Recently, while facilitating management training for a client in Austin, one of the company founders commented that their younger, less seasoned staff members have only experienced the recent good times. He was concerned that these employees, who make up the bulk of the firm’s workforce, may not have what it takes to push through volatility and uncertainty in a more challenging economic climate.
In fact, we see this situation with many companies in Austin, which is a vibrant city with a young, well-educated workforce. The median age in Austin is 31 years old, which means a large portion of the population falls into the Millennial category of people born after 1981. Additionally, Austin is home to many high-tech companies and fast-growing start-ups where there is a greater tendency to hire young staff.
Of course, growth in general is a good thing, but the downside is that fast growth comes with a cost – sometimes a very high cost in terms of customer relations. Rapid expansion can mean that new employees are brought in without sufficient experience or training, and the quality of customer service can suffer as a result.
Moreover, when companies hire new staff, they need to integrate into the existing company culture and get along with co-workers and managers who may be older. This can cause friction in the workplace even in the best of times, and especially when times are challenging.
At Fathom, we offer our popular Generations in the Workplace training program to increase awareness and understanding between the generations. This training fosters more effective collaboration and greater productivity, helping to build mutual respect among colleagues and enabling them to learn from one another.
Beyond generational issues, fast growth also can lead to front line staff being promoted to management too quickly, without sufficient skills and experience in communication, delegation and supervision. And because many employees cite a poor relationship with their immediate supervisor as the primary reason for leaving a job, lack of management skills can result in increased turnover and the associated costs of hiring and training replacement staff.
Training sessions to develop Core Managerial Skills help newer managers learn to better communicate and build trust with their staff, as well as how to effectively conduct new employee orientation. These skills are key to building a solid foundation for your organization, paving the way for long-term organizational success and stability.
Does your workforce have what it takes to push through volatility and pull together through tough times … for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health?
John Males is Founder and President of Fathom Corporate Training. With more than 20 years of experience in management, sales and negotiations, he helps clients increase employee satisfaction, lower turnover, increase revenue and raise profit margins.