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How to Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Talent

soft_skillsBeloit College recently published their eleventh annual Mindset List about this year’s crop of incoming freshmen. Check it out to understand the perspective of the Class of 2012.

For example, Jay Leno has always been the host of The Tonight Show for this group. Bring up Johnny Carson only if you’re prepared to explain who he was!

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Putting it into con-text

We have a friend who thinks they lack social skills. He believes they’re so busy texting that they’ve never developed the ability to communication personally.

We disagree – we think they’re very social. A generation before, we e-mailed or called someone on their cell phone instead of texting. In our mind, the only difference is the medium used.

We wanted to dig a little deeper to fully understand the perceptions of young people in their late teens and early twenties. After all, they’re the ones who will be coming to us for employment in the near future.

The Media Center at the American Press Institute calls this group of people the “Content Generation” – they use text, videos, and photos (often generated from their cell phones) to connect and inform.

Understanding the paradigm

They have witnessed September 11, corporate scandals, mass layoffs, sweat shops, the burst of the dot.com bubble, and now the subprime mortgage crisis.

When they think of the future, they realize that they will have to fund their own retirement while they start and raise a family. Since their parents are older than previous generations, they will also likely have to care for them at some point in their lives.

The workplace for the next generation

All of these things impact the jobs they will choose. They don’t expect to stay at the same company for their entire career. They won’t necessarily take the job that pays the most either – they’re looking for more than money.

This generation grew up with Tom Peters and the idea of Me, Inc. They understand personal branding and seek lifelong employability. So two of the most important components of a good job are:

  • Personal and professional growth – They want a job that helps them develop skills that will be valuable in their career and at home.
  • Work – life balance – They want a job that allows them to enjoy their lives now. They’re not willing to wait until they retire to “live”.

They want to work for people in a company that truly values its employees. These people live the values they talk about. They follow through on what they say. They’re authentic.

For example, if you say you’re “green”, you better be green. You recycle. You use energy-efficient light bulbs. You work to reduce paper use. And that’s just the start!

We admire them because they’ve figured out some important things already that we didn’t have worked out at their age. They have a lot of potential. Time will tell if they live up to it.

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Next time, with the Democratic Convention wrapping up, we’ll talk about donkeys. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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The Action Faction … They Get Traction!

By Bigg Success Staff
01-09-08

Life Skills

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Planning is certainly important to set your direction. Analysis is necessary, but a lot of people take it too far. At some point, you just have to do it.

A recent post, by the great Tom Peters, entitled Don’t Know Where You’re Going? So What?  deserves your attention.

In the post, he talks about O.O.D.A. loops – a concept developed by United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. OODA is an acronym for:

 Observe
 Orient
 Decide
 Act

Boyd contends that a military advantage can be gained if you work through this loop faster than your adversary. In today’s rapidly changing world, this concept applies to you as well.

Get in the loop!
The four processes in Boyd’s model are overlapping and interacting. That’s why you gain an advantage by getting in the loop.

As you move through the loop, you constantly receive new information. Feedback that you don’t get if you never act. You’re able to use that feedback to adapt. And that’s what gives you an advantage – you know things that the “analyzers” haven’t discovered.

You can’t know everything before you make a decision. You can conduct surveys, interviews, focus groups, or any number of other things. But they’re all speculative … conjecture … hypothesis.

When you take action, you get real facts. Hard evidence. Things you only get by taking action.

Step up to the plate!
Spring training for the upcoming baseball season is just around the corner. So we couldn’t resist a baseball analogy!

Nothing happens until you step up to the plate. Now, when you’re at bat, you might strike out – or you might hit a home run! The greatest home run hitters in history were usually also the kings of strike outs.

That’s the point – by taking action, you won’t always succeed. However you will learn from your mistakes, won’t you? The most successful people have usually fallen flat on their face a time or two. That’s part of the process.

So get in the action faction and you’ll get traction!  Do something – even if it’s wrong. Fail forward; learn from your mistakes. Adapt. Then move on. You’re more likely to meet with bigg success!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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