TalentEgg Trends

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Tag: business

Bridging the Gen Z Gap: Understanding how to help recent graduates successfully transition into the workplace

Bridging the Gen Z Gap: Understanding how to help recent graduates successfully transition into the workplace.

Throughout my 15+ years as a recruitment professional, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for helping new grads transition into their first corporate role. A deep desire to help them land their first job was a result of my own experience struggling to find my way in the world.  I want to share the personal wisdom I gained and help them successfully grow their careers through mentoring and coaching support.

What have I observed?

The challenges new graduates face have not really changed from Gen X, but in the last few years, I’ve observed, firsthand, a much larger disadvantage for Gen Z during this major life transition.  Gen Z is often confused as an extension of Millennials, but they are distinctively different.  They are the first generation to never know a world without wifi, social media, and instant gratification.  They were part of a democratic school system and households, where there was no traditional hierarchy of power and consequences, everyone was a winner and there were no losers or failures. Probably the most impactful trend was that they were a generation that was highly overscheduled and constantly stimulated, not allowed to be bored or unhappy. Boredom is critical for imaginative play/thinking, and learning to deal with negative emotion, is an important psychological coping skill.  The absence of learning to manage emotions and stretch brain muscles is likely the root cause for why overall, Gen Z struggles with much higher levels of anxiety and depression. They lack the resiliency to face the world that is run by Millennials, Gen X and Boomers.

What can educators and employers do to help bridge this gap?

First, understand, it is not optional. We must help Gen Z with this transition into the workforce, because having them tough it out (as we might have had to), will lead to a higher level of mental illness, in a generation where mental illness is already significantly higher1 and a future workforce that is not as productive.  Second, seek to understand their perspective and then give them the support and tools to empower them.

For employers, onboarding is important. On-going clarity of your expectations of them, and how they can own their own development and successfully navigate their career, is even more important.  They likely expect that they will be given continuous direction and rewards, and you will drive their career for them – so showing them they own their success and happiness is step one.

For educators, provide insights while they are still in a learning environment, on how to prepare for this critical life transition. Soon-to-be grads are on the brink of one of the most challenging transitions they will face.

So, what is the secret sauce?

Interestingly, the ‘secret sauce’ would likely help all of us be happier, in a world where we all spend less time being present than we should.  To fully accept the present moment as it is, without judgement, is the foundational skill I teach new graduates through learning mindfulness. It is the basis from which all else will follow.  Next, I help guide them in clarifying their purpose and values from which they will decide their goals, and where to focus their attention and talents.  Research reinforces that understanding personal values is paramount for career success; the least committed leaders are those who understand company values,  but not their own.2 So, first, learn to engage fully with the present moment, and then integrate purpose and values into being in all aspects of their job search (interview, personal brand), job performance, and career development.  A natural consequence of mindfulness and purposefulness is happiness – in both our professional and personal lives. Happiness is self derived, rather than an expectation for others to provide.  Moreover, mindfulness helps build resiliency, so that when failures or disappointments happen, they won’t be devastating.

What’s in it for me?

Once Gen Z is thriving and finding the right ‘fit’ in a company and on a purposeful path, we will start to see a big reward ourselves.  They will overperform, as they are driving to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  They will be extremely loyal, and unlike Millennials, will want to stick around for the long haul with your company.  They will give back and want to mentor others recent graduates entering the business.  As you can see, the dividends greatly outweigh the investment.  It really comes down to your willingness to help this generation bridge the gap!


1 American Psychological Association – March 15, 2019, Mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over last decade

2 James M Kouzes and Barry S Posner, The Leadership Challenge 4th edition


 Bio:

Lana Burton is a talent acquisition executive and founder of Be META, an organization that helps Generation Z to recognize and realize their potential.

As a working mother of two, she knows how to connect the intimate needs of others and still make time to do the work that we all need to do within.

Connect with Lana on LinkedIn or via email at Be_META@outlook.com.

Coaching – New Paradigm for Effective Leadership

Leadership is critical in today’s evolving business environment. Leadership affects the culture, people, and the organization’s overall ability to succeed. But the age-old question remains the same – what makes a good leader? We spoke with Susan Pahl, Founder & CEO Shift Coaching Inc., to get her perspective on leadership and the role coaching plays in leading a successful team.

Name: Susan Pahl

Occupation: Founder & CEO Shift Coaching Inc.

Susan Pahl is the CEO and Founder of Shift Coaching, a leadership development and corporate coaching company. Shift Coaching develops leaders, teams and organizations to adapt change and grow. 

“To me, leadership is not a position, a title or a set of traits. It is the ability to get others to want to work together and even struggle to achieve a shared goal. The ultimate form of leadership is to enable each member of the group to bring their best self and best efforts to bear on the goal at hand,” says Susan.

Analyzing the Trends

Susan engaged in extensive research to understand the new trends in leadership development and get ahead of the curve.  She was particularly struck by the data that showed the impact of coaching on productivity, culture and employee engagement in business across a variety of industries.

“According to a study by Bersin & Associates, now a part of Deloitte, leaders that coach are 130% more likely to realize stronger business results. In addition, organizations with a culture of coaching achieve 21% higher business results. These are astounding numbers. When your leaders use coaching as an integral tool of management, the business grows.”

Research by Zenger Folkman found that “more than 60% of employees who report to managers who are not good coaches are thinking about quitting.” This is based on more than 500,000 360-degree assessments on 50,000 leaders. Coaching is a fundamental tool to not only bring out the best in people, but retain them too.”

Susan also identified what many modern leaders struggle with. She describes how “command and control leaders rely on their own skills and abilities to solve problems and be the experts. This new world requires multiple people and multiple brains to be able to navigate this fast-paced increasingly complex world we live in.” Instead of taking an authoritative approach, Susan suggests that leaders need to know how to create “a collaborative work environment where people can think for themselves, solve problems and be innovative.”

Finding the Niche

The reality today is this: “There is no playbook or training program to address the complexity that people are facing today,” Susan comments. Constant adaptation to change, competition for attracting and retaining top talent as well as employee development are just some of the ongoing tasks that managers need to think about.

“The role of HR is changing. How do we prepare people to work, lead and learn effectively in the complex constantly changing world? To start we need to support HR professionals and career educators to become coaches and equip them with the skills to support others.”

Identifying the gap between employees’ expectations and managers’ ability to meet them, Susan came up with the idea for Shift Coaching. “I wanted to provide a program that covered all the essential elements of coaching in the context of the business environment with practice, reflection and feedback that would fit in with a business person’s busy schedule,” says Susan. She adds that “every leader needs A coach and that every leader needs TO coach.” So really, Susan teaches others to learn by doing. Those who participate in the program not only learn how to coach others, but they also get coached themselves.

Coaching Leaders

So how does The Shift Corporate Coach Program work? It is built for business leaders and it stands apart from other coaching programs because it incorporates the business context, is efficient and is integrated into the leaders’ workday. Unlike other programs that only provide a generic overview of coaching or require a significant time investment, Shift Coaching equips participants with practice, reflection and feedback that fits within a business person’s busy schedule.

Participants learn core coaching concepts through an experiential hands-on process. As a result of completing the program, according to Susan, leaders can:

  • Generate improved productivity
  • Reduce conflict across the organization
  • Increase the response to managing and implementing change
  • Use industry-leading leadership tools to grow staff and develop people 
  • Create a renewed vision and strength in their approach to developing the corporate culture
  • Create a greater focus on the art of relationship-building throughout the organization; with direct reports, peers, stakeholders and clients 
  • Explore the benefits of using coaching conversations in everyday applications as well as in formal protocols

Shift Corporate Coach Program recently opened up for new grads in an effort to shape the leaders of tomorrow early on.

“Becoming a coach early in a new grad’s career will prepare them to have healthy approaches to the people issues and have the ability to coach others, preparing them for positions of leadership. We have heard so many of our [more mature] participants say that they wished they had these skills 20-30 years ago and how their careers may have been very different. So we said: “Why wait?” – let’s bring this to new grads and help them get coaching skills early on.”

Constantly Evolving

It’s evident: the change is here. The massive challenge of adapting and evolving together with the industry is something that every business manager (current or aspiring) needs to embrace.

“Robert Keagan calls it “Constructive Destabilization” in his book “An Everyone Culture”. He says that, if you can perform your role to a high level, you are actually no longer in the right job. As soon as something is working perfectly, it is time to blow it up and move up to the next level. He suggests running into useful trouble and using this trouble to learn and grow. This is the opposite of “business as usual”. Pain + Reflection = Progress.”

Susan comments that HR professionals will only be able to grow by introducing desirable and purposeful challenges in their work lives. Learning and development programs are a safe way of practicing to combat these difficulties.

“Ongoing development must be woven into the daily fabric of working life and people’s limitations will be seen as their growing edge. Organizations need to aggressively seek opportunities for their leaders to practice, experiment and learn in this new changing environment. They also need to change how they evaluate and develop leaders,” says Susan. Her passion for better leaders of tomorrow is evident in everything she does.

If you’re ready for the next step in your leadership development, explore what Shift Coaching has to offer. Do you know a soon to be or a recent grad that might benefit from the Shift Corporate Coach Program™️?

TalentEgg is proud to partner with Shift Coaching to offer young professionals an exceptional leadership development opportunity give-away valued at $5,000! Find out more here!  

6 Things Students Want From Your Company’s Talent Programs

With talent programs on the rise, employers are constantly looking for new ways to make their opportunities stand out to the best and the brightest students and grads.

These aspiring young professionals see talent programs as an opportunity to transition from school to work in a more controlled environment, which makes working with companies that offer them very attractive. However, there are certain elements that make certain talent programs more desirable to millennials over others.

1. A rotational feature

Students and grads know that in this day and age, it’s more valuable to have a wide range of skills, rather than just one or two specialized skills. Most fields demand flexibility from their candidates, so a rotational feature is the perfect setting for them to learn multiple roles within a single business.

Many students and grads say they love taking on different roles within a single business because it allows them to see how the different departments work together to create a fully functioning system. As an employer, offering to cross-train these individuals in different fields attracts them to your program, as well as helps them build an appreciation for your organization.

2. Feedback and recognition

It can be frustrating for a young student or grad to enter the professional working world without knowing if they’re doing a good job. After all, they most likely don’t have a point of reference to base their performances off of.

Feedback doesn’t always have to be given in a performance review. Casual engagements from management can do a lot for millennials. A simple “I like how you did this” or “why don’t you try this approach this time?” will help motivate and provide direction for their work. You will see better performance from your hire when they feel you are just as invested in their development as they are.

3. Mentorship

Consider setting up a mentorship program within your existing talent program if you haven’t already. When entering a new work environment, students and grads can feel hesitant to approach managers or co-workers with their problems if they don’t know who their questions are best suited for.

Something as simple as assigning each individual with an experienced professional at your work help students and grads feel like their questions and comments are welcome. Plus, they are looking for the chance to build connections during this experience, and a workplace mentor is a great place to start. As they build relationships within the company, and learn more about the business, you’ll have an easier time retaining your top talent for permanent positions. After all, millennials are very focused on finding a company where they fit in.

4. Courses and learning opportunities

Since every millennial is different, they have different preferences for how they gain new experiences. Class environments provide familiarity for students and grads making their transition from the school environment they’ve been raised in.

So why not offer a wide variety of learning opportunities to suit as many individuals as possible? Giving students and grads the opportunity to pursue different courses shows you’re willing to invest in their learning experiences. Plus, it’s a chance to create a unique and memorable experience by using new technology and workshop techniques to make it even more engaging. Having a unique selling point like this is sure to attract a wide pool of candidates to your talent programs, allowing you to select from the best of the best – and build them up to be even better!

5. Networking events

Students and grads don’t just wants workplace experience. They want to meet the best of the best in their field. Hosting networking events is a great way to have your talent come together in a more social environment.

Even something as simple as having your company’s management team meet the students and grads means a lot to an aspiring professional. Millennials who have had the opportunity to meet executives and top management from their organizations say that they felt the company really cared about their success within the program. This small gesture from a large company, which takes little effort and time to organize, can go a long way when it comes to putting your company in a positive light for your hires.

6. Community involvement

The millennial generation is all about making positive change. Their passions for social change and activism is reflected through their activity on social media and kickstarter programs, as well as their high involvement in community organizations.

Many students and grads say that workplace culture is highly important to them, and that they want the company they work for to reflect their values. Having company events to give back to the community not only creates a great social event for your talent, but also provides a solid selling point when they’re deciding whether or not to join your program. Plus, it’s great publicity for your company in general, so everyone wins!

Discussion: What is the most effective way to retain students and grads in your talent program?

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