemplating a switch to DC benefit models are to lower health care costs and to offer their employees more choice in the allocation of tiStock_RetirementPlanning_PMheir benefit dollars (59% and 40%, respectively). Employees report they would allot 75% of their benefit dollars to health, dental, and vision coverage, leaving 25% for other coverage’s such as voluntary life, disability, accident, and critical illness insurance. Even with this allocation by employees, 42% of brokers feel the shift to DC plans will lead to an uptick in sales for voluntary products.

“While employers struggle to fund increasing health care costs and more look to shift to DC plans, employees will realize a higher level of choice when it comes to benefits selection and aligning their benefit dollars with personal priorities,” said Jim Gemus, senior vice president, Products, Prudential Group Insurance. “Carriers and brokers have an opportunity to ramp up employee awareness and educational efforts in order to help ensure employees fully appreciate the value of the voluntary benefits available to them.”

I am an active participant in National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) which takes place April 16th. The goal is to inspire, educate & empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. As employers pivot to DC Benefits model and the like, it is crucial that advance care planning (Advanced Directives) be included as an element of a sound employee benefit plan portfolio.

ADVANCED DIRECTIVES

All adults can benefit from thinking about and planning for what their healthcare choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves.  These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know what they are.  Advance directives come in two main forms:

  1. A “healthcare power of attorney” (or “proxy” or “agent” or “surrogate”)  documents the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.
  2. A “living will” documents what kinds of medical treatments you would or would not want at the end of life.

iStock_SigningWill_PMOHIO ADVANCE DIRECTIVE
The Ohio Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you name someone, called an agent, to make decisions about your medical care—including decisions about life-sustaining treatment—if you can no longer speak for yourself. The durable power of attorney for health care is especially useful because it appoints someone to speak for you any time you are unable to make your own medical decisions, not only at the end of life.  Your durable power of attorney for health care becomes effective when your doctor determines that you have lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions for yourself.

The Ohio Living Will Declaration is your state’s living will. It lets you state your wishes about health care in the event that you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious and can no longer make your own health care decisions. Your Ohio Declaration becomes effective when your doctor determines that you have lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions for yourself and you are terminally ill or you are permanently unconscious.

The Organ Donation Enrollment Form allows you to register your organ donation choices with the registry, so that your organ donation wishes will be followed, even if your declaration cannot be found.

These forms do not expressly address mental illness. If you would like to make advance care plans regarding mental illness, you should talk to your physician and an attorney about a durable power of attorney tailored to your needs.

There are other advanced planning vehicles including ‘trusts’ that should be considered however, the basic elements of the advanced planning portfolio are what I’ve covered above. This is important and I urge every employer, every employee, in fact, every adult, to proactively address advanced planning today for the sake or yourselves and your families!

 

 Thanks to contributions from Prudential Financial and Employee Benefit News

 

The Multi-Generational Workplace

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Here’s a different view of productivity in the workplace. In 2013, I hired a sharp new employee, a Millennial, a member of the Gen Y age group, into my small office. That’s when my education began!

First, the generally agreed upon cohort definitions.

Gen Z 2000 – Present
Gen Y 1980 – 2000
Gen X 1965 – 1980
Baby Boomers 1946 – 1964

Employers and established baby boomer employees are experiencing the challenges associated with today’s multi-generational workforce. The backend of the workforce, made up of Baby Boomers, have been steady and reliable. The front-end of the workforce, made up of Millennials’, have fewer of the boomers’ or the Gen X, perspectives on work and productivity. Employers, including me, are having to do reassess ‘established management norms’ in order to gain an understanding of this age cohort.

Business executives in a meeting and making use of a laptopMillennials and baby boomers grew up very differently. They experienced different things and were raised in a different way. So it’s really no surprise that they feel differently about what happens in the workplace.

Dan Schawbel, in a “Time Moneyland” article,  looked into a new study by MTV called “No Collar Workers.” The study looked at Gen Y’s perspectives about the workplace and careers and how their views differ from that of their parents’ generation, the baby boomers.

 

Here are a few major differences Schawbel identified from the study:

1. Millennials require your immediate attention. To me, this finding is dead on! “Millennials grew up texting and using Facebook and Twitter. They’re grown accustomed to instantaneous connection and nearly immediate responses each time they Tweet or post. In the workplace, they expect the same environment. They want to be able to ask questions and get career advice all the time; in the survey, 80% of Millennials said they want regular feedback from their managers, and 75% yearn for mentors. “Parents were more like mentors to them and now they expect managers to be too,” says MTV’s Shore. For the most part, Millennials aren’t fans of having to wait six months or a year to get a formal review of their work. Boomers, on the other hand, are more likely to prefer a structured system where feedback is given at certain times of the year. Instead of seeking constant feedback, boomers prefer to take the “Give me my objectives and get out of my way” approach.”

2. Millennials work when they want to work. “The 9-to-5 workday is fading as the standard, and the change is at least partially being driven by Millennials. Research shows that 81% of Millennials think they should be allowed to make their own hours at work, compared to only 69% of boomers. Whereas more boomers feel the office environment and the traditional workday is the best way to get the job done, Millennials prefer a flexible approach, including the right to be remote workers who go into the office only sometimes, or perhaps never. They maintain that as long as the work gets done, the amount of time spent in the office shouldn’t matter. In the MTV poll, 70% of Millennials also said that they need “me time” on the job, versus 39% of Baby Boomers.”

3. Millennials want casual Fridays almost every day. “The study found that 79% of Millennials think they should be allowed to wear jeans to work at least sometimes, compared to only 60% of boomers. An overwhelming 93% of Millennials say they want a job where they can be themselves at work, and that includes dressing in a way that makes them comfortable. Boomers, on the other hand, are more prone to believing in the importance of maintaining a standard professional look in the workplace. It seems as if Millennials also prefer casual attire because they don’t separate their personal and professional lives in the same way that baby boomers do.”

4. Millennials aren’t all about the money. “Half of the members of Gen Y surveyed said they would “rather have no job than a job they hate.” Among the top options for job desirability, “loving what I do” outranked salaries and big bonuses. If not money, what do Millennials want most? The vast majority (83%) are “looking for a job where my creativity is valued,” while more than 9 in 10 Millennials are “motivated to work harder when I know where my work is going” and want supervisors, managers, and executives to listen to their ideas. “Millennials walk into the CEO’s office to tell them how to fix things,” says Shore. The MTV study found that 76% of Millennials think their boss could learn a lot from them, compared to only 50% of boomers. Generally speaking, Millennials want to feel as though they’ve been heard, and that their opinions and insights matter.”

5. Millennials really like transparency. “A report by LifeWay Research shows that transparency was one of the four characteristics Millennials wanted in a leader. Think about it: Parents of Millennials talked about everything in front of their children, from finances to sex, so Millennials are comfortable with the same approach from businesses and managers. Millennials want to feel like they are part of a community at work—nearly 9 in 10 want a workplace to be social and fun—and have a genuine desire to listen into organizational strategy sessions. Instead of being a small cog unaware of any larger mission, Millennials like being in the loop regarding their company’s vision, and how it is going to innovate to stay ahead of the curve.”

6. Millennials see the work environment as flat. “Vineet Nayer, the CEO of HCL Technologies says that Millennials “have little interest in hierarchy and are not particularly impressed by the titles and positions within the traditional pyramid structure.” Growing up, Millennials all received trophies in sports leagues regardless if they won or lost, and they probably had parents who would patiently listen to them and take what they had to say into consideration before making family decisions. In the workplace, Millennials see no reason for a strict hierarchy. “They find hierarchies difficult to understand because they didn’t grow up with it,” said Shore. An “ideocracy” should reign in the workplace, most Millennials believe, in which everyone should be heard from and the best ideas win out, regardless of who has been on the job longer, or who has a corner office.”

Right now there are about 80 million Millennials and 75 million baby boomers in the US, according to the article. It also said that by the year 2025, three out of four workers in the world will be members of Generation Y.

Today, more employers are adapting to their Baby Boomer employee’s needs regarding adult caregiving issues. The flexibility required to do so will likely pale in comparison to the workplace model shift brought about by the ‘culture’ of the Millennials. Overall, the boomers have produced at a significantly high level over a sustained period of time; they’ve earned the flexibility. Many employers are finding that Millennials are asking for far more workplace flexibility, and they want it NOW!

By the way, my first Millennial hire did not work out. However, I’ve hired two since then and so far, so good. I guess I learned quickly what to look for in a Millennial candidate, and how to manage them once they are hired!

Thanks to Dan Schawbel for his insights on the subject.

 

If you find yourself challenged regarding the multi-generational workplace, Mr. Schawbel is certainly a resource. He is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. He speaks on the topic of personal branding, social media and Gen Y workforce management for companies such as Google, Time Warner, Symantec, CitiGroup and IBM. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.

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