Posts Tagged project team members

Why Generational Profiling Is Bad Management

Here is an interesting perspective on the Generation X, Y and Z at work talk we have all heard lately. Some excerpts:

Would you characterize your employees by gender, age, race, religion, or in any other way when it comes to managing them and enabling them to be successful at their jobs? Of course not. And I’m not talking about verbally or publicly. I’m talking about when you sit down to do their review, determine their raise, have a one-on-one, or interview them, would you take any of that stuff into account? Again, of course not.

You know why? Because there are at least a dozen more important and relevant factors, like job performance, experience, knowledge, team work, etc. The only profiling I’m aware of in the real business world has to do with multinational companies managing workforces in other countries where employment law, compensation, and culture are different. To me, that makes sense.

But profiling groups by generation is ridiculous, no matter what the management researchers and gurus say. Not to mention that it’s dehumanizing.

I somewhat agree with Steve Tobak’s observations in that some of this generation talk is overblown and its importance exaggerated. However, from our own experience at Tenrox younger generations have very different expectations. When it comes to recognition, rewards, raises and bonuses, of course you look at job performance, experience, knowledge and other such factors to determine what is appropriate. But everyone does not feel appreciated or get motivated the same way. For some, an equivalent valued gift, a few extra days off, a paid vacation works better than a cash bonus or a raise. We try to take such things into account when communicating with or rewarding our team members; and yes, the employee’s generation plays an important role in how we approach such discussions.

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Taking people and their work for granted

I have enjoyed reading the newsletter about enterprise software from Michael Burns for years now. I kind of always have taken it for granted that Michael will share his insight with us every month. When he did not write last month I felt like something was missing. It turns out Micheal had a personal health issue. Here are some kind words of advice from Micheal, unrelated to project management but very much worth mentioning.

Something Personal

I (Michael Burns) do most of the work in sending you our newsletter. We did not send our newsletter last month as I was in the hospital for 4 weeks, and have been recovering since then. I am making good progress and have begun working again. Working for me is great therapy as I enjoy what I do.

I have had lots of time to contemplate the universe while not well, and you would think that I would be able to share great words of wisdom. Alas, I can’t tell you anything that you don’t already know such as being thankful for health, family and friends. Unfortunately, most of us are so caught up in day-to-day living that we don’t show our appreciation or spend much time with those people we care about. Most of us will get angry over small things and miss the big picture. Don’t wait for a serious health problem to show your appreciation, and to spend quality time with family and good friends.

Micheal, I wish you health and thank you, always, for sharing your thoughts and perspectives with us.

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