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Earlier this summer I was interviewed for a research project and master’s thesis by an EY (rebranded from Ernest & Young) Fellow in Ireland. For one of the questions, I generated a long list that provides an overview of challenges in the current multi-generational workplace. I am happy to share this with you.

Q. What do you feel are key issues affecting the multi-generational workplace at present?

A.  I easily named over a dozen issues, challenges and frustrations:

  • Senior management/decision-makers not “getting” the significant direct impact of generational challenges on the bottom line on their business.
  • Making mutigenerational teams better appreciate each member and work more effectively together.
  • Sharing and transferring knowledge – owing to compensation systems, lack of know-how and/or cultural resistance
  • Attracting and retaining clients/customers of different generations – and not taking different approaches
  • Attracting and retaining employees of different generations  - not using different approaches to meet their needs and expectations
  • Knowing when facetime is necessary and when not
  • Different generational perceptions of what teamwork is and what’s in it for them
  • Doing an effective job of orienting new employees, conveying the big picture vision and setting elear expectations
  • Comfort level with feedback and how to do it right – both giving and receiving
  • Avoiding turnover of valuable employees
  • Communicating messages that are received as intended by each generation
  • Excluding younger generation voices on leadership from succession planning
  • Tensions when older workers report to younger managers

No doubt this is a long list with much to tackle. Of course, not all of these are present in all firms/organizations or to the same degreee.

Which issues – or others – are occurring in your workplace or do you see elsewhere?

Please comment about which of these challenges and solutions to them you’d like to know more about to pwhaserot@pdcounsel.com or the Cross-Generational Conversation group on LinkedIn.

Let’s begin cross-generational conversation about these issues toward making more workplaces “best places to work.”

Phyllis Weiss Haserot    www.pdcounsel.com



For those of you on the move this weekend…

There’s still some magic in face-to-face meetings that electronic communication can’t match. They’re more effective for relationship-building, sales and revenue generation. The evidence is that those in-person conversations produce an impressive ROI. And don’t forget valuable new contacts that are made in serendipitous conversation in the act of traveling.

The United States Travel Association published the results of a recent study it had commissioned through Oxford Economics proving that business travel drives revenue and ultimately profit growth. For this study, "business travel” included sales trips, meetings, conventions, and incentive trips. Their comprehensive analysis covered 14 economic sectors over a span of 13 years.

  • For every dollar invested in business travel, Oxford Economics determined that businesses experience an average $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.
  • Business executives cited customer meetings for having the greatest returns, in the range of $15 to $19.99 per dollar invested. That's a 1500 to 2000 percent return on investment (ROI).
  • The same executives identified the average return on conference and trade show participation to be in the range of $4 to $5.99 per dollar invested.
  • Both executives and business travelers estimated that approximately 40 percent of their prospective customers were converted to new customers with an in-person meeting compared to 16 percent without such a meeting.

Are web meetings and teleconferences are just as effective? Among corporate executives, 85 percent found these remote meetings with prospective customers to be less effective than in-person meetings. Virtual meetings are less effective than in-person meetings with current customers according to 63 percent of the corporate executives.

What about incentive travel in relation to compensation? According to the responding executives, companies would need to increase an employee’s total base compensation by 8.5 percent in order to achieve the same effect as incentive travel.

Now if only it was less of a hassle for the travelers!

Phyllis Weiss Haserot    www.pdcounsel.com


I recently attended a webinar by The BTI Consulting Group, Inc. providing an overview of corporate counsel survey results and advice for law firms desiring to compete favorably in what was called a “predators’ paradise” in the marketplace for services. In my opinion, the advice is relevant beyond the legal arena to any professional service or actually any business with which needs a strong client focus. So I offer this brief recap of salient points to my readers.  (For more details, contact me at pwhaserot@pdcounsel.com.) It is important information for members of any generation aspiring to attract and retain clients in the “new normal” economy.

  • High client satisfaction rates are crucial to defending against predator competition.
  • The more fronts  (practice or service areas) on which you can penetrate and serve the client, the more likely you are to keep the business.
  • You must be strongly aligned with clients” marketplace objectives, thinking like them. Situation specific approaches garner higher fees.
  • Start with identifying marketplace needs and work backwards to determine and develop what you will offer, with flexibility. The aim is to provide individual clients with semi-customized services and delivery, that is, customizing for each from processes and templates in place.
  • Rapid change in external factors means processes and approaches may have to change every 18 months.  Firms that are static in their mindsets and offerings will only get commodity work, which pays on the lower end.
  • Focus is critical. Have 5 or fewer strategic objectives in a 12-month period.
  • Actively and specifically respond and anticipate clients’ changing needs and priorities.
  • What clients said was most difficult to find is “commitment to help them” rather than focus on the service provider’s needs.
  • The second most important goal for clients is to have providers who give the best value for the dollar. So they are looking for more value for less cost.



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