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Bits ‘N Pieces

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The changing workplace

The leadership traits admired by older workers and by millennials differ, according to research by Nelson Cohen Global Consulting.

In a survey of 2,800 business professionals across 122 countries and four generations, it found that, as a group, the most valued traits are:

  • Courage
  • Ability to be forward-thinking
  • Honesty
  • Ability to inspire
  • Intelligence

Among the silent generation (born before 1946), baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and Gen X (born 1965 to 1982), the most admired traits were fairly consistent, with slight variations among the age groups and ranked in different orders.

However, millennials (born after 1982) valued different traits. This group ranked determination and ambition among their top five, while the other generations didn’t include those traits. And millennials did not list honesty and courage among their top five most admired leadership traits.

That matters because, within five years, millennials will become the most dominant generational group in the workplace, and their perceptions of what leadership should be will have a tremendous impact on how businesses prepare and develop their leaders, says Pris Nelson, a co-founder of Nelson Cohen Global Consulting.

But that’s just the beginning, said Nelson in an article on the Society for Human Resource Management website. He says that when Generation Z, born during or after the late 1990s, enters the workplace, it will be a game changer. This generation grew up with voices of equality on the Internet and the ability to have the same reach and voice as the most powerful people in the world, which will change the face of business.

Creating a winning culture

A strong, supportive company culture is critical to attracting and retaining top employees, says Manish Goel, CEO of business analytics solutions provider Guavus.

He offers three tips for improving your culture.

  • Remove hierarchies, which can create a culture of intimidation and stifle ideas.
  • Empower and trust your co-workers. Choose a few critical things to do each day, and let the team do the rest. Control outcomes, not behaviors.
  • Listen to the people at your company who are contributing to your success, whatever their position.

Reducing waste

Most businesses can save a substantial amount of money by reducing the waste they produce, according to the Small Business Administration.

In addition to reducing the amount of money you pay to have waste hauled away, waste reduction measures decrease the cost of raw materials, office supplies and equipment. Further, by streamlining your operations to reduce waste, you may also be able to enhance your overall efficiency, productivity and public image.

The SBA recommends repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it; eliminating, reusing or recycling corrugated cardboard; using both sides of paper or make double-sided copies; opting out of catalog and junk mail; and considering developing a product take-back program.

For more tips on reducing waste, visit www.sba.gov/content/waste-0.