3 Ways to Bridge the Generational Gap in the Work Place

generation gap

Blending a multi-generational team is becoming more and more important, as more millennials enter the workforce and an increased number of baby-boomers are working longer. Age plays a major role in identifying employee’s work ethic, strengths, ambitions and motivations. It’s up to the manager to face these challenges head-on. Instead of allowing their differences to create a generational gap, it’s important to identify their differences, recognize this natural division and embrace their strengths and approach to work. It’s important for managers to understand who they’re managing – and tailor their managing styles accordingly. According to various studies, millennials are able to adapt more easily and think more quickly on their feet. While their baby-boomer counterparts have more general knowledge, wisdom and experience. By taking advantage of these differences, effective managers will be able to build a stronger team. Here are several tips on how to harness these differences in order to effectively bridge the gap between generations:

Create a Dynamic Environment– Older workers grew up in a more hierarchical society, while younger workers are more accustomed to open communication, especially in the midst of the social media age. By encouraging round table meetings where everyone has the opportunity to offer their opinion without jeopardy and the fear of judgement, managers will more likely see a stronger team that is more willing to collaborate and communicate with one another, despite their seniority level or age. Managers who embrace non-traditional approaches to problem solving will reap the benefits that different generations bring to the table.

Encourage Communication– It goes without saying, today’s millennials are incredibly tech-savvy and rely heavily on it to communicate but technology can sometimes hinder our ability to effectively communicate and collaborate. It can create disparities and gaps among team members which can lead to missed opportunities, confusion and miscommunication. It’s important for managers to foster an environment that encourages face time. Encourage your team to ask questions and create an environment where younger employees are comfortable stopping by a co-worker’s or supervisor’s office in person and build stronger relationships.

Foster Innovative Thinking – Today’s workforce is motivated by different goals than it was a decade or two ago. Companies need to learn to adapt to the changing workforce. Although, the assumption has been that millennials lack the work ethic that comes naturally to baby boomers – recent studies show that this is not the case. Millennials don’t lack work ethic, but they are less likely to work in a job that they view as unfulfilling and they are not afraid to communicate their dissatisfaction. Millennials are motivated by meaningful work and achieving a sense of accomplishment. Loving what you do and believing that you are making a difference doesn’t just apply to millennials. It’s a basic human desire, it applies to older generations as well. Baby boomers grew up with the norm that work was a means to an end – that earning a paycheck was top priority. Managers who create environments that listen to their employees and work with them to create interesting and engaging projects will end up with a team that is motivated to share ideas and work harder.

Today, the most effective managers are aware of the similarities and differences between generations and how these employees prefer to be engaged and motivated. Finding the right balance between adapting to the younger workforce and taking advantage of the experience and knowledge of older generations is key.

7 Essential Steps to Unmask Imposter Fraud

October_Imposter Fraud

Imposter fraud is on the rise. Businesses of all sizes and in all industry can fall prey to sneaky scams that can cost millions of dollars. Imposters can pose as someone you trust like a company executive or vendor. Imposters attempt to steal millions every day and the best way to fight fraud is to build a strong defense within your company. By following these essential steps, you will be able to put your company in a better position to protect itself against imposter fraud.


8 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Conflict

conflict resolution

By Elise S. Mitchell, CEO Mitchell Communications Group and Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network

Few things in life are certain.

An old adage narrows down the list to two items: death and taxes. But I’d argue that we could also add conflict to that list. Put two or more smart people in a room for an extended period of time and different points of view are bound to arise.

Conflict can be a healthy part of a high-performing workplace if it leads to constructive debate and better outcomes for the team, but unresolved conflict can be a distraction and erode trust between team members. Letting it fester can be toxic to your workplace.

One study revealed that 81% of HR professionals have cited ongoing conflict as the main reason for an employee’s resignation, and 77% say it’s a common source of employee absenteeism.

These consequences can be costly to your business, and they illustrate why it’s so important to monitor and quell workplace conflict as soon as it arises. In doing so, you actually turn a bad situation into a great learning experience that will undoubtedly help your company down the road.

Good things come from conflict resolution: new thinking, new points of view, and a deeper understanding of others. It opens the door for positive adjustments and endless new possibilities.

Your Role in Conflict Management

First, let’s clear up a common misconception: Having conflict on your team doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader.

Conflict is a regular part of workplace life, and your role as a leader is to swiftly deal with it, minimize its negative impact, and learn from it.

Conflict management skills come naturally to some people, but for others, the task can be quite daunting. It all stems from your level of emotional intelligence: Are you empathetic? Are you a good listener? Can you build trust? These are the key qualities of conflict management.

Here’s my conflict resolution guide for leaders:

1. Act quickly. Get to the heart of the issue as quickly as possible. Unresolved conflict will escalate and cause additional problems as it grows.
2. Understand the situation. Speak directly to those involved, listen well, and pose clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand what’s going on.
3. Keep it contained. Don’t allow others to get drawn into the negativity. Advise only those who are directly involved.
4. Peel back the layers. Be sure every issue is on the table. Conflicts often have multiple layers, and their root cause could easily go unspoken.
5. Stay engaged. Some peoples’ flight instincts kick in when things escalate. Don’t let this happen to you or your employees. Keep everyone engaged all the way through to the resolution.
6. Find common ground. Focus primarily on what the involved parties have in common. This will lead to mutually beneficial resolutions.
7. Move forward. Communicate what you expect going forward, and hold others accountable for these changes.
8. Check in. Periodically assess the success of your solutions. Make adjustments as needed to ensure continued progress.

The idea of confronting and quelling conflict can be nerve-wracking to some leaders, but ignoring it or delaying its resolution will only make things worse. Rarely do these things work themselves out, and whatever solution you reach will undoubtedly improve your workplace and bottom line.

Like it or not, conflict resolution comes with your leadership role. Monitoring and addressing conflict as it arises will ensure a happy, present, and productive workforce for your company.

Elise Mitchell is the CEO of Mitchell Communications Group. She is an accomplished strategic communications professional and business leader whose entrepreneurial spirit helped build Mitchell into one of the top 10 fastest-growing firms globally and a two-time Agency of the Year winner, honored by PRWeek and The Holmes Report. In recognition of her accomplishments, Elise has received numerous awards, including being named PRWeek Agency Public Relations Professional of the Year and a Top 50 Power Player in PR.

Mobile may be king… but is it secure?

IBM Mobile Security

In the days where mobile is king, mobile apps usage in the workplace has grown significantly, yet apps are not being regularly tested for insecurities. “The average organization tests fewer than half of the mobile apps it builds, and a whopping 33 percent of companies never test their apps.” This leaves sensitive user, corporate and customer data vulnerable. Is your development team ensuring proper testing? Does your company have a policy about using mobile apps at work? See here for 5 recommendations to improve your organization’s state of mobile application insecurity.

What do you really want to achieve with your company’s retirement plan?


There are many reasons that your company should offer a retirement plan. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that you simply can’t afford not to. The reason may be simple but finding and evaluating a plan that matches your company’s goals and objectives, can be difficult. AXA, WPO’s exclusive retirement plan provider, breaks these complex financial steps into small, manageable steps. Read more here to learn how to review and evaluate which plan is best for you and your company.

Contact a Retirement Program Specialist at 800-523-1125, option 3, Department 2115 to learn more about how AXA can help your business.

“Think Big. Invest in Yourself.”

How did a misadventure with a mouse on a rural farm in North Dakota inspire Kari Warberg Block to create a multi-million dollar company? In her most recent Forbes article, Geri Stengel, president of Ventureneer, a digital media and market-research company, tells the story of how Warberg Block used her creativity and perseverance to create the multi-million dollar company, earthkind®.