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Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce in a Customer Service Environment - Slides Only


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This is the powerpoint deck for our September 2014 webinar. To view the webinar on demand, navigate to:

Managing multiple generations in the workplace is no easy task; add a customer service environment to the mix and you've definitely got your work cut out for you.

Watch our webinar to get expert advice and tips for how to manage all the generations in the world of fast-paced customer service.

Our webinar features industry leaders Bruce Tulgan, Lauren Griffin, Wendy Slayton, and Kristen Leverone.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce in a Customer Service Environment - Slides Only

  1. 1. Managing a multi-generational workforce in a customer service environment. • Adecco Staffing, USA – HRCI Webinar Series 09 | 10 | 14
  2. 2. Panelists • Bruce Tulgan • Advisor to business leaders all over the world • Sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader • Founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, Inc., a management research and training firm, as well as RainmakerThinking Training, an on-line training company • Author of numerous books. His new book, “The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-By-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems” will be released by JosseyBass/Wiley in September • Can be reached at 2
  3. 3. Panelists • 3 Wendy Slayton SVP, HR at Adecco Group NA • More than 18 years experience in HR leadership in professional services industries • Leads Adecco’s HR Business Partner team • Drives talent strategy for several Adecco business units in the U.S.
  4. 4. Panelists • Kristen Leverone SVP, Global Talent Development Practice Leader Lee Hecht Harrison • 15+ years experience in career development, change management and project management • Consults with businesses on their talent development process • Develops and implements solutions to help organizations develop, engage, retain and redeploy their workforce to drive business results • Leads strategic client engagements, develops new products and services, and provides thought leadership in career development and change management 4
  5. 5. Panelists • 5 Lauren Griffin SVP, Adecco Staffing, USA • Manages a multi-generational team, ultimately responsible for 500 colleagues with diverse demographics • Works in a heavily customer-focused environment • Trains employees on service excellence
  6. 6. • 6 Generational shift in the workplace
  7. 7. Multi-Generational Workforce: A snapshot • 7 Pre-Boomers (born prior to 1946) – all but gone from the from the workforce Boomers – first wave is turning 70 and reinventing retirement; youngest are climbing their 50s and 60s Gen X – now the “prime age” workforce; the original rule-breaking “new economy” free agents Gen Y – oldest of them are nearing 40, youngest are in late 20s Gen Z – today’s teens and twenty-somethings; second wave of Millennials
  8. 8. Webinar Poll: Which generation are you? • 8 Baby Boomer 33% (157) Generation X 38% (185) Generation Y/Z 29% (138) Other 0% (2)
  9. 9. What shapes generations? Forces of change Accidents of history Steady transformation of the workforce and workplace – • Numbers, attitudes, norms, expectations and behaviors 9
  10. 10. • 10 What is shaping the newest generation? Major historical forces, including: • Globalization • Technology • Institutions in a state of constant flux • Information tidal wave • Immediacy and the accelerating pace of change • Growing diversity and acceptance of difference • The end of job security • New career paths
  11. 11. • 11 Young workforce in customer service.
  12. 12. Young employees spend a lot of time dealing with actual customers. Young workers are disproportionately represented in frontline service roles because these roles are often the lower-tier positions. Why? Most organizations seeking to scale their operations in any significant way will tend to put a young (and therefore relatively inexpensive) workforce out front. • 12 Customer service workforce
  13. 13. 10 Common Complaints Customer service delivered by young employees: 1. They are unavailable 2. They are sometimes present, but not working; they are talking with each other, on the • phone or are otherwise unavailable 3. They are sometimes available, but are rude, rushed or indifferent 4. They are sometimes engaged and polite, but unknowledgeable 5. They sometimes provide customers with misinformation or conflicting information 6. They are sometimes too slow 7. They sometimes make mistakes 8. They sometimes unnecessarily complicate transactions 9. They are sometimes unable to solve small problems 10. They are sometimes unable to deal effectively with customer complaints 13
  14. 14. • 14 Meet “Generation Z.”
  15. 15. The debate • Demographers, sociologists, historians: Generation Y’s “Millennials” 1978-2000 vs RainmakerThinking: Generation Y 1978-1989 – first wave of Millennials Generation Z 1990-1999 – second wave of Millennials 15
  16. 16. Generation Y (1978-1989) • Childhood during peace and prosperity of the 1990s • Now in second or sometimes even third stage of their career • First stage of their careers was during the worst part of the global economic crisis • Generation Z (1990-1999) • Childhood during the “war on terrorism” and economic uncertainty • Bumping up against “career delayed” Gen Yers 16 Gen Y vs Gen Z – The differences
  17. 17. The “new” new young workforce Generation Z – the second wave of Millennials • • Born during or after 1990 • 16-24 years old today • Already nearly 12% of the North American workforce • 16% of the workforce by 2015 17
  18. 18. Webinar Poll: What do you see as Gen Z’s greatest challenge? • 18 Less prepared for the workforce 29% (143) Lack professionalism 37% (183) Weaker soft skills 33% (164)
  19. 19. Gen Z’s strengths & challenges Strengths • Social media savvy • Quick technical learners • Digital natives • Not afraid to share their thoughts • Not intimidated by hierarchy • Used to flexible work/life balance • Challenges • Less prepared for workforce than past generations • Lack true professionalism • Weaker soft skills 19
  20. 20. • 20 Bringing out the best in today’s young workforce
  21. 21. A different approach • 21 Mainstream advice Praise and reward Create thank you programs Transform the workplace to be more fun RainmakerThinking advice Commit to high-maintenance management Make the expectations and rules clear Guide, direct and support them every step of the way
  22. 22. Dealing with over-parenting • Parents’ involvement is no longer tapering off after education, but continuing into careers • You hired the employee, not the parents • Sink or swim? • Step into the void – take over the tutoring aspects of parenting • Give them respect • 22 Teachers are no longer alone
  23. 23. In loco parentis management • 23 1. Care about your young employees 2. Don’t pretend to be their best friend 3. Give them boundaries and structure 4. Help them keep score 5. Negotiate special rewards in very small increments
  24. 24. • 24 Successfully managing a multi-generational workforce
  25. 25. Generational strengths Boomers • Empathetic • Competitive • Reliable • Experienced • Good work ethic • Favor relationships, loyalty and teamwork • Patient • Gen X • Hard workers • Independent • Resourceful • Favor merit-based rewards over tenure Gen Y • Most educated • Global • Appreciate diversity • Digital natives • Multi-taskers • Willingness to work with all levels of workers 25 When generations can balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you have a well-rounded workforce. Establish mentor partnerships both ways.
  26. 26. Webinar Poll: What do you see as Gen Z’s best strength? • 26 Education 8% (34) Digital natives 61% (262) Globally minded 16% (71) Multi-tasking 15% (65)
  27. 27. Inclusive leadership • Be aware of generational tendencies, but remember every individual is different • Avoid making assumptions about people based on their generation • Will lead to more engaged employees • Avoid legal pitfalls • 27
  28. 28. • 28 Helping Gen Yers and Zers provide great customer service.
  29. 29. Gen Yers and Gen Zers think like customers. • …but many of them have little or no experience on the other side of the transaction 29 They can relate
  30. 30. • Companies pay employees. This is the ultimate source of an employer’s authority – the source of every employee’s obligations at work to everyone • Everyone is a customer: coworkers, boss, subordinates and actual customers • 30 Employment is a multi-faceted relationship
  31. 31. • Frontline is overstaffing, leading to a lack of urgency • Frontline is understaffed, leading to a lack of coverage • No one has taught young employees the basics or convinced them to care about great customer service • 31 Why customer complaints arise
  32. 32. • It will make them more valuable to any future roles at any organization • Has a huge impact on their ability to enjoy work • Investing effort early on ultimately saves everyone a lot of time and energy • Offers a valuable opportunity to network with customers • One way to get financial and nonfinancial rewards on your team is delivering great service to customers • - Best assignments, best shifts, best learning opportunities, exposure to decision makers, days off, cash, gift certificates and promotional giveaways 32 Show them the value of the skill
  33. 33. Webinar Poll: Is your company investing in training programs? • 33 Yes, formal programs 42% (176) Yes, one-off programs 29% (124) No, but planning to 12% (50) No 17% (74)
  34. 34. Training and development Initial training: • Understanding the pre-conceived notions their customers may have Managing customer expectations Tips on encouraging patience in customers while still training Develop training programs targeted toward heading off common complaints Invite top reps to be mentors to new-colleagues 34
  35. 35. Questions? • Adecco Staffing, USA – CPE Webinar Series 09 | 10 | 14