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    11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2011 1:55 PM by JackieGold

    GenX employees and work ethic

    Newbie

      I own a consulting and training business and over the last few years have hired several university and college grads with little or no previous professional employment experience.  All have been women and I've had to deal with so many issues around work ethic it really blows me away!   Things like; personal texting while at work, going onto social networking sites for personal use ie Facebook, start time is 9:00 - coming into work 10-15 minutes late with a coffee they picked up at the drive thru and not seeming to "get it" that when you are late you dont stop at that drive thru, not understanding professional work attire - dressing way too sexy for work, putting "sexy" pics on business social networking sites.  WHAT is it with these young women!!  I've had to work through most of these issues with every one of them - thank goodness I am a woman as it seems to be easier coming from a woman.

       

      I have an orientation we go through that includes a written employee handbook with policies on all of these things - I went through the handbook and made it really specific and even included pics of what professional dress in our organziation looks like.  Wow.

       

      How do you deal with this? 

        • GenX employees and work ethic
          KathleenF Scout

          You need to write a social media corporate policy which should cover most of those issues.  Also, setting up your network to block those types of situations.  I would set personal policies, such as, no jeans, short skirts above the knee, no cellphones while punched in and so on are required of this job.  Write yourself a code of ethics for your personal business.  Have the employee sign it upon being hired. 

           

          It's very frustrating when I go into a business and an employee says "hold on a minute!" while they finish their text message.  Writing good policy and forcing the new employee to read and adhere to said policy is your first step.

           

          Kathleen

          • GenX employees and work ethic
            Newbie

            The generational divide --- whew!

            As a corporate trainer, I can share some thoughts with you.

            First ---- behavior without consequences WILL NOT CHANGE.

             

            You can tell them all day long, but until there is a consequence (positive or negative) attached to the action, you most likely won't see a change.

             

            Second --- this is the texting generation.  Social media and texting are driven the Gen X and Gen Y's.  Can you use that to your favor?  Is there any way for them to promote your company using those mediums instead of for personal use?

             

            Debra

            • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
              Graham Brown Wayfarer

              There's definitely value in recognizing that texting and social media usage is ingrained in the youngest generation in the workforce. I would definitely think about using your employees' interest in these mediums to promote your company. Most organizations have to twist employees' arms to contribute to company blogs, propose ideas for e-mail newsletters, etc.


              Allowing these new hires to contribute in these ways may alleviate their "need" to check social media sites. You may find you've got some great social media experts on your hands.

               

              Employee Awards and Recognition Items

              • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                LUCKIEST Guide

                Dawna, Where are you located?? Do you have an email address you want to share??

                How to deal with the problems you wrote about.

                MONEY. A jar that employees must add certain amounts for each issue

                and a small (token or free coffee etc) bonus, when the problems or issues are resolved.

                Glad this is woman to woman.

                • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                  Tracker

                  Hey Dawna,

                   

                  You will find that this sort of thing isn't along gender lines, males do the same sort of thing too.  It's also been creeping up in age range as more and more people learn to use Facebook, Twitter, and how to text that dinner is on instead of yell it.

                   

                  The suggestion of consequences for breaking rules is always a good one, as long as it's strictly enforced.  I might also add that maybe adding firm deadlines for work would be helpful.  If employees meet those deadlines and still text and such then maybe they can handle a greater workload?

                   

                  Good luck!

                   

                  ~Paul

                  • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                    JackieGold Scout

                    Yeah, creating a social media policy with your employees is crucial so they can be held to certain standards and they know what the rules are.

                     

                    I am actually "gen Y" and we are that much worse about this kind of stuff. While traditional standards of "business appropriate" are changing, so is the atmosphere in which business is conducted. Because more and more transactions are taking place online, it is becoming less important to maintain a very professional demeanor while in person. I think Gen Y people realize that - maybe too much.

                     

                    I actually wrote this blog entry about creating a social media policy with your employees that I'd like to think points out several important factors to consider.

                      • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                        Moderator Jim Ranger

                        Jackie,

                         

                        Your blog entry has some really sound advice that parallels a lot of things that I've tried to pass on to others over the years. Glad to see I wasn't too far off.

                         

                        Of course now that we GenXers are in our late 30's and early 40's, I had hoped we'd have had this stuff drilled into our heads by now!

                         

                        Live and learn and keep on learning.

                         

                        Jim

                          • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                            Moderator Jim Ranger

                            And expanding on this. What is a good general policy for using social media at work for non-business purposes? How much leeway can be given? Do the same rules as using the phone apply?

                             

                            Jim

                              • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                                JackieGold Scout

                                I would say it should pretty much be prohibited across the board, except maybe during lunch time / when the employee is not clocked in. There is pretty much no reasonable excuse as to why an employee NEEDS to check their personal facebook or twitter unless you are using it to log into your company's facebook. (I do this at my work - but most people don't need to).

                                 

                                Also be wary of Google Chat - people can chat with other people during work simply by having their Gmail accounts open and this can be a huge distraction.

                                 

                                Hope that helps!

                          • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                            LUCKIEST Guide

                            To continue along these of employees and work ethics

                            Think of these three words - FOCUS, FEEDBACK and FLEXIBILITY as your mantra.

                            Focus the ability to intensely concentrate on priorities.

                            Feedback is the reaction you will receive in response to your suggestions, your ideas, and your product.

                            Flexability is your capacity to be limber and responsive to the feedback and to changes.

                            Remember this is YOUR business and YOU need to make a profit.

                            You might have to fight the battle more than once to win it.

                            Good luck

                            • Re: GenX employees and work ethic
                              JackieGold Scout

                              Also, another additional resource that might help you: In case you're hiring young people for the sole purpose of them "managing your social media accounts," make sure that this isn't something you can do on your own. Save your money! Do you need to be hiring these people in the first place, especially if you feel that they are unprofessional in how they do business? I wrote this guide to social media marketing for adults who are new to the whole idea of using Facebook, Twitter, etc. for your business including several misconceptions that people have about social media.