Michelle Ray 's Entries

6 blogs
  • 06 Oct 2018
    Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads in your life, either questioning yourself or finding it difficult to make choices, either personal or professional? Your capacity to move forward and take a leap of faith rests upon self-belief and taking charge of yourself. Developing a leadership mindset has no relation to one’s career or job title. It has everything to do with the manner in which we interpret situations and events and subsequently make decisions. i.e. the thoughts that drive actions and result in specific outcomes. We are constantly evaluating our current conditions; both consciously and unconsciously. Our perspectives regarding the circumstances in which we find ourselves today have been shaped by ideas and values learned in our formative years. Therefore, in order to develop a leadership mindset, it is important to acquire an acute sense of self-awareness…in other words, to better understand the origin of our thoughts. By expanding your level of awareness, you may discover that the lens you use in business and in life may not bear any relation to what is actually true, especially if previous “influencers” that shaped our world view as children, or young adults were for the most part, negative. In addition, this may provide an explanation for individuals experiencing inner conflict as well as difficulty shifting negative thoughts to positive. Ask yourself: “Do my thoughts help or impede my assessment of my present reality in order to move forward?” Once you become more cognizant of your history and “energy” behind your perceptions, you can begin tapping into your intuition more effectively. Humans possess an inner knowing, or “gut feeling”, although we may not choose to access it. As mentioned previously, our thoughts are driven by our deeply held beliefs, which manifest as attitudes that dictate outcomes that are evident in every facet of our lives. In order to take charge of yourself, it is apropos to contemplate the following definition of “mindset” as “a belief that orients the way we handle situations — the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do.” Equipped with the right mindset, the opportunity to “rise above” becomes less arduous. This applies to personal and professional setbacks…i.e. challenges of every description. This is not to suggest that unexpected, tragic circumstances would be less painful. Experiencing shock, heartache, or deep sorrow in the face of adversity or unanticipated events are natural emotions. Interestingly, research pertaining overcoming trauma suggests that humans possess an innate capacity to develop resilience. Consider the dictum: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Perhaps you have experienced being looked over for a job opportunity, or suddenly “dumped” in a relationship? Or, you have inadvertently found yourself as the patriarch or matriarch of the family when a loved one passed away? Although you felt a profound sense of loss, you rebounded and gained strength from the experience. Knowingly or unknowingly, you have honed a leadership mindset through a series of adversities. You have “led yourself” through challenging situations that invariably occur through the peaks and valley of life. As a result, you have already developed a degree of “bouncebackability” and can tap into your reservoir of resilience when confronted with the next test that life will inevitably bring. https://www.michelleray.com/
    150 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads in your life, either questioning yourself or finding it difficult to make choices, either personal or professional? Your capacity to move forward and take a leap of faith rests upon self-belief and taking charge of yourself. Developing a leadership mindset has no relation to one’s career or job title. It has everything to do with the manner in which we interpret situations and events and subsequently make decisions. i.e. the thoughts that drive actions and result in specific outcomes. We are constantly evaluating our current conditions; both consciously and unconsciously. Our perspectives regarding the circumstances in which we find ourselves today have been shaped by ideas and values learned in our formative years. Therefore, in order to develop a leadership mindset, it is important to acquire an acute sense of self-awareness…in other words, to better understand the origin of our thoughts. By expanding your level of awareness, you may discover that the lens you use in business and in life may not bear any relation to what is actually true, especially if previous “influencers” that shaped our world view as children, or young adults were for the most part, negative. In addition, this may provide an explanation for individuals experiencing inner conflict as well as difficulty shifting negative thoughts to positive. Ask yourself: “Do my thoughts help or impede my assessment of my present reality in order to move forward?” Once you become more cognizant of your history and “energy” behind your perceptions, you can begin tapping into your intuition more effectively. Humans possess an inner knowing, or “gut feeling”, although we may not choose to access it. As mentioned previously, our thoughts are driven by our deeply held beliefs, which manifest as attitudes that dictate outcomes that are evident in every facet of our lives. In order to take charge of yourself, it is apropos to contemplate the following definition of “mindset” as “a belief that orients the way we handle situations — the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do.” Equipped with the right mindset, the opportunity to “rise above” becomes less arduous. This applies to personal and professional setbacks…i.e. challenges of every description. This is not to suggest that unexpected, tragic circumstances would be less painful. Experiencing shock, heartache, or deep sorrow in the face of adversity or unanticipated events are natural emotions. Interestingly, research pertaining overcoming trauma suggests that humans possess an innate capacity to develop resilience. Consider the dictum: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Perhaps you have experienced being looked over for a job opportunity, or suddenly “dumped” in a relationship? Or, you have inadvertently found yourself as the patriarch or matriarch of the family when a loved one passed away? Although you felt a profound sense of loss, you rebounded and gained strength from the experience. Knowingly or unknowingly, you have honed a leadership mindset through a series of adversities. You have “led yourself” through challenging situations that invariably occur through the peaks and valley of life. As a result, you have already developed a degree of “bouncebackability” and can tap into your reservoir of resilience when confronted with the next test that life will inevitably bring. https://www.michelleray.com/
    Oct 06, 2018 150
  • 07 Sep 2018
    “It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position.   If you are looking for ideas to have more fun and  re-ignite your enthusiasm for your work, the first place to start is to assess your mindset…and willingness to do the following:   Accept new realities   There is no question that today’s workplaces are different to those of yesteryear. Many organizations are operating with a flatter, or in some cases, non-existent layers of management. Change is a constant and choices regarding how we work (and for whom) have never been greater. For example, we have more say regarding benefits, how we structure our day-to-day workflow and in many instances, we can avail ourselves to work opportunities that encourage a combination of play, greater flexibility, balance and wellness. In short, the more we accept and take advantage of these options, the more fun our work experiences can become.   Embrace Innovation   How do you perceive the advent of new technologies in your workplace? Are you excited by change…willing to try new ideas by adopting a fun approach to your work processes and systems? Business innovation provides endless opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently than any other time in history. Yet, many of us choose to resist implementing methodologies that can simplify our work and improve our time management capabilities. Examples abound of higher frustration and stress in the face of technological change. When we recoil from innovation, the greater our discontentment, disconnection and disengagement from our work and colleagues. Instead of resisting, consider the benefits that can come from embracing new approaches.   Shift Perspectives   Organizations are now more accountable for policies regarding gender, culture or age biases. As workforce demographics invariably skew younger and diversity continues to be encouraged and celebrated, leaders and teams can realize opportunities to enrich their respective work experiences. No matter how high tech enterprises become, nothing can replace the opportunity to build relationships, sustain meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that we forge at work.   Examples abound of organizations that have put fun into their vision and mission statements, Zappos being one of the most popular success stories. Enterprises that make fun a high priority are experiencing higher employee retention. People want to enjoy their work environment, have fun with their colleagues and view their workplace in a positive light. https://www.michelleray.com
    45 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • “It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position.   If you are looking for ideas to have more fun and  re-ignite your enthusiasm for your work, the first place to start is to assess your mindset…and willingness to do the following:   Accept new realities   There is no question that today’s workplaces are different to those of yesteryear. Many organizations are operating with a flatter, or in some cases, non-existent layers of management. Change is a constant and choices regarding how we work (and for whom) have never been greater. For example, we have more say regarding benefits, how we structure our day-to-day workflow and in many instances, we can avail ourselves to work opportunities that encourage a combination of play, greater flexibility, balance and wellness. In short, the more we accept and take advantage of these options, the more fun our work experiences can become.   Embrace Innovation   How do you perceive the advent of new technologies in your workplace? Are you excited by change…willing to try new ideas by adopting a fun approach to your work processes and systems? Business innovation provides endless opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently than any other time in history. Yet, many of us choose to resist implementing methodologies that can simplify our work and improve our time management capabilities. Examples abound of higher frustration and stress in the face of technological change. When we recoil from innovation, the greater our discontentment, disconnection and disengagement from our work and colleagues. Instead of resisting, consider the benefits that can come from embracing new approaches.   Shift Perspectives   Organizations are now more accountable for policies regarding gender, culture or age biases. As workforce demographics invariably skew younger and diversity continues to be encouraged and celebrated, leaders and teams can realize opportunities to enrich their respective work experiences. No matter how high tech enterprises become, nothing can replace the opportunity to build relationships, sustain meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that we forge at work.   Examples abound of organizations that have put fun into their vision and mission statements, Zappos being one of the most popular success stories. Enterprises that make fun a high priority are experiencing higher employee retention. People want to enjoy their work environment, have fun with their colleagues and view their workplace in a positive light. https://www.michelleray.com
    Sep 07, 2018 45
  • 16 Jul 2018
    Workplace surveys conducted by Manpower Inc. indicate that despite an economic slow-down, there has been a steady increase in the number of individuals who plan to look for new job opportunities. In 2010, the figure was 60%. In 2011, the estimate was 84%! As the year comes to a close, it will be interesting to note whether the trend continued, as well as predictions for 2012 and beyond. Whether the numbers remain consistent, the impact of workforce mobility and knowledge transfer on organizations cannot be understated. The most common reasons cited for leaving or thinking about leaving a job relate to overall job satisfaction, relationship with one’s immediate manager or supervisor and low morale. The cost of turnover will always be significant and on-going, despite economic conditions. Yet, while it is true that some aspects of an employee’s decision are outside of an employer’s control, the most neglected area of focus in my view relates to the intangible workplace motivators. The highest priority ought to be on building and sustaining outstanding workplace relationships. If employers paid greater attention to developing a deeper understanding of the make-up of their teams, sought to meaningfully improve communication; as well as a create more informal opportunities for people to connect and share ideas at work, a happier and more productive work atmosphere would ensue.  In a nutshell, organizations place an enormous focus on attracting talent. However, once on board, less attention is given to creating an environment where people want to stay and voluntarily contribute to the overall goals and objectives. In my experience working with businesses of every description, the reason many people become dissatisfied in their jobs is because being heard and acknowledged by management and co-workers is an ultimately lower priority than the work itself.  At all levels, everyone feels the pressure of managing their daily workload.  As a result, paying attention to the human element becomes neglected. I recently worked with a highway maintenance company, presenting on the topic of improving workplace communication. During their weekend retreat, people privately shared ideas to improve productivity by having a different set of tools available on the job that could cut road maintenance costs by one third in their area. Yet, their crew has no influence on the equipment purchasing decision.  From their perspective,  they feel that their hands-on experience could immediately benefit their employers’ productivity and profitability.  Meanwhile, the leadership team may have examined the business case for purchasing different equipment, although their findings or rationale isn’t apparent to the front line. Opening the lines of communication could make a significant difference. When organizations make the time to listen and create more opportunities for dialogue, miscommunication can be avoided, trust builds and relationships become stronger. In the absence of prioritizing greater connection between management and staff on a regular basis, the seed is planted for growing dissatisfaction in the workplace. Ultimately,  a negative outcome may result in a potential loss of talent and experience that is difficult to replace. https://www.michelleray.com
    86 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Workplace surveys conducted by Manpower Inc. indicate that despite an economic slow-down, there has been a steady increase in the number of individuals who plan to look for new job opportunities. In 2010, the figure was 60%. In 2011, the estimate was 84%! As the year comes to a close, it will be interesting to note whether the trend continued, as well as predictions for 2012 and beyond. Whether the numbers remain consistent, the impact of workforce mobility and knowledge transfer on organizations cannot be understated. The most common reasons cited for leaving or thinking about leaving a job relate to overall job satisfaction, relationship with one’s immediate manager or supervisor and low morale. The cost of turnover will always be significant and on-going, despite economic conditions. Yet, while it is true that some aspects of an employee’s decision are outside of an employer’s control, the most neglected area of focus in my view relates to the intangible workplace motivators. The highest priority ought to be on building and sustaining outstanding workplace relationships. If employers paid greater attention to developing a deeper understanding of the make-up of their teams, sought to meaningfully improve communication; as well as a create more informal opportunities for people to connect and share ideas at work, a happier and more productive work atmosphere would ensue.  In a nutshell, organizations place an enormous focus on attracting talent. However, once on board, less attention is given to creating an environment where people want to stay and voluntarily contribute to the overall goals and objectives. In my experience working with businesses of every description, the reason many people become dissatisfied in their jobs is because being heard and acknowledged by management and co-workers is an ultimately lower priority than the work itself.  At all levels, everyone feels the pressure of managing their daily workload.  As a result, paying attention to the human element becomes neglected. I recently worked with a highway maintenance company, presenting on the topic of improving workplace communication. During their weekend retreat, people privately shared ideas to improve productivity by having a different set of tools available on the job that could cut road maintenance costs by one third in their area. Yet, their crew has no influence on the equipment purchasing decision.  From their perspective,  they feel that their hands-on experience could immediately benefit their employers’ productivity and profitability.  Meanwhile, the leadership team may have examined the business case for purchasing different equipment, although their findings or rationale isn’t apparent to the front line. Opening the lines of communication could make a significant difference. When organizations make the time to listen and create more opportunities for dialogue, miscommunication can be avoided, trust builds and relationships become stronger. In the absence of prioritizing greater connection between management and staff on a regular basis, the seed is planted for growing dissatisfaction in the workplace. Ultimately,  a negative outcome may result in a potential loss of talent and experience that is difficult to replace. https://www.michelleray.com
    Jul 16, 2018 86
  • 20 Jun 2018
    “Who” a leader and “what” is leadership? There are many business books on the theory of leadership and the various models that evolved over the past fifty years regarding leadership in the traditional sense; i.e. being a leader meaning “the title”, generally associated with being in charge of others. A title on a business card or a placard on a desk or door does not automatically make someone a leader. It may give the impression of self-importance and achievement, however, the title alone is not enough. Neither is a job description that notes functions associated with managing people. Rather, it seems to me that there is a pre-requisite for being an effective leader of a team or within any organization. That is the ability to lead oneself first. Honing this specific talent is far more significant in the grand scheme of things, because human beings will progress further in their respective life paths by mastering the capacity to relate to and communicate with the vast array of personality types, cultures, genders and demographics that make up the human race. A business title conveying “leader” is no proof of having acquired this gift. Furthermore, one doesn’t have to be in a workplace to be a leader. A leader is someone who has grasped the ability to take charge of their thoughts, and consequently their actions, in any situation. A leader is someone who recognizes that character is the greatest test of true leadership. A leader is someone who is clear about their values and applies them on a regular basis. In other words, having values and living by one’s values are two distinctive propositions. This has very little to do with moving up the management ladder into a leadership role. https://www.michelleray.com
    80 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • “Who” a leader and “what” is leadership? There are many business books on the theory of leadership and the various models that evolved over the past fifty years regarding leadership in the traditional sense; i.e. being a leader meaning “the title”, generally associated with being in charge of others. A title on a business card or a placard on a desk or door does not automatically make someone a leader. It may give the impression of self-importance and achievement, however, the title alone is not enough. Neither is a job description that notes functions associated with managing people. Rather, it seems to me that there is a pre-requisite for being an effective leader of a team or within any organization. That is the ability to lead oneself first. Honing this specific talent is far more significant in the grand scheme of things, because human beings will progress further in their respective life paths by mastering the capacity to relate to and communicate with the vast array of personality types, cultures, genders and demographics that make up the human race. A business title conveying “leader” is no proof of having acquired this gift. Furthermore, one doesn’t have to be in a workplace to be a leader. A leader is someone who has grasped the ability to take charge of their thoughts, and consequently their actions, in any situation. A leader is someone who recognizes that character is the greatest test of true leadership. A leader is someone who is clear about their values and applies them on a regular basis. In other words, having values and living by one’s values are two distinctive propositions. This has very little to do with moving up the management ladder into a leadership role. https://www.michelleray.com
    Jun 20, 2018 80
  • 24 May 2018
    Have you ever thought of yourself not as a leader, but as the executive producer of a movie, and your workplace is the movie set? Every day you have a cast and crew show up and their job is to create a “blockbuster”… a smash hit, so you have more customers, and greater profitability and success.   “It’s not my job, I just work here.” and/or “It’s not my responsibility.”   As leaders, I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses in the world about people not taking responsibility and not being accountable for the end result. However, many people have told me that they are really confused about exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing at work. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to be communicating exactly what is supposed to be done. Others may be responsible for getting the work done, but you as the leader are ultimately responsible.   Have you ever considered “accountability extremes”? On the one hand, you’ve got people who take absolutely no ownership, no responsibility, get nothing done, and blame everybody else. On the other hand you’ve got people who can’t help themselves…they have to take responsibility for everything – even other people’s work when it has nothing to do with them!   I once had a sales rep named Jeff. He was an outstanding producer who handed in his sales reports to our administrators in an efficient and timely manner. However, he couldn’t help himself – he kept on interfering with their system! He wanted to manage the entire process, and as a result he ended up frustrating everybody, including himself. Therefore it is worthwhile remembering that in some instances, team members may not realize where accountability starts and ends. That’s why as a leader, it’s your responsibility to communicate the desired end result. You will be more effective when you can explain to people exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing; no matter how successful or unsuccessful they may ultimately be!   Why is it so difficult for leaders to discuss accountability? This is often due to the manner in which you deliver the message. If you can utilize positive communication more frequently, team members are able to recognize their overall contribution to the “big picture”, as well as to the team. As a result, they feel more empowered and in control of what they need to get done. Ultimately they have success because you have demonstrated trust in their ability to get the work done.   So, let’s sum this up: Giving people responsibility for their own success is the key to creating ownership. Accountability does not have to be communicated in the negative. Use positive language when you’re delegating responsibility. And it is worthwhile remembering that that the way you create the perception of the work that needs to be done is going to impact the way that other people view their responsibilities. It starts with how you see the world, and how you translate your reality to your team!   To learn more about increasing accountability in the workplace, WATCH and subscribe to Michelle Ray’s brand new Leadership Insights TV Series!
    66 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Have you ever thought of yourself not as a leader, but as the executive producer of a movie, and your workplace is the movie set? Every day you have a cast and crew show up and their job is to create a “blockbuster”… a smash hit, so you have more customers, and greater profitability and success.   “It’s not my job, I just work here.” and/or “It’s not my responsibility.”   As leaders, I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses in the world about people not taking responsibility and not being accountable for the end result. However, many people have told me that they are really confused about exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing at work. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to be communicating exactly what is supposed to be done. Others may be responsible for getting the work done, but you as the leader are ultimately responsible.   Have you ever considered “accountability extremes”? On the one hand, you’ve got people who take absolutely no ownership, no responsibility, get nothing done, and blame everybody else. On the other hand you’ve got people who can’t help themselves…they have to take responsibility for everything – even other people’s work when it has nothing to do with them!   I once had a sales rep named Jeff. He was an outstanding producer who handed in his sales reports to our administrators in an efficient and timely manner. However, he couldn’t help himself – he kept on interfering with their system! He wanted to manage the entire process, and as a result he ended up frustrating everybody, including himself. Therefore it is worthwhile remembering that in some instances, team members may not realize where accountability starts and ends. That’s why as a leader, it’s your responsibility to communicate the desired end result. You will be more effective when you can explain to people exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing; no matter how successful or unsuccessful they may ultimately be!   Why is it so difficult for leaders to discuss accountability? This is often due to the manner in which you deliver the message. If you can utilize positive communication more frequently, team members are able to recognize their overall contribution to the “big picture”, as well as to the team. As a result, they feel more empowered and in control of what they need to get done. Ultimately they have success because you have demonstrated trust in their ability to get the work done.   So, let’s sum this up: Giving people responsibility for their own success is the key to creating ownership. Accountability does not have to be communicated in the negative. Use positive language when you’re delegating responsibility. And it is worthwhile remembering that that the way you create the perception of the work that needs to be done is going to impact the way that other people view their responsibilities. It starts with how you see the world, and how you translate your reality to your team!   To learn more about increasing accountability in the workplace, WATCH and subscribe to Michelle Ray’s brand new Leadership Insights TV Series!
    May 24, 2018 66
  • 19 Apr 2018
    Admit it. Your personal biases regarding the millennials have come up in professional conversations. You couldn’t help yourself. (Or, could you?) Perhaps you were triggered by a comment, behavior or situation at work. Or you may be oblivious to the fact that the disparaging lens you use to view them, or indeed any team member that is different to you, is reflecting on your leadership style and your business. Whether you are reacting consciously or unconsciously, the time has come to stop bashing millennials. Some may argue that perception is reality when it comes to opinions and experiences regarding interactions with millennials. Nonetheless, there are compelling reasons to strongly counter this line of reasoning: The economic cost to your employer brand Your employer brand conveys your organization’s identity in the eyes of prospective talent. Therefore, to label an entire demographic who happened to be born in a specific time frame as “lazy, entitled, selfish, arrogant, narcissistic, self-absorbed, impatient”, etc. (terms often used to describe millennials) does nothing to advance your reputation and appeal to a sought-after generation of workers. Competition for their skills has never been greater, especially when you realize that millennials now represent the largest cohort of the workforce in North America. By 2025, they will represent three-quarters of the global workforce. Millennial bashing, either overtly or covertly, will repel them from interviewing with your enterprise, no matter how attractive the compensation and benefits. Can your organization afford to “dismiss” opportunities to recruit millennials when there is compelling evidence of a shortage of professionals, knowledge workers and those with bachelor (or higher) degrees? Many industry sectors struggle with heightened demand and diminishing supply of available talent. Employer biases only serve to add undue pressure by limiting the ability to efficiently manage expenses allocated to your recruitment and employer brand strategy. The negative impact on your workplace culture In addition to the external business consequences of stereotyping millennials, there are also internal ramifications, for example, the destabilization of your workplace culture. Jessica Kriegel, author of Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes, uncovered “countless injustices” emanating from categorizing workers by specific demographic groups. Consider this example: Mark, a client I coach, is a brilliant sales person for a company in the competitive agricultural business of manufacturing, supplying and storing grain. He has a deep understanding of the industry as a third generation farmer, acquiring first-hand experience in his family’s business. Mark has a degree in agricultural engineering, possessing extensive knowledge regarding current and future trends in his industry. He has many business contacts and is highly respected by his co-workers and clients. As a millennial, however, Mark feels that he does not have the complete trust of his employer when it comes to closing lucrative six or seven figure deals. The owner of the company will often step in to the final phases of the selling process, isolating Mark from the conversation and client negotiations. Other non-millennial members of sales team have not experienced the same level of intervention. Although Mark has expressed his concerns regarding age discrimination, his employer dismisses Mark’s disquietude, downplaying his assessment of the situation. As a result, Mark is now questioning whether he will remain with the company. Many millennials are voicing similar sentiments to Mark’s. Kriegel’s research indicates that millennials are unfairly portrayed and have been singled out more than any other group in today’s workforce. Millennial bashing not only perpetuates disharmony between co-workers and managers, it may serve as grounds for litigation, with ramifications far greater than HR departments can manage. Preserving a healthy, congenial workplace culture ought to be a top organizational priority, with leadership setting the example of exemplary attitudes and behaviours regarding their workforce. Limiting opportunities for business growth Marketing to millennials is a multi-trillion dollar proposition ($1.3 trillion in consumer spending in the US alone). If your business is not positioned to promote and sell your services to millennials, to say you are missing out is an understatement. This year is predicted to be the biggest in terms of millennial spending power, yet many retailers are failing to keep up and cash in on the massive opportunities and on-line alternatives sought by these savvy consumers. We’ve recently witnessed the demise of renowned retail brands in the new economy due to their inability to stay ahead of the technology curve and grasp new customer realities. Your business leaders can avoid their mistakes by first adopting a mindset that embraces open-mindedness and a willingness to change obsolete marketing habits. It is worthwhile to keep in mind the extent to which millennials use their devices to make small and big-ticket purchases, fully expecting to find products and services instantly. They are especially attracted to an authentic experience and connection as a customer. In studies conducted by Elite Daily and Crowd Twist, researchers found that 62 percent of Millennials are more loyal to brands that engage directly with customers on social media, debunking the notion that millennials have little interest in building allegiances and long-term customer relationships. Businesses need to come to terms with the fact that millennials are here to stay – they are our customers, our employees and the business leaders of the future. When companies allow biases to cloud their view and stereotype a whole segment of the population, not only do talented employees feel the brunt, but eventually, organizations themselves will struggle as a result of myopic, close-minded attitudes. The way millennials work and play may seem foreign to some, but we need to remember that but we need to remember that underneath the myopic labels, such as “entitled” or “impatient” applied to this generation, they possess values we admire in our employees as a whole. Many are hard workers who don’t deserve to be pigeonholed. Leaders can either choose to have an open mind, embrace millennials and help them realize their full potential or get left behind and miss out on opportunities to work with and learn from them. https://www.michelleray.com
    74 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Admit it. Your personal biases regarding the millennials have come up in professional conversations. You couldn’t help yourself. (Or, could you?) Perhaps you were triggered by a comment, behavior or situation at work. Or you may be oblivious to the fact that the disparaging lens you use to view them, or indeed any team member that is different to you, is reflecting on your leadership style and your business. Whether you are reacting consciously or unconsciously, the time has come to stop bashing millennials. Some may argue that perception is reality when it comes to opinions and experiences regarding interactions with millennials. Nonetheless, there are compelling reasons to strongly counter this line of reasoning: The economic cost to your employer brand Your employer brand conveys your organization’s identity in the eyes of prospective talent. Therefore, to label an entire demographic who happened to be born in a specific time frame as “lazy, entitled, selfish, arrogant, narcissistic, self-absorbed, impatient”, etc. (terms often used to describe millennials) does nothing to advance your reputation and appeal to a sought-after generation of workers. Competition for their skills has never been greater, especially when you realize that millennials now represent the largest cohort of the workforce in North America. By 2025, they will represent three-quarters of the global workforce. Millennial bashing, either overtly or covertly, will repel them from interviewing with your enterprise, no matter how attractive the compensation and benefits. Can your organization afford to “dismiss” opportunities to recruit millennials when there is compelling evidence of a shortage of professionals, knowledge workers and those with bachelor (or higher) degrees? Many industry sectors struggle with heightened demand and diminishing supply of available talent. Employer biases only serve to add undue pressure by limiting the ability to efficiently manage expenses allocated to your recruitment and employer brand strategy. The negative impact on your workplace culture In addition to the external business consequences of stereotyping millennials, there are also internal ramifications, for example, the destabilization of your workplace culture. Jessica Kriegel, author of Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes, uncovered “countless injustices” emanating from categorizing workers by specific demographic groups. Consider this example: Mark, a client I coach, is a brilliant sales person for a company in the competitive agricultural business of manufacturing, supplying and storing grain. He has a deep understanding of the industry as a third generation farmer, acquiring first-hand experience in his family’s business. Mark has a degree in agricultural engineering, possessing extensive knowledge regarding current and future trends in his industry. He has many business contacts and is highly respected by his co-workers and clients. As a millennial, however, Mark feels that he does not have the complete trust of his employer when it comes to closing lucrative six or seven figure deals. The owner of the company will often step in to the final phases of the selling process, isolating Mark from the conversation and client negotiations. Other non-millennial members of sales team have not experienced the same level of intervention. Although Mark has expressed his concerns regarding age discrimination, his employer dismisses Mark’s disquietude, downplaying his assessment of the situation. As a result, Mark is now questioning whether he will remain with the company. Many millennials are voicing similar sentiments to Mark’s. Kriegel’s research indicates that millennials are unfairly portrayed and have been singled out more than any other group in today’s workforce. Millennial bashing not only perpetuates disharmony between co-workers and managers, it may serve as grounds for litigation, with ramifications far greater than HR departments can manage. Preserving a healthy, congenial workplace culture ought to be a top organizational priority, with leadership setting the example of exemplary attitudes and behaviours regarding their workforce. Limiting opportunities for business growth Marketing to millennials is a multi-trillion dollar proposition ($1.3 trillion in consumer spending in the US alone). If your business is not positioned to promote and sell your services to millennials, to say you are missing out is an understatement. This year is predicted to be the biggest in terms of millennial spending power, yet many retailers are failing to keep up and cash in on the massive opportunities and on-line alternatives sought by these savvy consumers. We’ve recently witnessed the demise of renowned retail brands in the new economy due to their inability to stay ahead of the technology curve and grasp new customer realities. Your business leaders can avoid their mistakes by first adopting a mindset that embraces open-mindedness and a willingness to change obsolete marketing habits. It is worthwhile to keep in mind the extent to which millennials use their devices to make small and big-ticket purchases, fully expecting to find products and services instantly. They are especially attracted to an authentic experience and connection as a customer. In studies conducted by Elite Daily and Crowd Twist, researchers found that 62 percent of Millennials are more loyal to brands that engage directly with customers on social media, debunking the notion that millennials have little interest in building allegiances and long-term customer relationships. Businesses need to come to terms with the fact that millennials are here to stay – they are our customers, our employees and the business leaders of the future. When companies allow biases to cloud their view and stereotype a whole segment of the population, not only do talented employees feel the brunt, but eventually, organizations themselves will struggle as a result of myopic, close-minded attitudes. The way millennials work and play may seem foreign to some, but we need to remember that but we need to remember that underneath the myopic labels, such as “entitled” or “impatient” applied to this generation, they possess values we admire in our employees as a whole. Many are hard workers who don’t deserve to be pigeonholed. Leaders can either choose to have an open mind, embrace millennials and help them realize their full potential or get left behind and miss out on opportunities to work with and learn from them. https://www.michelleray.com
    Apr 19, 2018 74