Hear Their stories…and Tell Yours There is no time to dawdle, as if lol- lygagging were in the claims vernacular. That we’ve established. Keeping your workforce engaged and inspired begins now. Whether you’re operating on a
“shoestring budget” or have a cutting-
edge training curriculum, there is always
room for improvement. The first step in
engaging employees is to create a hospi-
table and attractive environment.
Companies can no longer assume tra-
ditional benefits will retain highly cov-
eted talent. Sure, tangible benefits, such
as healthy wages, basic medical and den-
tal benefits, and 401k and profit sharing
options are valued, especially in a down
economy. But that won’t compel sharp,
ambitious workers to stay and invest in a
claims career at your company.
Providing such benefits along with a
culture of trust and respectful treatment,
however, can motivate them to stick
around and excel. To clarify, though this
article touches upon broad generalizations and characterizations of certain age
groups, it is no substitute for individual
experiences. Learning about generations
doesn’t preclude getting to know and appreciate your peers as unique individuals. Rather, it means treating everyone
fairly and with a baseline level of respect.
Arguably, an enhanced understanding of
historical events that may have helped
shape certain age groups’ views—say,
the Vietnam War, JFK assassination or
Hurricane Katrina—as well as common
goals and desires will enable managers
in a couple of years—if not already—they
will be holding steady in middle management or executive leadership roles.
By 2015, the earliest of the millennial generation will
be 35 years old, meaning in just a couple of years—
if not already—they will assume roles in middle
management or executive leadership.
to better understand expectations and
preferences while recognizing impediments to job satisfaction and true collaboration.
After all, part of a manager’s job is
successfully negotiating the competing
needs of a diverse workforce every step
of the way. This entails decoding work-
place behaviors and perceptions. For
example, what one person construes as
directness, another may perceive as hos-
tility. Aside from the source, managers
should avail themselves of all possible
resources to better “read” their employ-
ees. This could be as casual as picking
up a magazine outside of your com-
fort zone—Wired magazine, for some.
Surprisingly, I found the current Pew
How to talk to…The Silent Generation
Born: Between 1925 and 1945
aka: the world war ii Generation
Communication Pointers: words and tone of voice should be respectful, with
good grammar, clear diction, no slang or profanity. language should be a bit
formal and professional, and the message should relate to company history
and long-term goals.
How to talk to…Baby Boomers
Born: Between 1946 and 1964
Communication Pointers: this conversation should be more relational,
perhaps over coffee or lunch. Boomers tend to see relationship and business
results as intertwined. ask about mutual interests, for example “how is your
daughter doing in college?” Make the conversation participative by getting
the other’s input, and link the message to the team or individual vision,
mission, and values.
How to talk to…Generation X
Born: Between 1965 and 1980
Communication Pointers: don’t waste the person’s time. Be direct and
straightforward. avoid corporate-speak. Send an email or leave a voicemail
that states clearly what you want, how it will serve the Generation Xer, and
when you want it.
How to talk to…Millennials aka Generation Y
Born: After 1980
Communication Pointers: Be positive. Send a text message or meet face-to-face. Relate the message to the Millennial’s personal goals or to the goals
the whole team is working toward. don’t be condescending. avoid cynicism