Trust, part 2

If you’ve been reading my posts as of late, this is an issue that has been weighing heavily on my mind. Some of it is because of the growing pains that the company I work for is currently feeling; another part of it relates just to some ideas that have been swirling around in my brain.

Trust. Whether you are running a business, launching a new marketing campaign or re-branding an older company, the amount of trust you have with your team members and customers is one of the most valuable assets you have.

I think we are quickly approaching a major generational problem. My guess is that many businesses across the country are feeling a rising level of discontent from their younger team members who do not feel trusted by the old guard. The Baby Boomers have their way of doing business – this includes everything from uniform policies to how they conduct meetings. It touches everything.

The younger generations are hungry for change:

  • Do you love business attire? Dress-down Fridays are a good start, but many of also understand that being “professional” is much more about how you conduct yourself than what you wear.
  • Do you love controlling your employees’ schedule? Our lives are busy and we work hard. The traditional 8-5 or 9-5 schedule just doesn’t work for many of us. We are working all the time and shouldn’t be tied to a schedule.
  • Want to see us in the office? We have our own computers at home and can probably accomplish much more work without people creeping into the cubicle every five minutes?
  • Love meetings? We are self starters. We love creativity. We love problem solving. Keep the meetings to a minimum so we can get our work done.
  • Are you experiencing an out-of-whack work-live balance? We crave balance, time with our families, time to ourselves, time to do the things we’ve worked so hard to get.
  • Is your business just there to make money or does it stand for something more? We want to work for companies that provide meaning and are actively working to make a difference in our local communities and the world.

Now if you take a look at the questions above, the issue that is at the heart of every one of them is trust. You have to trust your team to do the right thing. Will people screw up? Yes. Will they fail you? Sure, from time to time. Will there be those who will take advantage of the situation? Most definitely. But the sooner you can get over this and realize that these same situations occur today, the more prepared you will be to start making the changes needed today in order to win tomorrow.

We are on the verge of a major shift in many industries throughout the world. The Boomers are in the process of retiring and will be doing so in record numbers. And we are here waiting to fill your rolls. The problem businesses will face is that there are way more people retiring than there will be new people to fill your jobs. That translates into a massively competitive situation for companies who need talented team members.

The businesses that will win the talent war are the ones that are actively changing their ways in order to attract great talent now. The race is on. Will your company win or will it lose because there wasn’t someone there to get the work done?

Who is winning this game at the moment? Lots of companies:

  • Whole Foods
  • Wegmans
  • Zappos
  • SAS
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Starbucks

Check out Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For” list (the list).

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