Harnessing the power of an inter-generational workplace
Posted On September 21, 2022
I have long been an advocate of Baby Boomer and Generation X CEOs and managers not only listening to their millennial employees, but learning from them and giving them an active role in the decision-making process. The unique perspectives and skills of millennials are valuable in today’s workplace and can help a business ensure it is reaching the younger segments of the marketplace in the most effective ways.
In the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” I spoke with someone who has taken that mindset a step further. Tanya Hart Little met Allison Johnston Frizzo while serving as an mentor for Ladies in Commercial Real Estate, a Dallas-area networking group Frizzo helped start that has grown from about 30 members to over 700. Now she and her millennial colleague have gone into business together, opening a Dallas-based real estate brokerage, Hart Commercial.
“We both believe in a lot of the same things, even though we’re from different generations,” Little said of herself and Frizzo. “We believe in teamwork. We believe in having a seat at the table, and having other people within the organization be able to voice their opinions. … We want people to feel empowered to be a part of this organization, to feel like a team.”
The first step to a successful inter-generational partnership, Little says, is discarding the overgeneralized assumptions many Baby Boomers have about the younger generations.
“Are there boomers that are lazy? Are there millennials that are lazy? Are there Gen Zs that are lazy?” she asked rhetorically. “Yeah, I’m sure there are plenty of them. But there are also very, very talented young people that need to be heard and not categorized.”
The next is figuring the ways in which the unique perspective of the younger generation can benefit your business. For Hart Commercial, Little said one of those ways was in marketing – harnessing the power of social media (check them out at @hartcommercialrealestate) to reach customers and promote the business, and using analytical tools and customer feedback to gauge their results.
Another is in talent attraction, and ensuring their workplace is one that will attract the younger generation of employees. Frizzo noted that quality of life and work flexibility are key to that goal. The ability to have an active voice in the organization is another.
“Yes, I am a millennial. I did get plenty of participation trophies when I competed in something,” she said. “What I’ve found is when my value is realized by an employer, I want to work as hard as I can, and I want to be loyal to that employer.”