“Four Generations at Work! – Surviving Multigenerational
LaTonya Olivier, TPO Sr. Consultant,
enlightened her audiences with her particular infectious
zeal for understanding the differences of what is currently
an unprecedented time in American history where 4 distinct
generations are together in the workplace.
MATURES (born prior to 1946)
They Value: dedication, sacrifice, hard work, conformity,
stability, security and respect for authority.
They Want (so give them): security & stability, a “you’ve
earned it” message, and stress your need for their
BABY BOOMERS (born 1946-1964)
They Value: work, self, involvement, community and
They Want (so give them): career enhancement, growth &
success; face-to-face communication (can be phone); and
create a movement by promoting big picture of how they serve
GEN XERS (born 1965-1980)
They Value: change, tecnoliteracy, skepticism, autonomy,
and fierce independence.
They Want (so give them): a work/life balance, avoid
bureaucracy & politics, show them you offer something FUN
and EXCITING, and give them access to decision makers.
MILLENIALS (born 1981-1999)
They Value: confidence, tecno-fused, moral, collaborative,
egalitarian and civil-minded.
They Want (so give them): a “you are special and unique”
message, high level of technology, an opportunity to do
meaningful work, and listen to what they say.
“Awesome! LaTonya rocks!” – Enthusiastic Conference
3. “Blogging, Sexting & Social Media”
Adam Fiss, Esq. and Richard Leasia, Esq., Littler attorneys,
provided a provocative look into the realities of how
technology is changing the workplace. The two main focus
areas on this topic were Employee and Employer Use/Abuse.
Employee Use/Abuse of Social Networking
“You are Wasting Company Time!” Each employer must determine
what amount (if any) of personal use is appropriate. This is
no different than making excessive personal phone calls,
using the copier for personal use or checking personal
e-mails while on the employer’s time.
Tip: For the employer who wants its IT person to block Facebook and other similar sites, that won’t solve the issue
of employees using personal devices to access such sites.
Employee’s Personal Devices (cell phones, PDA’s, etc.):
Employers should consider whether eliminating/limiting the
use of personal devices in the workplace is in alignment
with company policy and culture.
A stat: 77% of regular Facebook users log in at work.
“Not While at Work!” If the personal use of company
computers is allowed (either during work time or during
non-worked time), then the next issue becomes if the content
viewed, typed and even shared is appropriate in the
workplace. Typical policies that address not viewing/sending
information that are offensive to others and/or violate a
harassment/discrimination policy will cover most employers
in this area.
“Let’s Check Applicants’ Sites Before Hiring Them!”
individuals with hiring responsibility had checked
applicants’ social networking sites. 34% of this group
responded that they did not hire the person based on what
they found (Career Builder, 2009). Be careful as this
May not even
be your applicant.
May (and usually will) provide information that is not job
May provide information that is not a lawful basis for a
If obtained from an outside source, requires Fair Credit
Reporting Act authorization.
Tip: NEVER use devious means to get access to a social
Creating a Policy: All employers need some type of policy,
but there is no one right policy for every employer! Take
the time to consider the needs, dynamics and culture of your
organization in a thoughtful manner so that the policy is
most useful in the long run.
“Very useful, relevant information” – Conference Participant
4. “8 Ways to Enjoy Being a Leader – Again!”
Sue Kettmann, TPO Sr. Consultant,
participants to take a deep breath and refresh themselves
with a broad stroke overview of why Leadership matters, how
it makes being a manager or supervisor more rewarding, and
how to fit it into a busy schedule. Things you can work on
to refresh your leadership skills:
Practicing Empathetic Listening instead of slipping into
pretending, ignoring or selecting what you hear.
Remembering that every interaction with my peers and
direct reports is a withdrawal, neutral or a deposit into
their emotional bank account with me.
Using the 4 Quadrants to steer my activities towards
Quadrant 2, Important and Not Urgent.
Paying attention to the more effective Circle of Influence
rather than my often huge Circle of Concern.
Taking Care of Me
Using the Balance Wheel to make sure that if one or more
areas of my life are out of sync that I work to get back
Crafting a Personal Mission Statement to remind myself why
I am working here in the first place.
“Sue’s module was probably the best and most useful I’ve
been to in 2 years” – Conference Participant
5. “Labor-Management Law and
Unionization in the Obama
Adam Fiss, Esq. and Richard Leasia, Esq., Littler attorneys,
provided historical context to Labor-Management (union)
topics while also sharing views on what may happen on a
legislative front in the current Administration.
Union membership of the US workforce, which includes the
public sector, went from 33% in 1950 (with 33% from the
private sector), to 12% in 2008 (with 7.5% from the private
sector). The public disapproval rating of unions has
increased in the past several years; however, unions are
winning elections (67% in 2008) likely due to the more
strategic practices of unions.
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is federal legislation
with main provisions including: card check certification
instead of secret ballot elections, mandatory interest
arbitration if negotiations do not result in a Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA) within 130 days of certification
and increased penalties for employer violations. Whether or
not EFCA passes is highly dependent upon complex political
elections and appointments.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to
focus its efforts on reversing prior Board decisions of the
Bush Administration, to facilitate union organizing, and
change the “balance of power” between labor and management.
Recommendations: 1) Assess current vulnerability from an
internal (do you have positive employee relations) and an
external (are you in a vulnerable industry and/or location)
perspective. 2) Prepare for a rapid response to card signing
and/or quickie elections by having a response plan in place.
3) Know the laws and pay attention to politics!
“The information provided was tremendous.” – Conference
6. Panel Discussion
With 3 Employment Law Attorneys from Littler and 2 Senior HR
Consultants from TPO, this one-hour program took questions
from the audience and answered them from both an HR
leadership and Employment Law perspective. An example of one
of the questions:
Q: We are thinking of providing an H1N1 Flu Vaccine Clinic
on our site. What should we consider?
A: Littler Attorneys stated that such vaccination must be
provided as a program employees can voluntarily opt in to
and that any complications from the vaccine itself might
even fall under a Worker’s Compensation claim. TPO HR
Consultants added that “optional or voluntary” programs
provided in the workplace might send subtle messages to
employees (pressure) – so care should be taken to avoid the
perception of required participation, or any repercussions
for any employees who do not opt into the voluntary program.
“I really like the panel discussions because people ask
questions that I hadn't thought of
(and probably should have).” – Conference Participant
7. One-on-One Clinics
Participants had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with
Littler attorneys to discuss specific questions and obtain
timely assistance from top-notch attorneys! One participant
even commented that she asked the same question of a few
attorneys, just to see if she could gain any additional
perspective. These one-on-one clinics represent a phenomenal
value added for conference participants to come prepared
with their unique questions and issues and gain the
qualified opinion of Littler legal experts!
“I loved the one-on-one session with the lawyers!” –
Thanks to everyone who completed the conference evaluation.
We appreciate your opinions summarized below. Each year we
consider this important feedback as we continue to bring you
the best possible Employment Law & Leadership Conference
experience possible! The results: