Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What I Should Have Said About Management Trends

Yesterday I told you about my somewhat disconcerting interview with the Publishers Weekly reporter. Julie Cancio Harper suggested that I could write a post or two about the management insights that I didn't manage to share with the reporter. So here were my neglected talking points:

  • With the retirement of the Baby Boomers, experts predict a massive labor shortage that no amount of immigrants can fill. (The expert in particular that I'm citing is Lynn Guillory, VP of HR for Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company, who spoke a couple years ago at the Career Management Alliance conference on this topic.)

  • Thus, retaining the best employees will be of paramount importance. On average, it costs 150 to 250% of an employee's annual compensation to hire and train a replacement for them.

  • Employers will have to go to great lengths to attract and keep the Gen-Y and Millennial workers, who have in general experienced a great deal of hands-on parenting and expect their managers to be more caring and humanistic than the stereotypical "big-business" management protocol.

  • One of the biggest factors that causes employees to leave a job is not liking their boss.

  • Enter JIST's upcoming flagship business title, The PITA Principle: How to Work with and Avoid Becoming a Pain in the Ass. It talks about various categories of "PITAs" that you might work with and how to get along with them (and it capitalizes on a business book trend of a clever/silly hook by comparing these types of people to different types of PITA sandwiches, such as the Soggy PITA, a needy whiner).

  • The PITA Principle can also help train older managers to recognize and fix their own PITA characteristics, which makes them easier to work with, which in turn helps retain those precious Millennial workers.

  • In addition to the importance of retention, productivity continues to be a key concern for businesses. As they merge and downsize, fewer people are doing more of the work. And if their work environment is filled with PITAs, they'll waste a lot of time dealing with them and will be less productive.

That's my take on things. Being a Gen-Xer, I'm pretty much watching the fray from the sidelines and hoping those whippersnappers will reshape the workplace into something more friendly instead of just falling in line like we did.


Stevie said...

Eeeek! We fell in, no, no say it isn't so! We are just working the system, right...using whatever resource works best for us at any moment (be it work for someone else, start own business, return to school...whatever).

Lori Cates Hand said...

I'm being somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The general idea among the Gen-Y and Millennial bloggers is that Gen-X fell down on the job of making the work world a better place. But things HAVE changed. People really do think about things like work/life balance, family-friendly companies, flexible work arrangements, and more.