With Alan Weiss, at NSA Pittsburgh
Adrenaline surges; blood thins; heart rate increases; the brain perceives a threat. Is it a prehistoric flight from a predator? No, itâ€™s just someone typing stuff at work. Multiply these physical reactions by 8+ hour workdays, 6+ day workweeks, and few vacation days (I think Americans are the only species to brag about how little we relax). Not only do we thrash at each other in the workplace, we also put our health at risk.
Stress=illness=missed work=loss of productivity. Alan Weiss (www.contrarianconsulting.com) at a speech to the NSA (not that one, the other one) said that stress is the main reason for employee absence–the highest expense that businesses have today. Weiss is the author of â€œThe Ultimate Consultantâ€ series, and is an expert on work/life balance. He is also the only person I have ever met who uses the word peregrination (look it up; I had to).
How do we make the workplace livable? Make it laughableâ€”bring more humor into your workplace, and people wonâ€™t be waiting for you to slip up. They may wait for you to slip, period, so they can laugh. But at least youâ€™re helping their emotional health, and saving your employer some money. You can be the â€œShining Exampleâ€ who starts the ball rolling, by not taking things too seriously yourself. Including yourself. Start tomorrowâ€¦.and help your co-workers to â€œGet Your SHINE Together!â€
In between these two generations are the others: The baby boomers–who like to express their individuality. Theyâ€™re tolerant of others, competitive and optimistic.
In between the baby boom and Gen X, some have observed another generation, the â€œCuspersâ€, born between 1960 and 1968. These are the mediators, translators, and mentorsâ€”experienced managers who are quick to spot trends. Some may place half this generation in the next generation group, the Gen-X group.
Gen Xâ€™ers want options, but are adaptable. They are also pragmatic and entrepreneurial.
The Millennials are the ones I ask for help with technology problems: they are at home with technology and flourish with multiple stimuli. They are confident and have high expectations, but are very informal. When this generation clashes with the more mannerly Silent generation, it could spell disaster.
But if everyone is communicating on the same wavelength, misunderstandings are reduced, and the human connection is maintained. How do we do this? With a humorous workplace, a lighthearted attitude, and the SHINE System of communicationâ€¦
What do you get when you mix technology with connection? The SHINE System. For the first time in history, we have four (some may say five) generations in the workplace. Pamela Varkony of Spectrum Global Communications identified these generations in a speech given at the Jean E. Winsand International Institute for Women in School Leadership:
The silent generation (62 years and up) is staying in the workplace longer. This is the generation that is known for being disciplined, for delaying gratification in favor of working for the common good. A generation that appreciates courtesy. Think of a worker from this generation working with a Millennial, a worker who has no concept of life without or before the Internet. One generation is strong on manners and courtesy but may be weak in technological skills. The other generation may be very adept at technology, but with an informal, casual attitude. Which is better? Stay tuned….