Part 2: How to deal effectively with the M-Generation

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Part 2: How to deal effectively with the M-Generation

In Part One of this series, we gave some general behavioral insights into the M-Generation, the people born between 1982-2000, who are currently entering the work place. In this article, we will look at the common characteristics that further define this generation and how to effectively deal with them.

As Baby Boomers and GenXers, our parents invariably worked hard and often long hours to provide us a better life. Parental involvement was limited, and our parents trusted us to our teachers and coaches, pastors and Sunday school teachers.

Parents came to ballgames, plays and special events. We knew that if the principal or teacher called our folks because of our unruly behavior during or even after school, we would suffer the consequences, and, yes, there would be some parental involvement at that juncture! This parental involvement did not include blaming any one else for our misdeeds. We were expected to accept responsibility for our behavior or accept the consequence.

Enter the “Helicopter Parent”

However, in the last 30 years, we have seen a major shift in the parental role as parents have become more involved socially and educationally with their children.  As a result of this era of “parents being the child’s friend”, the parent is no longer in a role of authority in their children’s eyes.

Millenials became their parents’ “colleagues” and “associates”, and with the proliferation of the cell phone, the kids were never far from the “nest” of the parents. So, enters the “helicopter” parent, and the parents, in many cases, enjoy this relationship because psychologist say it “gives them more meaningful lives”  and therefore they don’t choose to or want to “push the child out of the nest.”

The Millennials are fine with this because they are not seeking or striving for independence in many cases. Educators and others have observed this trend for years. Yes, it is the M-Generation that chose to live in their parent’s basements as long as possible while finding themselves and their calling whereas the Baby Boomers fought for and sought early independence from their parents the Millennials prefer the security of the nest.

Teachers, and counselors in some cases, have appreciated more parental involvement, if it was not “too much”. Employers, on the other hand, frankly have little to no interest in parents “helicoptering” their Millennial employees.

“Sadly, it is increasingly common for employers to receive phone calls from a parent wanting to discuss problems or a disappointment their (adult) child has had at work says.” Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman, authors of The M- Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” (Harper Collins, 2010).

Employers have even reported that Millenials have told them they have asked their “Mom or Dad as their colleague” to review their work or even do it for them. Just like they did in school and sadly, in this author’s opinion, many parents do so. These same parents maintain even more control of the M-Generation often by paying their bills, buying them cars, food or clothes and taking care of their children because after all these children are the “grandchildren” the Boomers and Gen-Xers always wanted.

Lancaster and Stillman note that one of the bigger surprises experienced in the work place is when the new hire millennial shares some feedback from a parent, who happens to be a senior vice president at a similar company. This feedback about how the parent could do things better, if they were in charge, is not solicited or appreciated by the employer.

Simply, the M-Generation view their parents as valuable resources whose counsel and input will be as vital for their work life as it was when they were students. When you hire a millennial, you will get the parents as part of the bargain, whether you like it or not.

Initially, I thought this was hyperbole or outrageous complaining until I actually observed such behavior from a member of my own extended family. Since I left home at age 17 and paid my way through college, I found this enabling behavior to be an antithesis to my idea of maturity, healthy self-reliance, and productivity.  I would dare to say that much of society feels the same way. But then, apparently there are a lot of helicopter parents who do not.

However, based on my own observations and research, I recommend that you forget about trying to change this perspective, or debate with the new hire (or their parents). Whether this perspective and behavior is appropriate, healthy, or mature is irrelevant to them. The reality is you must accept the fact that this “parental helicoptering” and the M-Generation’s social behaviors are now at least 20 years into solidification, and you are not likely to change that perspective anytime soon.

There are strategies, however, that can be deployed to deal with this M-Generation behavior. One is to articulate and clearly establish boundaries up front in the working relationship regarding your feelings about parental involvement.

For example, personnel records, including performance reviews, are generally considered organizationally confidential and are not open for discussion with anyone other than the employee and her supervisors. This is a distinct and most appropriate boundary that you should clarify to a new hire in case his parent wants to explore his child’s experience at your company.

However, some researchers say it might also help to understand the close relationship Millenials have with their parents by viewing it the same way they do – as an asset when it comes to “reflection” on work place issues.

Remember these Millennials are products of parental engagement. They have been sharing and processing their experiences with their parents from the earliest of ages.

If your new M-Generation employees seemingly have this kind of relationship with their parents, encourage them to involve their parents in reflection on their profession, roles, responsibilities and chosen vocation. Do not, however, allow them to think that you and the parents will be having this kind of relationship.

Remember that Millennials don’t readily grasp the concept of confidentiality, especially in conversation with their parents. Therefore, it is important to provide them clearly articulated and well-defined guidelines on what kind of information is inappropriate for such conversations.

Lancaster and Stillman note that a Millennial’s relationship with his parents is the template for interaction with other older adults and authority figures.

If you can objectively observe or ascertain from his comments how a Millennial interacts with his parents, you may uncover clues on how he hopes to relate to you as an older colleague.

If your new hire sees his parents as a perpetually available resource, he may expect the same from you. If he is open to their counsel and coaching, he may readily accept the same from you as his mentor.

Accept the fact that you will have to spend extra time and attention on the Millennials, which can be burdensome at times. However their enthusiasm for your input may leave you feeling more gratified than grumpy.

Next: The single greatest complaint about Milleninals from employers

Sources: The M- Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Harper Collins, 2010)

PWC.Com – Millennials in the Work Place – Reshaping the World https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/assets/reshaping-the-workplace.pdf

 

TOTAL SCREEN RECORDER – A software we can highly recommend

A SOFTWARE WE CAN HIGHLY RECOMMEND –

We present our “Golden Eagle Award” for a quality product

As a consultant in the field of crisis and emergency planning and management, a field where we build, develop and record numerous webinars, training and e-learning packages and videos, I am always looking for easier and better ways to develop videos and webinars.

I have searched and used a number of software packages over the years; recently when I had the time to do additional research for an “easy to use product” to capture webinars on screen I happened upon “Total Screen Recorder – Gold Version” available at http://www.totalscreenrecorder.com/

From the outset, I came to the opinion this would always be my first choice for future use. Here is why:

Ease of download and installation
High quality product from the results it provided us from the first use
Remarkably easy to use
Convenience
The options of fixed screen size, full screen
Ability to adjust playback rates
The variety of five output formats
The reasonable price
Totally hassle free screen captures

Simply, as video producers and developers of training, we all have the need to capture the content of our computer screens at some point. With Total Screen Recorder you can create creative and excellent video examples or demonstrations for our own applications. As a crisis and emergency planner, I am now able to rapidly capture breaking news and videos to use in our training programs.

Total Screen Recorder is a compact and affordable screen capture tool that enables you to record the content of your screen, or its specific areas into video files with soundtracks for subsequent playback and distribution.

We especially like that Total Screen Recorder supports 5 capture modes, AVI/WMV/SWF/FLV output with configurable A/V codecs, sneak mode operation, automatic recording at Windows startup, recording timers, hotkeys, recording of the mouse cursor and has plenty of other handy features.

Total Screen Recorder allows you to capture webcam video streams in AIM, ICQ, MSN/Yahoo Messenger, as well as streams from TV cards and web pages. Simply, every video or presentation you see on your screen can be captured quickly and easily!

Total Screen Recorder is an inexpensive, very powerful and flexible solution for screen capturing.

Preparing tutorials and e-learning series can be a time consuming activity specifically when you need to make step by step e-learning modules. Although written tutorials are acceptable when supplemented by video showing/telling all the steps you will it appeals to a broader and more visually-based audience.

Total Screen Recorder helps you to make professional e-learnings by capturing videos. The software has simple, easy to use features. When you start you have a small screen that allows you to set the configurations you choose.

To start, you will define the region that you want to capture; you can select whole screen, or any particular area of the screen.

You then set the configurations for the audio by selecting the audio device and related settings. Make the selection for the video and audio aspects for the captured file with the provided features ‘Encoder’.

Select the Hotkey to Start, Stop and Resume the capturing of video.

Enable or disable the Timer features, if you choose.

Select your file name and set the destination for saving the movie file that has been captured.

You can also hide the program when the recording is going on and the program goes to the system tray for easy access.

We are not computer geniuses and yet we were able to literally install and record our first video in less than 15-minutes!

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest we would Total Screen Recorder a 5-plus! We highly recommend this software. Congratulations to the developers, we will look forward to future software from your company.

L. Darryl Armstrong PhD APR CCM CAMT
Accredited Public Relations
Certified Crisis Management
Certified Aggression Management Trainer

1.888.340.2006
Cell 270.619.3803
http://www.ldarrylarmstrong.com
ldarrylarmstrong@gmail.com

L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates
Behavioral Public Relations LLC
455 Hillside Trail, Eddyville, KY 42038
3 Moore Avenue Upstairs/Back Apt. Tybee Island, Ga. 31328

Another University Fails in Crisis Management 101 – Rutgers Fires Coach – Only After the Heat is Turned Up!!!

T’is the season, it must be for universities to be creating their own crises and failing to use some common sense!

The Rutgers coach is outed as abusive and the University officials decide to “suspend and fine” him. Now, after “pressure” he’s outta there.

First, we have a professor telling a student to “stomp on a picture of Jesus,” interesting that it wasn’t  a picture of Buddha or Mohammed; and now, a physically and verbally abusive coach and in both cases I am sure the schools some how must have thought they would escape outrage?

In both cases, basic crisis management has been ignored.

These are developing stories and we will give you a complete analysis of what each school did right and where they went terribly wrong in a future post.  Read more here:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/sport/rutgers-video-attack/?hpt=hp_c2

Mind-mapping crisis messages – The Situation Assessment – Article 3 in a series

Mind-mapping crisis messages – The Situation Assessment – Article 3 in a series

This is a series of articles that will help you understand the seven stages of a crisis and how to mind-map crisis messages. This process when done appropriately and successfully will ensure you will succeed in planning your messages before a crisis and better understand how you can use mind-mapping during and after a crisis. Article 3 in a series  …

What is a mind-map and how do they help communicators develop crisis messages?

Mind-mapping messages is simply a systematic way to develop clear, concise, easy to understand and deliver crisis messages in advance of the crisis occurring, as well as during and after the crisis. The goal of such messages is to simplify often technical or complex situations and ensure a speedy delivery of the message to the right audience at the right time. Mind-mapping your messages can be done prior to, during and after the crisis has occurred.

¡  There are seven phases to understand underlying information needs necessary to mind-map messages

¡  1. Advance warning or advance intel

¡  2. Situation assessment

¡  3. Communicating the response

¡  4. Operational management

¡  5. Resolution and path forward prevention

¡  6. Business continuity – recovery

¡  7. Lessons learned  – recalibrations

This article deals with the second phase – the situation assessment. When the crisis hits, and invariably they do at the least opportune time and typically not during work hours, the crisis and emergency management team assembles to assess the risk and do a situation assessment. It is during this phase that the emergency operations plan is activated.

Communications during this phase is typically between team members and observers in the field providing first hand information whenever possible from the scene. Social media such as Twitter and You Tube along with SMS texting can enhance the gathering of the field reports and intel when properly used.

Smart phones now enable us to not just communicate by voice; we can now send video and photos instantly back to the command and control center for quick assessment. I-pads and similar tablets allow the field observer to write quick reports while documenting in photos and video the situation.

During this phase, it is important to monitor social media: Facebook, twitter and YouTube channels to see what is coming in from various other sources and when needed correct mis-information. Although command and control under the NIMS way of business finds it foreign to engage such technology as a rule the social media platforms are valuable resources for intel, other site observers and can be used to shape the messages that are going out instanteously.

It is important at this stage to do the best situation assessment possible to ensure that when briefing executives, administrators and management that you have as complete an understanding of the situation as possible.

Although many organizations tend to take a standardized and even a blanket approach to communications at this stage, we suggest that careful thought be given to the chains of command, the audiences and the priority in which information is shared. The last thing that you want your university president to do is hear about a crisis situation on the main stream or social media before you have informed her.

Informing and giving notice to your local law enforcement and first responders, campus security and other officials in the call down list calls for as much clarity and completeness as possible when assessing the situation.

All your audiences, including the traditional media, will understand if you have to make corrections in the opening hours of the crisis, however when informing the various required audiences state clearly what can be verified and what can’t. Use social media as another intel source and gather as much information as possible as quickly as you can.

Next: Communicating the response

www.ldarrylarmstrong.com