June 2007 Vol. 6 No. 6
Works by Barbara Metzger
One of my clients got a very nice honor. Vintage IT Services was picked
as the #1 Best Places to Work in Austin in the small business category.
Congratulations to Steve Hanes and his team.
This past Friday the Austin Business Journal had
a pull out section of all the best places to work in Austin with categories
in the small, medium and large businesses. It not only had articles
on the first and second place winners in each category, but short descriptions
of the top 10 – 20 (depending on the category).
I have to admit, I was feeling really good when Steve included information
about MaxImize in his article. He was giving us credit for helping to
build a good team that has the ability to interact well with his clients
and each other. VERY NICE.
Reading this section brought about a couple of different thoughts.
5 out of 6 articles mentioned the process of hiring the right people
as a key to success and team.
It was not surprising to me how many of the companies mentioned how
important hiring the right team members was a strong element. One mentioned
an eight interview process, others just mentioned making sure the team
fit together. But it was evident there is a conscious effort and process
for getting good team members.
However, there was an article within the same section that was how
to play the political corporate games. It was recommending to not letting
any of your co-workers know anything personal about you as well as some
other strategic elements of never becoming friends with co-workers,
etc. Now, the article did have some good points on surviving and thriving
in the corporate environment.
What struck me was this was very different from the atmosphere described
by the top places to work. Many of them talked of outside activities
involving the whole team, or dog friendly work environments, or time
spent finding out what was happening in each others’ personal
lives. This is a very different picture than the political game strategy
Where do you want to work? It would seem to me that since a major portion
of our awake time is spent at work, it would even more important to
have a good fit for the team member and for the co-workers and company.
Or the flip side of that would be – to attract and keep good
team members, the work environment is becoming more and more important.
Do you have a system to help build a strong team??? We can help. Just
ask Steve Hanes.
To Learn More About Maximize contact Barbara@maxproductivity.com
Generational Workplace Woes: Geezers vs. Geeks
by Dr. Ira Wolfe
As a result of efforts to retain aging workers longer and to fill the
new jobs being created as well as replace retiring workers, the workforce
is becoming much more multigenerational. Today, we have four distinct
generations sharing the workplace: the "Traditional" older
workers, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y (also called
the "Millennials" or the "Net" generation.) This
means that the workplace will be increasingly characterized not just
by an aging workforce, but also by increased age diversity.
According to a survey by Lee Heckt Harrison,
more than 60% of employers say they are experiencing tension between
employees from different generations. The older generation has always
complained about the younger one, but, in the modern workplace, the
misunderstanding works both ways. Today, you might have a fresh college
graduate managing a person thirty, or even forty years older! It can
be difficult, on both sides, to handle the disparities of this reality.
I recently overheard the following discussion that summed up the problem.
Common conversation between "seasoned" workers is that "I
can't find young people to put in a good week's work anymore" (aka
- 60-hour work week). To that young Millenials reply: "I will work
60 hours if I have too!" What Gen Ys are really saying is "I'm
sorry it takes you 60 hours to complete in what takes me only 40 hours."
Gen Ys will work long and hard - they just don't want it to be a way
This generational "crowding" is making for some major conflict
and miscommunication in the workplace. That's because each generation
has its own distinct set of values, shaped by their unique social conditions,
political events, economic conditions, major crises and childhood experiences.
Each generation also reacts to the generation before them, and this
reaction becomes part of its own identity and defining characteristics.
These differences can lead to major misunderstandings between coworkers
raised in different eras.
Authors Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas have their own unique view
of this situation. They see the generation gap as being between what
they call the "geeks" (the younger, "digital" generations)
and the "geezers" (the older, "analog" generations.)
The analog world in which today's older generations grew up was primarily
linear. It rewarded specialization and experience, followed a mechanical
understanding of the world, and favored organizational hierarchy. The
digital world of the younger generations is nonlinear; it favors a flat
organizational structure and rewards the generalist with the beginner's
mind. Rather than a mechanical view of the world, it favors a more fluid
and changing "living systems" model. This is a major paradigm
shift that increasingly divides different generations in the workplace.
Managing this conflict, and finding ways to value the unique contributions
made by these four unique generations in the workforce, will be a challenge
for all businesses in the future.
Behavioral competency-based interviewing makes good business sense
and is a best practice. To learn how to identify competencies and conduct
effective behavioral interviews, email Barbara@maxproductivity.com
and please include your name, company, and best time to contact you.
Perfect Labor Storm Facts
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the following events will occur
during the month of JUNE 2007:
- One birth every................................... 7 seconds
- One death every.................................. 13 seconds
- One international migrant (net) every....... 27 seconds
- Net gain of one person every.................. 10 seconds
Birth rates show the waves of demographic changes since 1920. The following
"waves" contributed in large part to the impending Perfect
- Birth death: reduction of birthrates in the late 1920s and early
- Baby boom: 1946-1964
- Baby bust: 1965-1975
- Baby boom echo: late 1980s and 1990s
The year 2007 will see an increase in skilled worker shortages and
more competition. The result will be higher salaries, more training
and career advancement opportunities, and more flexible work cultures.
How prepared is your company to find skilled and dependable workers?
- The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently reported
that communication skills top the list of what employers look for
the most in employees and job candidates. Ironically, communication
skills also top the list of skills most
Perfect Labor Storm 2.0 is now available. Perfect Labor Storm 2.0
is the newly updated and revised 2007 edition of best-selling book first
published in 2005. Contact us to get this fact filled book. Barbara@maxproductivity.com
The featured article and labor storm facts are written by Ira S.
Wolfe, founder of Success Performance Solutions, and is distributed
here by MaxImize with permission. To read more about any of SPS
pre-employment assessment systems, go to or call 717.291.4640 or