Recently, we’ve been seeing more and more leaders of midsized companies struggle with succession and feeling forced to consider affiliation with larger entities because they have gaps in their leadership and no way to do succession from within.
Assessments are revealing that rigid work schedules and lack of choice in benefits may have played larger roles in sabotaging their retention, leadership development, and succession from within than they would have ever imagined. Schedules and benefits impact every generation of employees.
In general, folks from the “Baby Boomer Generation” value self actualization, learning, and making a difference. Their parents taught them to work hard and stay with one company. But their life experiences have taught them that loyalty is no longer rewarded. Often referred to as the “Sandwich Generation” Baby Boomers need time to take care of grandchildren or an aging parent with Alzheimer’s disease. Rigid office hours can chase Baby Boomers away.
“Generation Xers” can seem more cynical and self absorbed. Think about what they have experienced in their lives: Presidents who lie. Wars with unclear mandates. Corporate corruption. Long term employees losing their pensions. Plus television, video games, computers, and cell phones going faster and faster and faster. It makes sense that Gen Xers take a shorter term view and don’t trust long term promises. Why would they want equity in a company if they don’t trust that it will even exist in a few years? They value their personal time but are insulted if their bosses assume that means they won’t work hard.
Think about the “Radio Generation.” They want to be and stay retired. Right? They have a strong work ethic but already put in their time. Right? They just want to reminisce about the past and aren’t interested in learning anything new. Right? It’s the younger people who want flexible schedules and benefits. Right?
Not necessarily. Life expectancy is extending longer and longer. Many senior citizens view using their brains as very important to staying healthy. I know several seniors who definitely have the capacity and interest in continuing to work. They may not want to start the work day at dawn. They would like a little time in the morning for a doctor’s appointment or a cup of coffee with friends at the local McDonalds. And the benefit package they want/need is long term care insurance. Their dependability and loyalty can be worth a great deal to a company.
Are your scheduling policies and lack of a cafeteria plan for benefits sabotaging your succession plan?
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.