Guffey Archived Articles
Reverse Mentoring Boon to Mentor and Mentee
As a way to help senior executives understand the latest trends and to reduce turnover among younger employees, many companies are turning to "reverse mentoring."
The practice - in which younger employees teach upper management about social media and emerging technology - was originally introduced by Jack Welch at General Electric. Today the strategy takes place across a diverse range of companies.
At advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather, a 42-year-old managing director says he updated his playlists and Twitter posts after taking the advice of a youthful mentor. In fact, the Ogilvy reverse mentorship program is so successful it may be instituted across the firm's 450 worldwide offices. Hewlitt Packard's virtual mentor-mentee program started informally but was so successful, it is being formalized.
Mentorship programs are clearly valuable to the senior mentees, but the young mentors benefit, too. They experience boosted morale because they feel "heard." Still, some older managers resist the practice because they have more experience than younger workers.
Discussion: Why might older managers resent learning from younger employees? How can a new worker look for a mentor? How would you approach a senior employee with advice?
Helping New Graduates Helps America
Employers must take an active role to engage recent college graduates who view themselves as "the generation that opportunity forgot," says management consultant Robert Goldfarb. The reason is simple: America needs young people to retain its world leadership in ideas, products, and services.
Beleaguered by stacks of résumés from qualified applicants, too many employers are overlooking new graduates due to the perception that they are dependent on hovering parents, have poor writing skills, and are unable to think for themselves. Although these same critiques have followed generations of graduates, this current crop is particularly affected by negative perceptions because of the staggering number of qualified applicants.
However, Goldfarb believes it is essential to help graduates rather than dismiss them. Both entrepreneurs and corporate managers should form partnerships with the new generation by mentoring, training, and development. Goldfarb suggests that new grads be hired on a trial basis instead of as unpaid interns to allow the new workers to prove themselves and to empower an entire generation. Not doing so, he suggests, invites shortsighted gains and long-term failure.
Discussion: What do young workers offer over more experienced employees? How can new graduates better compete with those who have been in the workforce for many years? What can new graduates do to better prepare for the workforce?
Source: Goldfarb, R. (2011, Dec. 11). Help graduates find their footing. New York Times, p. B. 9.
A Few Pointers on Professional Etiquette
Minding your p's and q's in the workplace can be baffling because no set rules exist. However, a few pointers can help workers be more considerate of their colleagues.
1. Don't complain. A flow of negativity turns off those around you.
2. Use consideration. When phoning someone, have all your questions ready so you don't have to call again. And keep your voice down to avoid bothering those around you.
3. Thank others. From janitors to security guards, thanking people will make them feel good.
4. Clean up after yourself. No one wants to face your moldy coffee mug or pick up your crumbled papers.
5. Be sanitary. Washing your hands is not just good for your health; it's imperative for the health of those around you.
Discussion: How can someone's poor manners affect others? What can you do to make sure you maintain appropriate workplace etiquette? How do good manners improve a workplace?
Balderama, A. (2011, Dec. 4). Professional etiquette you don't think about. careerbuilder.com. Retrieved from www.careerbuilder.com
Online Profiles Haunt New Hires
Seven out of 10 hiring managers do not trust the information they find online about prospective employees, but they reject candidates based on that information anyway, according to a recent survey sponsored by Microsoft.
Perusing social media for a prospective employee's online presence is now a commonplace practice that helps employers look beyond a candidate's résumé, says Rob McGovern, creator of CareerBuilder.com. Inappropriate photos posted on Facebook, for example, show a future employer an aspect of a candidate's character that wouldn't show up elsewhere.
But these online searches can also help a prospective employee. By examining a candidate's presence on Facebook or LinkedIn, an employer can also assess the individual's involvement in the community and the industry he or she hopes to enter.
Not all hiring managers rely on social media sites. Some believe that behavioral interviews give a better perspective into how well a candidate may ultimately perform.
Discussion: What negative implications might provocative or silly photographs give to a prospective employer? What security measures can you take with your Facebook account to prevent others from seeing private photographs? What can you do now to make your social media accounts more professional?
Source: Siedsma, A. (2011, Dec. 5). Background checks push envelope for employers, job candidates alike. Workforce.com. Retrieved from www.workforce.com.
A Little Praise Goes a Long Way
Psychologists, management experts, and neurologists all agree: positivity is powerful stuff, especially in business.
People who feel more invested in a firm work harder, and to make employees feel more invested, managers should praise staff for what they do right. But the key is how to give that praise. Experts offer a few pointers on giving employees the thumbs up:
1. Offer praise sooner rather than later.
2. Be specific when giving the compliment.
3. Praise people frequently.
4. Never follow praise with a criticism.
Discussion:How can you accept praise graciously? Why might a formal note of praise be more appreciated than a verbal "thank you"? How does praise affect your future behavior?
Source: McCammon, R. (2012, Jan. 27). The power of praise in business and how to do it right. Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved from www.entrepreneur.com