For the first time ever, five generations coexist in the workplace, spanning from Gen-Zers to Boomers. While this presents an unprecedented opportunity to drive innovation, it also presents leaders with the challenge of uniting these disparate groups into cohesive, productive teams. Noting that each generation wants to be heard, the author (president of HP’s Americas region), contends “technology can help build a future of work that is beneficial for everyone, and by applying the right types of innovation, organizations can hear all employees and solve many of the issues that arise within a multigenerational workforce.”
He then goes into detail on four ways this can be accomplished: building a capacity for collaboration and communication; creating workspaces that match the mission; easing fears with professional development; and lastly, leveraging automation to create time for collaboration.
As most entrepreneurs know, securing financing from a bank for their startup is not likely to happen. The reasons are simply that the failure rate is too high, and startups usually don’t have the assets or revenue stream to back up a loan – hence “why angel and equity investors are so sought after by entrepreneurs,” states the author. While some startup founders do overcome the odds, he continues, you need to be realistic and do your homework. He then offers eight “tips and rules of thumb to improve your odds and help you understand when a bank loan or line of credit is possible, and how to get it,” from first writing up a good business plan and cleaning up your credit rating to showing a significant personal investment and demonstrating an ability to repay from revenues, not collateral.
The author discusses how a few years ago when she’d asked several successful entrepreneurs what advice they would share with others just starting out, the common theme was “time, health and relationships are limited resources that should be protected despite the overwhelming demands” they face. She continues to say that “new studies are backing up this advice, with reports showing a direct line between sleep deprivation and a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as the faster onset of symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease. Even more concerning is one new study on mice which links exposure to mild stressors with higher rates of depression and lower interest in self-care, socializing, or recreational activities.”
She quotes the co-founder of Initialized Capital and Reddit – who refers to the often toxic values and messaging among the startup community as “hustle porn” – as saying that “his own failure to prioritize self-care during the early days of his startup ended up negatively impacting the quality of his own work” during an on-stage 2018 Ignition Conference interview.
As a business owner, chances are you’re always busy with multitasking and working long hours, and worry if you slow down you won’t get everything done. “But research has proven that task-switching makes us less efficient — not more”, the author says, adding, “this kind of behavior can account for up to a 40% loss in your productive time.” So how do you make the transition from your unproductive, multitasking habit into a zone where you’re focused and getting more done? The counterintuitive answer: take breaks. The author then delves into the how-to’s of taking a productive break, establishing break triggers (like internal chaos), and planning breaks in advance after you’ve the basics of taking breaks down. Finally, she counsels to not be too hard on yourself if you find yourself lapsing into old patterns.
Retaining top talent is no small feat anymore, but a new study offers some insights into what employees really want from work. According to the author, one particularly telling question included in the study was: “How likely are you to ask your boss for the following….” Here are the top three takeaways: nearly twice as many employees (61%) want to ask for meaningful work as want to ask for a raise (34%); while there’s nothing wrong with embracing tech in your workplace, it’s important to pay attention to what employees are going through on the tech/IT front; and almost half of employees (48%) want a better work/life balance.
“It’s true that an expanding business will have growing expenses too, but unless that growth is supported by a proportional growth in profits as well, cost cutting becomes essential,” the author states. He then offers six easy, effective, and practical ways to cut down on your business expenses, ranging from better managing your employee expenses to renting rather than buying the equipment, especially if the equipment is expensive and your business is small.
“Technology, talent shortage and trust are just a few of the issues that will challenge workplace culture over the next decade,” the author predicts. In terms of workplace culture, there will be several shifts by 2030: teams will be more diverse and inclusive than ever; being an effective communicator is going to tougher; the trust factor will be trickier; workers will always be upskilling; and effective work spaces may make offices popular again.