Webinar presenter Brenda Dietzman answered a number of your questions after her webinar, Organizational Stress: From the Administrative Perspective. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: As a millennial, the oldest of us are now we’re in our forties and the youngest in late twenties. How much experience do we need to no longer be considered as young and inexperienced? And how do we change this view?
Brenda Dietzman: That is so great. I love this question, because yes, the oldest Millennials right now are around 44 years old, and the youngest are around 27. By the way, as a Gen Xer, I’m almost a baby boomer and that makes me feel really, really old. But yeah, I think a lot of times, when I go out and do talks about generations, Baby Boomers, raise their hand, Gen Xers raise their hand and identify themselves. Gen Zs raise their hand, and Millennials kind of like sheepishly like, “Yeah, I’m a Millennial.” I think, first of all, we need to get away from some of these labels because if you are a go getter, if you’re a hard worker and a heart charger, it doesn’t matter what generation you’re in. So, a lot of this comes back to understanding the different generations and not only the older generations understanding Millennials and the Gen Z generations, but also those generations understanding Xers and Boomers and why we do the things that we do. So, I think that there needs to be some understanding going both ways. The big thing is, is have hard conversations with people, even your boss. and go into them if they’re treating you like a Millennial, whatever that looks like to you. Go in and have every conversation and say, “Listen, I’m part of the millennial generation, but this is who I am. I’m a hard charger, I believe in this organization. I want your job someday, whatever it is. I want to take on this project. I want to do this,” and have open, honest conversations, because I don’t have time to get into this right now, but we have shortcuts in our brain that creates bias, and it’s because of things that we’ve heard, things that we’ve seen, things that we’ve experienced in life. And we have a tendency in this society to see millennials as X, Y, and Z, when they can be very different. And as a generation, they have their strengths in their own ways. We just have to understand what their strengths are, and work with them as administrators. So, I have found, now, a lot of millennials are administrators, some of them are chief, some of them are directors, and that’s awesome, because we need the skills and the things that your generation brings to the workforce in those leadership positions, because they’re really good things. I mean, you’re motivated by purpose and achievement. And those aren’t bad things. So, have that hard conversation, if you’re being treated in a way, that doesn’t fit who you are. And work together with that administrator to move through that stereotype and reach some of your career goals that you want to reach.
Audience Question: Taking the inverse of the question that we just answered…How does Generation X get Millennials and younger to take us seriously without being considered old Boomers?
Brenda Dietzman: Oh. I love generational questions. A lot of this goes back to the way us Gen Xers are, we’re cynical, were the forgotten generation because there’s so few of us. We aren’t going to have a lot of time in power because our generation is such a short time span. We’re workers, right? We just work. That’s what we do. Communication, getting out amongst the folks is something that we’re not very good at, because we didn’t want our bosses around, so we don’t think we should be around anybody else. And so, I think a lot of it is just kind of relaxing a little bit and getting out and talking with people, getting to know each other, and being vulnerable. Letting people understand that we’re not perfect and that we have questions, and that we were that we are willing to listen to people below us and get input from them. I think it’s a big thing. This is a subject that I wish I had another hour to talk about that. Because I think that I think understanding the motivations would be a big thing. So, I would encourage you to go back and listen to some of my previous webinars or check out the leadership or recruiting classes. They both have information on that.
JCH: I love that, Brenda. I’ve got I’ve got to share a comment that someone just sent in. They put it very succinctly, what you just said. Give us respect and we’ll give you respect.
Brenda Dietzman: But what does that go back to? It goes back to communication and getting to know each other.
Audience Question: How would you define micromanagement and how do you view its interaction with worker retention and workplace morale?
Brenda Dietzman: Okay, so this is big because Gen Z, they want you around this age is 26 and below, and I’m going to even include the younger millennials, because I have a tendency to break up the older millennials and the younger millennials. The younger millennials and the Gen Z want you to be present in their life. They want to interact with you. They want to know about your family. They want to know about your hobbies, they want to get to know you as a human being, because that’s what they’re used to with authority figures in their life. And conversely, we need to get, we need to be in their lives and understand what’s important to them and get to know them as human beings as well. Micro managing, being present doesn’t mean you’re micromanaging. Being present means you’re invested in your organization and you’re invested in your people. Micro-managing is when you get into do this specific, like do X, Y, and Z, as opposed to, I want you to work on this project, let me know if you have questions type thing. Micro managing is telling people the who, the what, the where, the when, the why of the job, as opposed to giving them the freedom to figure some things out and then, come to you if they have questions. So, presence is different than micromanagement.
Audience Question: I struggle with how to handle a small team of three employees. Were one of them excels at their job but the other 1 or 2 do not. How do I deal with this without the non-performers feeling picked up?
Brenda Dietzman: I think the big thing is, is just to really sit back and make sure that you are not dumping everything on the high performer, that you’re holding everyone accountable to do the same amount of work. Now the quality might end up being different. But really paying attention to the workload that you’re giving, that high performer and spending time with them. Because most of the time, what I’ve found is that people have a tendency to really focus in on the problems and their organization. But when I switch that, and I started hanging out with the people that were high performers, the people that could do their job on their own, and I let them do their job on their own. But I invested in them. I spend time with them. Those other people saw the priority of the administrator within the organization, myself, and some of them were like, “Hey, I want that.” So, it turn some of them, not all of them, but it turns some of them around. If I want to be invested in, if I want to be grown, if I want to have input, I’ve got to start turning my work ethic or whatever it is around. But make sure that, first of all, you’re being fair. Because that can cause bitterness of that current worker if you’re poor and everything on them. And then and then letting people see where and who you’re going to invest in.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Organizational Stress: From the Administrative Perspective.