Discover more from How to Lead Everybody (with their permission)
"Hey, you kids—get off my lawn!"
With every generation, the incoming cohort seems to upset the established professionals.
The Boomers were “a bunch of hippies.”
Gen-X were “cynical slackers.”
Millennials “needed participation trophies for everything.”
The generalizations and tropes have continued with every generation.
As we are onboarding the first few years of “Zoomers” or “Gen-Zers” (or whatever we might eventually settle on calling them), we still see some of these cohort effects.
Ideally, hire people you’d like to keep seeing in your workplace. Pick people who are a good fit for the existing corporate culture, or people who will be able to adapt to it well.
Or pick people who will change your corporate culture for the better. Many diversity and inclusion initiatives have a focus like this, since forward-thinking leaders know that the future includes bigger roles for people from historically under-represented groups.
Avoid hiring people who are not going to fit in with the current or evolving corporate culture. They won’t stay, and they might leave you in a lurch when they give notice. Or they might cause disruptions and morale problems among their coworkers, which might lead to some of them leaving you in a lurch when they give notice.
Too many people hire new staffers primarily based on the skills on their resume. Yes, skills are necessary for these jobs. But in most businesses, you are better off hiring a smart and highly-motivated team-player who can be trained than you are hiring an already-skilled professional who doesn’t work or play well with others.
Look at your new hires in terms of what they bring to make the work environment a better place, not just what they can do. With each generation, the expectation that people will change jobs multiple times in their careers has increased. The World-War-II generation often stayed at the same company from “new-hire to retire.” With each generation, long-term retention has become a greater challenge. So, look to hire people who will feel welcome, respected, included, and appreciated in your company. They are more likely to stay. And work to make your workplace more welcoming, respectful, inclusive, and appreciative for all of the people who choose to work there.
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