Managing Generational Differences and Culture at Work

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

Ever sense generational friction in your workplace? You are not alone. This workplace tension is most common between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to improve coworker comradery despite generational differences. Subtle changes can go a long way in improving your company culture and boosting employee retention. Here’s how.

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8 Tips For Awesome Onboarding Of Millennials

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

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Let’s face it:  Millennials are different.  As such, their onboarding process should be different and very unlike the onboarding process experienced by Gen Xrs and Boomers.  In fact, the very first weeks of a Millennial’s employment will largely determine their career trajectory within your organization.

A 2014 Bentley University Study revealed that the majority of Millennial graduates gave themselves a C- when it came to their level of preparedness to enter the workforce.  Thus, when they arrive at your company’s door, the importance of your onboarding process takes on a whole new meaning.  This statistic really underscores the importance of onboarding for this all-important generation (as of last year, the largest single generation in the workforce).

Inspired by a recent keynote presentation I gave on the subject, here are the eight sure-fire ways to properly onboard Millennials such that they are not only retained, but also are fully engaged members of your team:

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The Perils of Disengagement

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

In partnership with the Association for Training & Development, this video explores just how damaging it can be to tolerate Actively Disengaged employees on your team.  I should know.  My former account stole $110,000 from my company over the years.  But even worse, she sabotaged a deal I teed up to sell the company.  (The potential buyer was an auditing firm and she was scared the transaction would unearth her secret, so she stopped at nothing to avoid being caught.)  This shows how employees who don’t have the company’s best interest at heart cannot be tolerated.  You must learn to look for the core characteristics of these workplace arsonists and gossip mongers, and then transition them out of your organization.  All best-in-class employers actively migrate these worst workers out of their organizations.  Does yours?

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The Thief of Workplace Productivity

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

People laughing sitting office desk laptop colleagues fun jokeWhen asked about the single greatest detractor of workplace productivity, most employees, and especially managers, will incorrectly cite workplace meetings or meeting mismanagement.  While it is certainly true that a great amount of productivity is lost to these things, the real answer is workplace interruptions, especially given the push to open-office floor plans.  While this design trend was intended to facilitate more communication and collaboration, it no doubt carried an unintended downside.  The lower cubicle walls, communal snack bars and break rooms, and removal of office doors bring heightened interruptions, as well as concerns over keeping information confidential.  A study by the University of California Irvine found that employees who work in open floor plans have 29% more interruptions than employees in offices.

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The Working Dead: The Middle Category of Employee Engagement

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

Brought to you in partnership with the Association for Talent and Development, this video blog describes the largest of the three categories of employee engagement. Fully 60% of all workers fall into this category of ambivalence. Often called “The Working Dead” or the “Quit and Stay Employee,” these workers cost organizations the most money in lost productivity and profits. Want to know the three most effective solutions on how to re-engage them and make more money? Check out this video.

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The Thief of Workplace Productivity

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.workplace productivity

When asked about the single greatest detractor of workplace productivity, most employees, and especially managers, will incorrectly cite workplace meetings or meeting mismanagement. While it is certainly true that a great amount of productivity is lost to these things, the real answer is workplace interruptions, especially given the push to open-office floor plans. While this design trend was intended to facilitate more communication and collaboration, it no doubt carried an unintended downside. The lower cubicle walls, communal snack bars and break rooms, and removal of office doors bring heightened interruptions, as well as concerns over keeping information confidential. A study by the University of California Irvine found that employees who work in open floor plans have 29% more interruptions than employees in offices.

Multiple research studies have found that interruptions have a negative effect on employee engagement, job satisfaction, stress levels, and job performance, ultimately resulting in lower productivity and increased absenteeism. These adverse effects of interruptions cost an estimated $588 billion a year in the US, according to Basex Research. One of the biggest contributors to this staggering cost is the fact that after an interruption, it takes an average of 25 minutes for the employee to get back to the task at hand.1

While some of the workday interruptions are from external sources such as coworkers, emails, a telephone ring, texts, and social media, shockingly, 44% of the interruptions occur when we interrupt ourselves, which seems both ironic and counterintuitive.2

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Bad Boss/Best Boss

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This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.


There is a reason Hollywood produced a movie called Horrible Bosses, as well as its sequel. Listen in on conversations at a happy hour on any given Friday, and you will hear all about them. Bad bosses can be found at every level of management, and they often display the same characteristics.

During nearly all of my leadership development workshops, after teaching how important the manager-employee relationship is to improving employee engagement, I challenge the participants to become someone’s “best boss.” We then explore the qualities of a best boss. However, it is just as valuable to consider the opposite. What traits do horrible bosses most often exhibit?

Before getting into the details of a best boss, let’s examine traits of bad bosses.

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