November 3, 2008 at 5:33 pm #61699
Serving as the new Public Manager liaison for Young Government Leaders, I was asked this question for a board member profile to appear in the next newsletter. Ironically, the next issue of The Public Manager magazine will address the topic “Transforming Bureaucratic Cultures,” which was also the theme of their summer conference.
In order to select authors and topics that deal with issues that are important to you, I would like to pose two questions:
1. If you could wave a magic wand and change something about government, what would it be?
2. If you have seen this change happen in another agency, can you provide a specific example?
Your responses to these two questions will help to address not only the challenges but also provide some practical case studies/solutions that respond to them.
Thank you for your feedback!
November 4, 2008 at 12:25 am #61793
Reform Gen Y Recruitment. Create “Teach for America”-type program for govies. Create U.S. Public Service Academy.
November 4, 2008 at 3:33 am #61791
Yeah, was going to say, reform the hiring process. Also, pay for performance. City of Concord, CA is a good example, with incentives for managers based on annual performance reviews. But I don’t know federal policies well, so I’m taking a shot in the dark based on San Francisco local gov. Paper here mentions Concord’s program: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/files/about/pfpissues0504.pdf It’s really poor policy to have all promotions and pay linked to longevity and not performance. Means folks have to skip around to get ahead, or just leave.
November 4, 2008 at 5:44 am #61789
I would like to see our hiring process less bogged down by political correctness and all the systems we’ve created to generate “equality.” Too many of us, in the Forest Service at least, have lost jobs to unqualified candidats, simply because of Veterans’ preference. Additionally, there are other burdensome mandates about diversity and so forth. Not to mention the way in which we must rate, rank, and review applications. It is utterly ridiculous. Also, the FS has a centralized HR system now, which is HORRID. The effect has been for position descriptions to become exceedingly generic, which then places an additional burden on our performance evaluations (more hoop jumping and less actual evaluation).
And don’t get me started on Adriel’s comment re: promotions based on longevity. I wouldn’t say it’s that way in the FS, but we’ve all seen several examples of “promoting the problem” to get rid of a poor performer.
November 4, 2008 at 2:38 pm #61787
1. More stability with use of contractors and contractor workforces. Many contractors have the freedom and capabilities the government workforce does not…. yet, they are hired, switched, disposed of at whim….. I think it may be MORE possible to reform the government interaction with contractors (like me!) than to reform the whole government system….
2. I have not had the privelege of witnessing change for the better so much, BUT, I do think there are role models out there that the government would do well to consider adopting or at least understanding some of their practices…. Southwest Airlines is one example…. happy employees, financial stability amid turmoil, ….
November 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm #61785
I’d like to see some of the administrative processes (e.g. hiring, procurement) less “process-driven” and more “results-driven”.
I recognize that there are good reasons that made sense to people for the horrendous hoops we have to go through to get anything accomplished in these areas. They help make sure our hiring and acquiring is done in a manner that is open, fair and transparent. But when you put all of the processes and controls together, instead of supporting us in our efforts to deliver value to the citizens they are creating significant barriers. We need a lot more flexibility.
I don’t think this freedom should come without accountability. People need to be accountable for the hiring and acquiring decisions they make. If they use the flexibility to discriminate in hiring, or if corrupt acquisitions are found, then there should be significant consequences.
November 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm #61783
Current government managers seem to have developed risk aversion to such a level it has become boogey man in the room. We talk a lot about succession planning these days but with the current level of risk aversion in government do we want our next generation to have the same phobias as the last when it comes to change and risk. It would be nice to think that current generation of managers wants next generation to be more effective and efficient leaders in future, but sometimes I wonder if they want to succeed as long as we don’t out shine their legacy.
November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm #61781
It seems to me that a lot of the processes that are being discussed here are things that have built up over the years, slowly gathering more and more baggage as time has gone on. There are a lot of processes that I’ve seen at the local level – and I’m guilty of passing some along myself – that would benefit from having everyone involved sit down and start over. Gather requirements. Create a new business process from scratch. Get rid of duplicate, outdated, or needless steps. Streamline everything.
If I could wave a magic wand from my position as an insider in local government, I think that’s what I’d do. I think I’ll set that as a goal for myself – one process that I have control over, or that I can convince people to work with me on – let’s review it and rebuild it from the ground up if we can.
If I could wave a wand from my outsider perspective of the federal government – I think it would be similar – clean out the garbage! Start with the tax system, or Social Security, or something else that impacts every single American, IMHO. Accomplish the same exact thing, if you must, but make it about 60 gazillion pages shorter and easier to navigate.
November 4, 2008 at 8:51 pm #61779
I would love to see a government culture in which it is OK to challenge the status quo about how things are done within the context of what the organization is trying to achieve, where new ideas and appropriate risk-taking are encouraged and failures are tolerated.
November 6, 2008 at 1:45 am #61777
1. I believe that all citizens should serve in some capacity during their lifetime: Military, Local, Sate, Federal government, Americorps, Peace Corps; serve in some capacity for a specified length of time. I believe Social Security could be modified with incentives for service. That would in effect recruit from folks thinking of retirement. It would also recruit service-minded young people looking for experience. Folks with skills in mid-career would also have added incentive to look at Government jobs during their working life.
2. Regarding Concord, CA, (Adriel’s post) I have followed the City for years as they have won awards. It appears that the core program of ongoing training/learning/employee development that is mandatory for all employees is critical to their success.
I think that all governments trying pay-for-performance have trouble with measuring performance. I don’t know if six-sigma or some other program would work as well in government as it does in the private sector, but it is being tried.
November 6, 2008 at 6:13 am #61775
Considering Barack Obama’s landslide victory over John McCain, I look to state and local governments around the country (and around the world, for that matter) that have 2-, 3-, 4-political party systems for their election cycles. How will, or is it too early to tell, the Obama win ricochet through the other levels of government? Might there come a time when political parties are akin to social groups and less election-related?
November 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm #61773
Thanks for your comments, everyone!
If I were to summarize the comments so far, it sounds like the top issues (in no particular order) are:
1. Streamline the hiring process.
2. Change recruiting strategies to attract young candidates.
3. Create incentives/opportunities for all Americans to serve their country (volunteer or paid).
4. Replace the tenure-based system with a performance- or results-based environment.
5. Seek stability among contractors serving beside government.
6. Incentivize (calculated) risk-taking, creativity and innovation.
7. Analyze tasks/processes to develop greater efficiency.
I’d love to hear some examples of a agencies that have streamlined their hiring process or been successful under early implementations of performance-based systems. Any out there?
November 6, 2008 at 11:39 pm #61771
The below is from FederalTimes.com regarding hiring process streamlining. I don’t know enough about six-sigma to say whether it works or not, but there are a lot of private sector companies that are using it and it appears to be transitioning from the private to the public sector.
November 6th, 2008
How NRC cut its hiring time in half
By STEPHEN LOSEY
June 01, 2008
Two years ago, Sen. George Voinovich issued a challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Hire more than 350 employees a year to keep up with the nation’s increasing demand for nuclear power. NRC typically hires only two-thirds that number. But since then, NRC overhauled its hiring process — and cut its hiring time in half. Jim McDermott , the agency’s human resources director, now expects NRC to hire more than 400 employees this year. The keys: relying less on rating panels to sort through candidates, adding a second contract employee to help at a key stage, and giving managers more say in the hiring process.
“I’m trying to put the decision in the hands of someone who really does want and need to hire someone,” McDermott told Federal Times. “Let’s be as smart as we are fair.” NRC’s solutions can be applied as well by other federal agencies trying to speed up their own sluggish hiring processes, said John Palguta, vice president of the Partnership for Public Service, which promotes employment in the public sector.
“This makes a lot of sense,” Palguta said. “It’s cutting edge, and I suspect a lot of government managers out there would welcome the chance to be more involved in the process.”
Recent Merit Systems Protection Board surveys show the government took five months or longer to hire one-third of new federal employees.
Getting rid of rating panels
Until last December, NRC regularly had three-person selection panels go through dozens of applications to rate qualified job candidates.
Those panels — made up of the manager who would eventually hire and oversee the new employee, and two subject matter experts from a separate section — were originally intended to ensure fairness.
Since two-thirds of the panel members “didn’t have a dog in the fight,” they were theoretically objective and would supposedly ensure that the best candidate would be hired, McDermott said.
But the process was very different in reality, McDermott and other officials said. Since two of the panel members had no stake in the hiring process, many were not interested in shuffling their busy schedules to accommodate meetings.
Even if members were interested, logistics were another problem, said Alison Tallarico, NRC’s human resources chief for its reactor programs support branch, who sat on two committees that conducted Lean Six Sigma evaluations on NRC’s hiring processes last year.
“Part of the problem was getting people’s schedules to align,” Tallarico said. “It’s difficult, people are on travel. Plus we’re running out of space and have converted some conference rooms into cubicles. Even if people had time to meet, there’d be no space to meet.”
So at the Six Sigma panels’ suggestion, NRC in December started allowing hiring managers to go through the applications on their own and pick the candidates they thought were best.
“We tried to see where the most bottlenecks were, and it seemed there were a lot of delays in the rating process,” Tallarico said. McDermott said managers don’t entirely have free rein on their hires. NRC requires managers to talk to their superiors about who they plan to hire and explain their decision, to make sure they are bringing the right people on board. But NRC said this change has helped get the rating phase of the hiring process down from more than 23 days on average a year ago to about eight days in April.
There is no law requiring agencies to use rating panels, but the practice has been around for decades and many agencies still do, Palguta said. He feels the fairness concerns that prompted their adoptions are misguided. “There’s a school of thought that a manager might rank his friends highly, but I don’t know any manager that’s looking to hire people who aren’t well qualified,” Palguta said. “It’s in his own interest to get the best people, because that makes his job easier.” NRC has also brought on a second contractor to do initial reviews of job applications and weed out obviously unqualified candidates, Tallarico said. That’s allowed NRC to finish those reviews in more than three days on average — below the Office of Personnel Management’s goal of five days. NRC wants to hire a third contractor and speed up that initial review process even further, Tallarico said. And Tallarico said the Six Sigma panels put information online advising managers how to more efficiently conduct interviews, check references, and make hiring decisions.
Many managers are now farming out reference check duties to their employees, she said, which is far more efficient than managers calling the references themselves. Other agencies could conduct similar Six Sigma evaluations to improve their hiring processes, said Larry Davidson, NRC’s senior policy and program development specialist. But to do that, an agency would need systems that can accurately measure how long each step in the hiring process takes.
Without that data, Davidson said, it is nearly impossible to find out where the logjams are.
“We mapped out the entire process in excruciating detail, and for each step, we said, ‘Do we have to do this, or can we do it differently?’ ” Davidson said. “What gets measured, gets fixed.”
SES hiring changes to come OPM is also looking for ways to improve the process by which Senior Executive Service candidates are selected. OPM is planning to start a pilot program in June at the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Homeland Security, Treasury, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Energy departments, that will allow people to apply to become SES candidates by simply submitting their resumes. Today, candidates must write a series of lengthy essays describing their leadership qualities, which OPM feels is unnecessary.
November 8, 2008 at 5:53 pm #61769
Thats the thing Rosas the upper level managers don’t want to hear your ideas just agree with theirs. Upper management culture is such that they don’t wanna take chances and don’t want to hear what others have in mind.
The other thing I would change would be do away with the CFC. I give to who I want to give and if they arent on the CFC list then I am not considered participating. It seems like our forms are distributed to us practically filled out. The meetings the coordinators go to and the overall extra stuff the CFC intails distracts from the work of the people.
November 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm #61767
That’s excellent and exactly the kind of case studies that we should collect and analyze…thank you very much!
November 11, 2008 at 6:39 am #61765
The first one may never happen, but I’d like the country to revisit the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and decentralize most of the services now offered by the federal government back to the states and local governments.
The second is more flexibility in the government hiring process. The current hiring process for most government agencies, prohibits many candidates with tremendous potential from landing a job because they fail to meet certain minimum qualifications. It makes it difficult for new graduates to enter the public sector because they often lack experience. That is one of the major reasons governments find it difficult to attract young people.
November 11, 2008 at 2:06 pm #61763
Thank you for the great topic. Happy Veteran’s Day from way out here on the edge of the U.S.
November 17, 2008 at 10:44 am #61761
1. If you could wave a magic wand and change something about government, what would it be?
Gosh, based on most of the replies here, I REALLY am NOT alone when I think the hiring process is a mess! Well, it’s actually “not” a mess, it’s just that we have the “connect-system” (on our island it’s called “pare’-system”) going on since ever since! i.e. The Governor proceeds to hire all families and close friends at every area possible within our government… then at term’s end, these Limited Term Agreement (LTA) employees are then given an “extra” push for permanent positions created by retirees and/or resignators.
Then there’s the most irritating part – hiring and promoting those WITHOUT the proper education and/or background only because they “filled out their employment application a certain way with ‘key words'”! It became so appalling when I kept being informed I “lacked the background needed” regarding promotions that I actually went to finish college. BUT, wait, although I finished college, suddenly EVERYONE wants a promotion… at MY expense?! Totally wrong!! I will hang on until a better opportunity arrives, til then, I will continue to do my best.. *sigh*
2. If you have seen this change happen in another agency, can you provide a specific example?
I have NOT yet seen any change whatsoever regarding the ridiculous hiring process of our local government… guess it’s Traditional Operating Procedures (TOP).
November 18, 2008 at 12:55 am #61759
The tremendous friction that causes decision-making and implementation to take so long. There are pros to this situation, too, which is why it continues. I’d like to see enterprise-level skunkworks for government, developing new ideas that can easily be extended to the particular milieu of that enterprise. It would draw really good people, and with the right backing, it would be hugely successful.
November 18, 2008 at 2:01 am #61757
The comments echo a lot of my thoughts. As a career Bureau Director, I see it this way.
1. The hiring process is ridiculous. It was designed for a federal bureacracy and type of work that does not exist anymore and hasn’t for a long time. We need to scrap it and start over, modelled on best practices from the private, non-profit, or other governmental levels. We now reward longevity over performance, status quo over innovation, and buzzword generators over intelligent decisionmaking regarding who we should hire. It is a system designed to help the rest of us fail.
2. Someone mentioned senior managers who are risk averse. That is just sad. I am a senior manager and trying to bring about transformational change in my organization, and I want to hear all perspectives before making a decision. But I want to do a lot of things to shake the place up. The managers you are referencing are NOT doing their jobs, in my opinion. At the Federal level, folks in the Senior Executive Service (like me) are supposed to be skilled at leading change. Not fighting it, tolerating it, or being scared of it: Leading it. If they are not then they shouldn’t be in the SES to begin with.
3. We need to spend a lot more time developing leaders. I tell my staff that we produce all kinds of things from roads to leases to probates, but the most improtant thing we can produce is leaders. If we do, we will have people in the organization to solve the next generations problems. If we don’t, the problems will overcome us and we will have failed. So if I could wave the magic wand, it would be to make us a government that really values learning and employee development. Without that, we stagnate and die.
There are others, but I will join in again in a day or so.
November 18, 2008 at 8:06 pm #61755
Less meetings. Okay, okay, not necessarily. But managers who have goals for their meetings. And conduct them efficiently.
And I agree with Jason. Good ol’ US of A could be more efficient if it actually returned to it’s federalist roots, I think.
November 20, 2008 at 5:58 am #61753
If only we had MORE managers like you on our island… you have excellent points….
November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm #61751
Thanks for your thoughts. I think DHS is building something akin to what you describe with their Idea Factory, which has been (until recently) an internal mechanism for capturing new ideas. A real-time example of the usefulness of something like Idea Factory is can found in this article about the new TSA uniforms.
Another website for your consideration: http://newideasforgovernment.ning.com/
November 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm #61749
I second Anita’s comment: we need more managers like you, Jerry!
November 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm #61747
Emma – I was just commenting to someone that we should conduct meetings via Twitter, giving people less than 140 characters to express their thoughts! Pick 2 topics, then limit the meeting to 15 minutes per topic (with hashtags)! Any further comments beyond the live session can be made in an ongoing fashion via tweets or posted to a wiki for further extrapolation.
November 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm #61745
Hey – so the uniforms are not so new now as the article is dated to middle of last year…but it’s still an example of how all stakeholders had a forum to provide input.
November 21, 2008 at 9:17 pm #61743
William J. ThomasParticipant
Here are some thoughts I wrote a few years ago while completing a leadership development course at HUD. Some of comments I’ve read below reminds me of this book and my work experiences. The book is Deep Change by Robert E. Quinn. What follows are some thoughts about how and why some governement agencies need to change in order to be more responsive to the public.
The book deals with deep transformational or “social paradigm” change which is the transition, sometimes abruptly, from an old way of thinking to that of something new. The new paradigm supplants the old and presumably is better able to deal with new problems and challenges. It is another way of ‘thinking outside the box”. Successful leadership requires overcoming a fear of change, confronting the unknown, taking chances and engaging in new actions.
A bureaucratic culture is one where the organization requires conformity and established rules, regulations, policy and procedures. It is a culture built upon yesterday’s set of challenges and in many cases is unable to confront a rapidly changing economic, political and social environment. The main question for the leaders of these organizations is essentially change or slow death.
Another important concept in the book has to do with “confronting the undiscussable”. Relating back to the first point about social paradigms, change is slow to come and people are always reluctant to change. The old way of thinking is familiar, safe and predictable. It represents the conformity of the bureaucracy. It represents what I’ll talk about later, the “pray and pay” syndrome where individuals don’t take risks, hope nothing changes, follow the status quo, come in at eight and go home at five. We don’t discuss sacred cows. They are unwilling to confront the new challenges and recognize that change will eventually come.
The idea of excellence as a form is deviance is rooted in the idea of paradigm change and the heavy weight of bureaucratic structure. The bureaucracy survives on conformity to rules and regulations and it is predictable. Yet new realities and problems require new ways of thinking. In an effort to deal with a new set of challenges old rules must be thrown out (or at least modified) and a leader who does this is a deviating from the norm.
One common experience at our office is what “Deep Change” refers to as the “pay and pray” syndrome. In other words “don’t rock the boat” and pray that no more changes occur. Long-term employees are “hanging on” until retirement. Many employees are unwilling to change. Some managers may have achieved their positions via a “technical paradigm” based on superior competencies on doing their job. Others because of seniority. They may be reluctant to change what is familiar or deviate from past practice. Other managers, especially in HQS, may have mastered the transaction “political paradigm” where relationship building and a continual exchange of resources become important. A leader, however, must achieve the “transformational paradigm”. At this stage, values and principles, and doing the right thing, are more powerful that political interests. This then, becomes the dilemma in any highly bureaucratic, politically driven federal agency.
Just some thoughts.
November 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm #61741
Though I cold easily beat the HR drum that one is resounding pretty well already. So left me go to my second choice.
I would change the federal budget cycle to be 2,3, or even 5 years. Barring the obvious political implications, this would allow for better planning of projects, personnel and service levels. Making special things budget by exception would give us fewer “abandoned in place due to lack of funding” projects. I beleive this would ease some personnel woes as well.
How much money would the taxpayer save if instead of the yearly ritual of buying 170 cases of paper (when I actually use 87 a year) so you can spend all your money lest you not get it next year, we actually rewarded saving money?
Under the new system an office would get for example $1,000,000 this year and at the end of the year those offices who met goals and were under budget would get to distribute a portion of the savings in the form of bonuses. That same office would still be allocated $1,000,00 the following year (afterall, at some point we all need to replace copiers). How much money do you suppose that office (and thereby the taxpayer) could save next year and still reach thier goals?
November 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm #61739
I have cut meeting length by doing them either on the phone, or in a room with no chairs. Nobody wastes time when they cant sit down.
December 2, 2008 at 12:35 am #61737
We have done “stand up” meetings in our agile software development projects and they do help cut down the meeting time – they are supposed to be 5 minutes (per scrum methodology) but haven’t been successful at keeping them *that* short.
December 2, 2008 at 7:03 pm #61735
Stand up meetings huh? hmmmm, i’ll bring this concept up in our office, we tend to have those who ALWAYS go off-topic…
January 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm #61733
Jerilyn Handel PolsonParticipant
Government organizations need to broaden their perspective. We live in an inter-connected world in which the actions of one agency or jurisdiction can have domino-effect impact on other agencies and jurisdictions like never before. Beginning with metropolitan areas, groups of jurisdictions need to collaborate and plan together, and stop competing with one another. Federal, state and local governments need better communication, cooperation and collaboration if they are to remain viable and credible.
March 26, 2009 at 11:47 am #61731
I would not change the government I would change the people. The people shuld be more resliant and self sufficient so they do not need a government with deep pockets to help them or relive their pain.
Our government starts out with “We the people, inorder to form a more perfect union…” Government should bring us together, not put us on life support.
Case in point is this mornings news of people going to Fargo ND to help. No pay, no orders, no law not even much of a plan. Yet they will do what seems can not be done.
Jut a thought.
March 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm #61729
Along with this, Government should begin working in earnest with universities to set up paths into government. I have a high school junior who is looking at college websites and I have noticed that many now promote active student engagement in the community and with government. These engagement programs range from those that are service focused to those working for active student/citizen participation in their government.
March 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm #61727
March 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm #61725
Going to 2, 3, or even five years like the private sector is good. The question is often asked why Hughs has 20 year life plan for the satalight the DoD pays for one year at a time? What does Hughs know that DoD does not.
I’m not picking on any one group – just want to support your idea. Administrations come and go, projects and objectives live much longer.
March 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm #61723
Thank you. It is not just a matter of politics but real life joy v.s. sorrow.
We can change the government but not change the people and later end up with the same problems.
If we change the people, then those things the government does not do, should not do or does not do well will be re-defined by people who need less. Some of the problems with government may be that it is trying to do what people should do. IMO the people need to be made right first.
March 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm #61721
Incentives structures and agility with respect to change. For the Change Management Conference April 30 the opening speaker, Stephen B. Wehrenberg, Ph.D., HR Strategy and Capability Development, Director, Future Force and Director, Executive Development, US Coast Guard says:
“I will be relating our approach that makes it possible for an organization, in the middle of SIGNIFICANT transformation, to develop an enterprise-wide capability to manage change. Obviously it takes a special kind of leadership to enable others to change piston rings while the car is screaming down the autobahn.”
September 28, 2009 at 4:13 am #61719
Interesting post…Any more takers?
November 17, 2009 at 4:05 am #61717
Jay S. Daughtry, ChatterBachsParticipant
I’d like to see government be more customer-focused to serve “we the people”. This approach would manifest itself in more responsiveness and a willingness to move beyond the red tape of bureaucracy.
November 17, 2009 at 11:52 am #61715
I agree with the promotions. Even though I love where I work, and I love the people I work with, I am going to have to leave one day to move up. I don’t want to leave, but at 42 I have to also look out for my future. I know it is this way in some civilian organizations, and if promotions were opened up willy/nilly everyone’s brother in law would get a promotion, so someone needs to come up with a compromise.
February 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm #61713
Is HORRID the acronym for your system?
February 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm #61711
I agree! Plus, when we have to spend all of our money we walk a very thin line with the Bona-fide need rule. So, it is a paradox game that we play every year just to get the work done. Something needs to be changed with the way budgets are allocated. Plus, the cycle of spending and selling in the market place would also even out. All of my vendors know they have a three month famine from Oct-Dec and their numbers reflect that. How about if we were on a two year cycle, and we could continue to spend funds throughout the whole two years. Small Businesses could continue their sales throughout the whole time frame, instead of living through feast or famine!
March 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm #61709
Way to go Jerry!
March 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm #61707
Stand up meetings really do work! We do them rarely, but we have had them, and they work! People get tired of standing up and will not get off track.
March 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm #61705
I support the 2 year budget, at least. Our little businesses (and large businesses) are hurting because they take a breath on OCT 1, and hold it until the budget it passed. Then it takes months to get the RFQs out, and time to get the money in motion. At least a 2 year budget would give everyone one year in between where everything can continue moving without a complete stop.
March 1, 2010 at 1:04 pm #61703
I agree. My daughter recently ran into this problem in a civilian job. She is 21 and is in college. At her job, she begged for more responsibility. She explained all the things she could do in downtime, and it was only one week before she quit that she even was allowed her own computer (they believed she would hang out on facebook). But, here is the kicker, she knows how to design web pages, she knows PP, and spreadsheets, and all the fun stuff that the GEN Y generation knows. She finally produced the new sales flyer, and made labels on the computer, instead from an old program they had. She was finally on a roll to do some seriously good things for the company, but she was always talked down to, and she finally quit (in this economy), and the very next day had a new job who loves her talents, and adores her energy!
Now, let’s look at something. My daughter has been working since she was 8, getting a real paycheck since she was 15, and making her own websites and blogs since she was 10. Yet, everyone at her other job, looked on her like she was young, which meant she was irresponsible and had no talents. There was no thought that she was responsible, and talented (she was actually told she was hired to look cute – no she did not file a report – she quit). Young people are energetic, heck let those young folks have their time in the light. We still have plenty of years to shine, but we need to learn to share it, and really look at our younger energetic, smart, counterparts has true assets!
** Oh yeah, one thing I had to learn early on, just because a younger person gets finished before you, it doesn’t mean they did not do it right, it means you are getting older. Get over yourself, and give them more work to do! Hey, enjoy our right to slow down! LOL
If you do have a younger person who is trying to find their way, and may be spending more time than they should doing things they shouldn’t, then as older adults, we need to focus all this energy in a more productive direction. I love having the younger crowd around, they are eager to prove themselves, and I always have stuff on my to-do list! I can always find something important for the younger crowd to do.
July 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm #61701
I completely agree Elizabeth. How can people move forward and make improvements without this type of environment?
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