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From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Blend – Google, Twitter and Cisco Join a Panel to Discuss how to Prepare Companies for Gen Y

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of 250 people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco talking about a subject most Fortune 500 companies are dealing with today: how to prepare for the thousands of Gen Y employees about to descend on the work place. Last Tuesday, July 16th, I had the pleasure of speaking on this topic with Google’s Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing, and Twitter’s Melissa Daimler, Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning. Doug MacMillan with Bloomberg BusinessWeek moderated the discussion.

During the course of the evening, we discussed an assortment of topics around how companies are creating an environment that these new generations of employees will want to work in. It’s clear Gen Yers work and interact in different ways and companies are having to adapt.

For example, all of the panelists agreed that companies must provide lots of opportunities for training and coaching. I firmly believe that the number one predictor of job satisfaction is great coaching. In five or ten years, I may not remember how I was paid in that particular position, but I will remember an impactful mentor and a skill I learned. Todd from Google brought up an interesting Googler to Googler program that they’ve implemented, that connects people to share their skills – everything from debugging a complex piece of code to teaching yoga. Melissa agreed, saying that if there is just one question that managers ask employees every quarter, it should be “what is the skill you want to learn.” After all, people are more loyal to building their skill set and their career path than any type of company.

The topic of work-life balance also came up, and each panelist talked about that in a different way. I believe that what used to be a work-life balance is, for Gen Yers, a work-life blend. This newest generation of employees is used to constantly flipping back and forth Read More »

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