Monday, April 26, 2010

Mould Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z into a Safe Team.

What can Baby Boomers and Gen X pass onto Gen Y and Z to help improve workplace safety and are they listening? And what can Gen Y teach baby boomers?

Sometimes it’s a challenge to decide which generation you slot into and where your co-workers slot into the workforce as well. Baby Boomers post war babies are now middle age and entering senior years. In the economy, many are now retiring and leaving the labour force. Gen X is the generation born after the baby boom ended ranging from 1961 to the 1981. Then Gen Y applies to those born in between the dates of 1982 and June 1995, followed by Generation Z people born between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s.

One generation of employees exhibits maturity and steadfast loyalty, following the safety rules onsite. Meanwhile the workers of a younger generation who show brilliance and application have an exit strategy if boredom or dissatisfaction sets in, and are less likely to follow the safety rules.

Generation Y and Z have been a product of the self-esteem movement that baby boomers and Gen X did not have. Some of the baby boomers may have instilled it when they became parents to their children, who are now the same age group of workers they are experiencing challenges with.

Generally, it is the baby boomers and Gen X managing the safety of the site and trying to instill it in these younger workers. Every body responds to praise, although some people ‘shove’ it off as part of the job and not recognize a compliment. However, it is still important to give praise when it’s due. A manager, who can work this way, will be shown respect from others.

Often face to face communication hasn’t been established at a satisfactory level with the Gen Y’s and Z’s because of the computer age, mobile phones and other technology that is part of today’s society. However, when communicating safety issues, a good solution is to acknowledge at the commencement of a meeting or training that in their personal life text messages, language and modern methods of technological communication is great, but in their work life they need to use commonly understood communication which is either face to face or written.

This is acknowledging the differences that people are now experiencing and in essence showing some form of respect for that, but moulding the work force together as a team.

A manager who invites the members for input into conversations answering their queries and explaining some of the reasons behind the safety issues, helps to make them feel involved and creates the camaraderie and respect which some may have not experienced.

Teaching anything technical is still paramount and after explaining something to them, get them to demonstrate with ‘hand’s on learning and coach them through the process to get them involved.

Individual coaching of a device is another way to teach, as they want to learn, even if bravado is the face they showing. Gen Y and Z’s in spite of everything want to achieve and receive praise for a job well done and self respect is sometimes a missing key to their former learning.

Manage a young worker every single day and think of yourself as a coach. Check in and help prioritise, teach tricks, and steer their path as they want mentoring, teamwork and responsibility. Just be sure to give them work that is challenging enough to them to warrant daily input and paint a picture of when they mastered this task for a set time, there is something else they can work to achieve.

Baby boomers and Gen X’s need to realise the younger employees’ maybe short-term workers. One of the most notable characteristics is that they will switch jobs over the course of their careers more than any generation before them. Share their future in the company so they can understand there is a career path and you are likely to entice them to stay longer.

Understand they are not like your generation and never will be. Also a great reminder is that it was adults that started this technological revolution and this younger generation are the by-product. It’s not their fault and it is the evolution of society.

On the flip side the Gen Y and Z’s can teach others how to use technology. It has been and remains an integral part of their daily lives. With a whole generation addicted to it, you can’t ignore it and baby boomer lifestyle is not going to dominate the office forever. So start up conversation and be brave enough to ask for help and in lay-man’s language. Generally, they will be happy to be the teacher.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Workplace Bullying Television interview

Workplace Bullying has hit NZ news.

Here is my TVNZ interview.
Click on the link and check what I had to say.

Workplace Bullying affects by Self Esteem

Self Esteem and Bullying Affects Workplace Performance

In the land of tall poppies, it appears self esteem issues has raised its ugly head in our professional life in the work environment.

Additionally, during this ‘r’ time, as people and businesses are facing work redundancies, loss of business and other factors, people need to concentrate to remain confident in their own abilities as they and refocus their future. Albeit, they need to remind themselves they did not cause the recession and maintain their level of high esteem as they seek positive solutions during this time of challenge, through motivation and a positive attitude.

With NZ’s present suicide rates high and our steady decline of personal responsibility, sense of achievement and purpose, esteem is also affecting the professional lives of New Zealanders.

Human nature wants acceptance and appreciation in relationships which results in people ‘feeling good’. Unfortunately many people have not learnt an optimistic way to establish and create this and negative soul destroying bullying type of relationships are formed.

If it is un-encouraging at home, it filters to school and eventually into our workplaces It shows up as negativity, underperformance, bulling and other under achieving behaviour that is wasting the wages the employee is being paid and those they influence.

Additionally, a person who is bullying wants to feel good, be recognized and powerful at no matter what cost. They do it at the expense of another employee which accounts for two employees not working at their full potential.

Bullies have low self esteem. They may not portray that, but inside there is a person who wants to be accepted and loved, who doesn’t know any other way and so they become very clever. They find a vulnerable spot of a person and wedge their thought and ideas onto the person subtly and skillfully, often without the awareness by the second party it is taking place. People who once had confidence often may not realise what is occurring, except whereas once they felt confident in themselves and okay, they are now losing or have lost their confidence and feeling inadequate and dreading going to work.

In most cases, once a person realises they are being bullied, they usually seek resolution with the appropriate department heads or boss. Often this does not occur except further analysis and examination of the bullying situation, which re-enforces the bully’s power and has the opposite affect on the victim. Consequently they leave and the bully is waiting for its next prey.

If every few months you require a replacement employee in a certain department, it could be indicative there is a bully around who displays their destructive behaviour until either the new replacement is manipulated or leaves.

Some symptoms of low esteem

1. Lacking coincidence to learn, make sales or try a new role
2. Negative attitude, complaining and criticising others.
3. Overbearing or autocratic team player
4. Focuses on others problems rather than being responsible for their own
5. Quiet, shy employees who lack confidence
6. Egotistical employee who belittles bullies others

With over forty workshops during the past three years, one of the biggest learning curve for majority of people has been around the issue of self-esteem and unfortunately the most consistent bullying is done by women to women. However, once identified the problem has been half solved with additional counseling sought to re-establish the confidence of the person on the receiving end of the bullying and educate them that if it was not them it would be another person.

On the upside is high esteem. People who establish win/win supportive relationships where they help others, offer advice when asked, set goals are willing to learn, team players who generally help others but not at their own expense.

These people can become employees involved in mentor /mentee relationship and can assist educate them to be empowered, which is the single biggest factor that any human can do for another.

In homes, schools and in the community and workplaces, to create a new psyche in New Zealand, education is needed to improve the low esteem level of many New Zealanders.

Not a job to be taken lightly, for those whose self esteem is intact it may well be because the influence of people in their past.

Albeit a family member, sports coach, friends, strangers or managers who have what I phase ‘shoulder-tapped’ others to have the confidence to learn and succeed, are effectively angels or change agents in disguise. They encourage people to try something new which boosts their esteem and kick starts them to live life positively.

Bullying creates self esteem challenges

Bullying create Self Esteem Challenges

Janice Davies – Attitude Specialist

Feeling powerful is one of the characteristics of bullies. They feel great when they see another person cringe after they have challenged them either verbally, emotionally or physically and this can even stretch to spiritually.

Bullies use their actions in these ways to make themselves feel good. The other party
feels intimidated, threatened or other negative ways. They will succumb to the
demands of the bully to keep the peace and stop the present teasing or antagonism. This leaves them feeling un-empowered, guilty, uncomfortable, angry and other negative emotions.

Bullies don’t care how you feel, they just care that they get their way. Bullies are only concerned about their own feelings and they’re false sense of power.

You’ll find bullies in personal or professional lives. They can be the boss, co-worker, customer or in one’s personal life, the parent, partner or at school, the children causing the fights, or in today’s society sending the threatening text or email.

Bullies are people who have not learnt in their life about how to create good relationships. In the first five to seven years of our life, people’s values about life and ‘how it works’ are formed. If they’ve experienced challenging negative relationships, that’s all they know. They don’t know how to express themselves, work in a good team, show love and care for other people without playing verbal, emotional or physical games.

Bullies are people who have low self esteem and to make them feel good, need power over other people. This creates negative relationships at work and home life. However the person who is being bullied also has low self esteem. This creates a lose/lose type of relationship. Both people have not learnt interpersonal skills and personal development.

Until one person learns how to interact assertively, the bullying continues. Once the other party starts to learn techniques to empower themselves, the relationship starts to change.
To the disgust and anguish or anger of the bully, the other person they once bullied doesn’t react in the same way. The bully will continue trying the same techniques that once got them the reaction and power they wanted. If the person succumbs to the pressure and returns to their old behaviour, the bully has won. This is the recurring patterns in relationships at work and home.

The answer for the person who is being bullied is to un-entangle themselves from this power playing and negative style relationship and move forward in their life. In a work situation it can be as drastic as changing jobs, which many people do. In personal life it can create the same result of leaving relationships, unless both parties are willing to learn together with guidance how to create a positive life.

In either of the above situations, the learning person of the relationship starts to boost their self esteem and overcomes their self doubt learning to feel good about themselves. This is what life’s challenges are for, to prompt people to learn skills to overcome their hardships. Any negative feeling or emotion is an indication that something is not right and needs to be addressed. Sometimes there’s a lot of this negativity and the key is to ‘chip’ away slowly at the challenges. They need to learn to move forward in their life, with more positive thoughts and goals to use their gifts and passions to create their dream life for themselves. It’s everyone’s challenge and some people have mastered the technique and others don’t try.

It’s important for the person learning, to continue their personal growth, coaching or counseling to ensure they have an understanding about their past. It’s also important for this person not to feel guilty and forgive themselves so they can move forward positively in life.

In the work place I hold my Dealing with People and Tricky Situations public and in-house workshops and have Ebooks and manuals which help people understand their situation and empower them with skills to move forward. All the information in these products relate to both personal and professional life. Additionally, my Attitude Training and Online Success Coaching courses all assist and teach people skills to success in their personal and professional life.