If the System Works, ‘Y’ Change?

From the PublisherIf the System Works, ‘Y’ Change?

By Brian Rowland, Publisher

Recently, I read an article written by a columnist whose advice to me – and the business community of today – was to begin making fundamental changes in our philosophy of doing business as it applied specifically to human resources. It was about dealing with the “Y” generation – those 20-somethings finishing their education or embarking on a professional career.

I was advised to alter some of the fundamental underpinnings of my businesses model, and also my company, to meet the needs and “expectations” of this generation. I have some serious concerns about this advice and feel it is not only a disservice to the developing “green” professional but also will send the wrong message to the employee base that has built the company.

These are young adults who – very much like children – need parameters, support, consequences for not following the prescribed business model – and, of course, the rewards, tangibly and intangibly, for doing so. They need training, guidance, advanced technological tools and a working environment that will support, challenge and encourage their potential.

I feel that if one is provided the opportunity to come into a business, an employer has an obligation to provide certain resources and an expectation to receive a determined amount of return for the investment in this human resource to the company. I also believe that in a successful business, employees must interact with employers in a series of give-and-takes that will result in a well-rounded employee.

The days of working for a company your entire life are over … Today’s business work force is technology-based, and a smart employer knows that the minds who work in a cyberworld will move on when they have learned all they can from where they are. Most businesses will not or cannot change as fast as technology, so the job market is and always will be a revolving door.

One of the first things I look for is work stability. I’m just not interested in job hoppers – regardless of the reason – because it takes six months and five figures to get a person up to speed at this firm.

Of course, we have an employee handbook that outlines the basics of employee performance and company benefits. Otherwise, I ask only three things from all employees:  Return your phone calls and e-mails within 24 hours, keep your work space clean and organized, and do what you say you will do when you say it will be done. All else is negotiable. I want to offer better compensation than the norm, provide ongoing professional challenges, create an excellent working environment, deliver a product we, and all of Northwest Florida, can be proud of – and have fun along the way. So I welcome any Ys who can help the growth and success of Rowland Publishing on its journey. I’m just not going to do it your way or the way a columnist who’s not actively involved in the day-to-day challenges of running a business suggests. Show me a different – better – way and I will change in a heartbeat.

Now let’s take a look at today and tomorrow’s work world from the perspective of the 20-somethings. No question you are leaders in technology and the cyberworld – you have the potential to keep America positioned as the leading nation in the world. This is a wonderful opportunity and a tremendous responsibility. You need some serious polishing, a lot of training, and the opportunity to test your talents, make some mistakes on someone else’s nickel, learn from this and gain expertise and maturity.

The next generation, the millenials, from early reports, consume more and demand more of the finer things than Baby Boomers ever did with little or no conception of what it takes to pay for this lifestyle … I see rough seas on the horizon. Hope you enjoy this issue.

Categories: Archive