(This is the third installment in a series on strategic integration. See the first post here.)

We are in a new generation of web workers. Gone are the days of retiring from a single job. Today’s employees have grown up seeing their parents and family members let go from long time jobs because the company wanted to pay less for someone willing to work longer hours. Generation Y has been witness to this “old style” of management and, whether it is working with a nonprofit or for-profit, GenY holds no loyalty to most organizations.

Dave Ramsey said it best in his book, EntreLeadership:

“Do you know why most employees aren’t loyal to their company and leadership? Because their company and leadership aren’t loyal to them.”
– Ramsey, Dave (2011-09-20). EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches. Howard Books.

In a chapter of Dr. Tim Elmore’s book, Generation iY: Our Last Chance To Save Their Future, Tim discusses the unique influence of younger Millennials, born after 1990, on the workforce. Tim makes the following eight predictions about Gen iY in the workplace based on his research and ongoing work with young leaders. These eight predictions span the next 15 years of young Millennials entering the workforce. Tim states Gen iY will:

  1. Job-hop in search of the perfect career
  2. Innovate in the use of technology
  3. See waves of depression and disappointment in the workplace
  4. Want parent involvement in their work life
  5. Expect change and amusement
  6. Search for meaning, not just money
  7. Have low tolerance for jobs that fail to provide speedy rewards
  8. Pursue both influence and affluence

We have to become people-centric organizations. Not just keeping the customer in view but our employees as well. For more on this topic, see SaveTheirFutureNow.com/work

Remember: When loyalty and productivity are KEY, the bigger picture is WE

Strategic Integration

As stated in the first part of this series, silos are for dead things and not growing things. Silos = a mundane job. People having a jobs to make money to pay bills.

Integration promotes growth. Integration = a passionate cause. People are passionate about a cause they believe in and find significance in the work they do. Integration in an organization creates collaboration and collaboration unifies people around common purposes and goals. Silos do not unify, they segregate.

An Example of Integration Done Right

Departmental integration: Mother New York (Agency)

Several years ago, Rob DeFlorio started at Mother New York. Mother is a creative agency with offices in London, New York, and Buenos Aires. Rob’s first task was to promote collaboration and creativity within the office. He says he did not originate with the idea but got it from the London office which started with little money and put all employees around a large table. As the agency grew they added more tables. When DeFlorio visited the U.K. office there were 60 people around one big long table. Everyone had a wireless laptop and 2-drawer rolling file because every three months people were required to move. Crazy? DeFlorio started it in the New York office.


DeFlorio says it best,

“…when things go wrong in most companies or departments, it’s usually because people start thinking that only one thing is their job, like making a rivet. When you sit at one table you always see the whole picture. You’re not just making a rivet; your making the whole airplane. The environment fosters…a better understanding of the bigger picture, because you’re all in it together and can all see what’s happening”

There were several “nay sayers” when the New York office started using the table philosophy but they have come around to be some of the biggest advocates. And, Millennials that come on staff automatically get it. It has become an extremely collaborative and productive environment.

For more, see Spark, written by John Windsor.

What are ways to leverage integration and collaboration to prevent Next Gen Web Workers from walking out the door? From his research, Dr. Elmore gives us six recommendations for finding and keeping employees:

  1. Foster friendships and teamwork – draw on their strong peer affiliations
  2. Provide purpose – help them understand how their work makes a difference and supports a larger cause
  3. Offer flexibility and options – provide options for when they work, how they work, and where they work
  4. Value volunteerism – offer opportunities to make a difference in the world while making a contribution to the company
  5. Challenge them with change – creatively use their energy and desire for new things
  6. Make the most of their strengths – be intentional in using what this tech-savvy and confident generation has to offer

Integration unlocks the door to staff loyalty and productivity.

Remember: When loyalty and productivity are KEY, the bigger picture is WE