Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Top 10 Competencies for Your Chief People Officer

Over the past 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of Chief People Officers (CPOs) in a variety of industries and companies. I have also helped CEO’s hire for these critical roles, roles that have the power to significantly alter the performance and competitive advantage of a business. 

There has been a seismic shift in the way executives think about people, culture and workplace practices. They have come to understand that exceptional “People” leadership and systems are levers of operational and financial excellence. As a result, there is growing recognition that the background, skills and competencies of the CPO position are vital components to the success of the business as a whole, and that an alarmingly high percentage of current HR/People leaders do not possess what it takes to lead their companies into the future.

Companies require -- and deserve -- a highly evolved set of skills and competencies from their human capital leaders. To understand what traits are most critical, download my new white paper The Top 10 Competencies Your CPO Must Possess, or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Top 10 Most Promising Jobs for Millennials

The class of 2016 has graduated. And while some have secured employment, many are still weighing their options. According to a recent Fortune Magazine article, the most promising jobs for Millennials include some surprising contenders: 
  1. Physician Assistants
  2. Actuaries
  3. Statisticians
  4. Biomedical Engineers
  5. Computer & Information Research Scientists
  6. Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists
  7. Nuclear Engineers
  8. Elevator Installers & Repairers
  9. Petroleum Engineers
  10. Therapists
The list in unexpected, and challenges conventional views on what “opportunity” means. But for companies that are struggling to find and keep Millennial talent, it represents significant clues as to what Millennials need and want from employers this year. 

For more insight into what drives Millennials, download my whitepaper, 7 Secrets to Working with Millennials or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Meet Your Millennial Manager, Part 3 - Performance Management

This is the last in a 3-part series on Millennials as managers. Part 1 covered Millennials as hiring managers.  Part 2 offered strategies for communicating with Millennial managers. This post address Millennial managers and performance management.

Millennials see the conventional annual or semi-annual performance review as static and one-directional. As managers, they will replace existing performance management processes with real-time goal setting and feedback loops using technology that allows for multi-directional, multi-level, and often transparent comments about the performance of an individual, team or manager. This will be challenging for both staff and HR professionals from older generations, who will have to adapt to new performance metrics, collaborative feedback channels, and different compensation and advancement protocols.

Millennials also believe that the 9-5 construct of work is dead. The workplace of the past is one where productivity is measured by the number of hours you sit at your desk. To Millennials, the future of work requires a high degree of flexibility – from the employee and the manager. This means fluid working hours, technology that enables remote work, and relationships that extend beyond the office. For Baby Boomer and Generation X employees who have spent their careers conforming to fixed hours and mindsets about performance, this will take an enormous adjustment in thinking and scheduling.

Millennials now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and are rising in rank. The world of management -- and all of its conventional wisdom -- is about to be turned on its head. For more insight into this sea change, download my new white paper Meet Your Millennial Manager – A Survival Guide for Older Generations, or contact me directly.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meet Your Millennial Manager, Part 2 - Communication

In response to recent requests, I am providing a 3-part series of guidelines for Generation Xers and Baby Boomers who report to Millennial managers. The first in the series offered older generations insight into Millennials as hiring managers.  This post covers communicating with your Millennial manager. 

Communication breakdowns between Millennial Managers and their older direct reports are often the result of a difference in the definition of “initiative.” For Gen Xers and Boomers, taking initiative means “figuring it out” on one’s own, without having to rely on or involve others. Removing one’s boss from the weeds and any unnecessary details, meetings and decisions demonstrates strategic thinking and high performance. In contrast, Millennials equate taking initiative with asking questions and collaboratively engaging one’s boss. As bosses, Millennials expect their direct reports to regularly (as in daily, if not hourly) update them on projects and include them in decision-making. 

Older generation employees will have to revisit the meaning of effective employee-supervisor communication and learn to collaborate more closely with their Millennial managers to keep them in the loop. For most, this will be a challenging but valuable exercise.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet your Millennial Manager, Part 1 - The Interview

For the past 10 years, the world of work has struggled to make sense of Millennial employees. But what happens when Millennials are the managers, responsible for hiring and supervising older generations? 

Welcome to Part 1 of a 3-part series that introduces Generation Xers and Baby Boomers to Millennials as managers and provides practice guidance for working with and for them.

Let’s start with the interview.

Baby Boomer and Generation X candidates walk away from interviews with Millennial hiring managers perplexed, if not downright offended. Education and experience – the pillars of professional credibility and financial worth for decades – are not highly prized by Millennial recruiters. Instead, the emphasis is on what you know, how you think, and whether you are the right cultural fit for the company and team. What Millennial hiring managers really want to vet during an interview is whether the candidate has a knowledge of current and emerging trends for the job, demonstrates an ability and willingness to learn new skills quickly, and relates well to them. Millennials will immediately tune out to candidates who tout degrees, long tenures, and past knowledge. Know-it-alls need not apply.

Millennials now comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and are rising in rank. The world of management – and all of its conventional wisdom - is about to be turned on its head. Are you ready?

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Secret Tool of Culture Change

An effective New Employee Orientation (NEO) ensures the retention and acculturation of new hires. This is particularly important for Millennials, who rank learning the corporate culture as the greatest challenge when transitioning into a new job. An NEO also serves as a crucial lever to attaining cultural transformation in an organization. If your company has embarked on a culture change or recognizes that the culture must change to drive better business results, it is best to focus on employees at the beginning of their tenure, when they are most impressionable. It is during these first days, weeks and months with a new employer that employees decide whether they will be champions of change within the company, become disgruntled and leave, or stay and become toxic by upholding the “old” culture.

NEOs are a critical opportunity to instill new employees with the culture your company aspires to represent to the world. Once acculturated and educated, these employees become key influencers of change, spreading throughout the company as foot soldiers of your mission. For strategies on achieving culture change through your NEO, download my new whitepaper, Achieving Culture Change Through Your New Employee Orientation. You can also join me for a free HCI webcast, Navigate A Successful Transformation from Orientation to Acculturation, on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Millennials & the Feminist Divide

Generational clashes on feminism, politics and leadership are heating up, creating a perfect storm for the 2016 election year and new dilemmas for women (and men) in the workplace. Case in point: 
Regardless of what you think about feminism and politics, this multigenerational debate represents an intersection of conflicting generational norms and values about what it means and takes to be a female leader in the 21st Century. When translated to the workplace, these conflicting sentiments reveal profound generational differences among working women and challenges for the employers who struggle to recruit and retain them. 

We are entering of a new era of gender definitions and issues. The impact to the workforce and to companies tasked with attracting, engaging and developing women leaders, should not be overlooked. For more insight on this issue, please feel free to download my whitepapers, “Millennials Don’t Want to Lean In: Why Generational Differences Among Working Women Matter to Companies” and “The Working Mother of the Future: How Demographics Will Force Change for Women at Work,” or contact me directly. 

Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group
Workforce Strategies for the New Economy