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领导力

这一代人正改变企业高管层的面貌

Ed Frauenheim 2019年07月24日

随着越来越多的千禧一代开始承担领导角色,这个充满活力、经常被误解的一代人正在改变领导层的面貌。

蒂娅·波普精通密码安全技术,但她的生活方式却和秘密低调恰恰相反。

波普是科技公司思科的一名工程师。她的专业是密码学,工作内容是保护重要信息不被窥探。但波普在公司内外都非常引人注目。过去几年,她牵头了一个关于安全问题的内部会议。今年快30岁的波普还利用思科的一个社区服务项目,为南非和印度的贫困儿童提供机器人课程。思科在网站和社交媒体上宣传了她的志愿者工作。

实际上,波普是一个干劲十足、活出声音的千禧一代。她说,自己在思科找到了家的感觉,领导们给了她足够的权力去重新改造安全会议,她能够灵活地选择在家工作来照顾宝宝,而且有足够的自由在全球范围内开展慈善工作。波普在四年前研究生毕业后就进了思科,没有离开的打算。

她不会被其他想招她的公司发给她的招聘短信吸引。有一些科技公司的文化中缺乏人文关怀和权力下放,她为自己在这些公司工作的朋友感到遗憾。

“我收到短信时会想:‘真高兴把你们都拒了。’”波普说,“我和朋友们聊天时,他们会谈到感觉自己受到了很大的限制,无法充分发挥潜能,或者没有感觉到他们每一个人的重要性。”

思科能够为波普创造一个舒适、鼓舞人心的工作环境,看到它登上2019年“千禧一代最佳工作场所100强”榜单也就不足为奇了。这份年度榜单由研究分析公司卓越职场(Great Place to Work)与《财富》杂志合编。

人力资源应用软件制造商Ultimate Software在今年的榜单上排名第一位,酒店巨头希尔顿和商业软件制造商Salesforce紧随其后。

为了确定最适合千禧一代的最佳工作场所100强,卓越职场分析了450多万人对60多个问题的匿名问卷调查结果。85%的评估标准是基于千禧一代是否感觉被信任、能否在组织中充分发挥个人潜能,而不管他们是谁或工作任务什么。排名中剩下的15%是基于他们对日常创新体验、公司价值观和领导效能的感受反馈。

卓越职场在研究这些数据时还发现,随着越来越多的千禧一代开始承担领导角色,这个充满活力、经常被误解的一代人正在改变领导层的面貌。

研究表明,千禧一代塑造或者追求效仿的领导风格比前几代人更加多元,更加包容。他们更注重合作关系。更注重忠于个人价值观。更注重为人们——尤其是人父人母——在8小时之外创造能够照顾家人的空间。

实际上,千禧一代的领导风格与长期以来的工作环境大相径庭。多年来,在受到严格管控的工作环境中,员工几乎没有或根本没有任何灵活度和自主性,必须听命行事,必须把“专业”自我和“个人”自我割裂开。

此外,有证据表明,千禧一代的管理非常适合向更扁平、更快、更公平的商业世界转变。我们准备要进入一个新时代,这个时代的领导者真实、果断、推崇全员参与,更注重高效的团队和组织。卓越职场把这样的领导者称为“全民服务型领导”(“For All Leaders”)。

研究中一个特别惊人的发现是,如果千禧一代认为公司文化足够优秀,他们会想要留下来。如果千禧一代认为自己的公司是卓越职场,他们打算和雇主建立长期关系的可能性要比工作环境不佳的同辈人高出50倍。在“千禧一代最佳工作场所100强”工作的千禧一代中,87%表示打算长期呆在那里,这一比例大约是全国平均水平(44%)的两倍。

因此,在解决许多企业面临的年轻员工流动问题时,优秀的企业文化是一个解决方案,当今劳动力市场紧张的情况下尤其如此。

思科因为破解了年轻人认可的伟大文化的密码而脱颖而出。从2018年到2019年,思科在“最佳工作场所信任指数”(Great Place to Work Trust Index)中的调查结果显著提升。千禧一代对以下说法的正面回应尤其明显:

·我们赞美勇于尝试新方法、好方法的人,不管结果如何。

·我的工作有特殊的意义:这不“仅仅是一份工作”。

·我想在这里长期工作。

结果是现在95%的千禧一代认为思科是一家很棒的公司,高于去年的91%。

该公司的表现优秀,在“千禧一代最佳工作场所100强”榜单中上升了44位,排名第9。

思科的高级社交媒体和人才品牌经理卡门·柯林斯表示,让千禧一代感到轻松自在的关键是提升透明度。

“思科每年召开10次全体员工大会,我们把这个会议称为‘思科节拍’(Cisco Beat)。思科员工可以在会上了解到关于产品和营销活动的第一手信息,会议还设有开诚布公的高管问答时间。”柯林斯说,“问题不设禁区。如果现场某个问题的答案是‘我不知道’,后续会有跟进。”

关于不设限提问,柯林斯并不是在说笑。思科的领导人已经显示出,他们愿意解决延伸到公司外部的敏感问题。

柯林斯表示:“当安东尼·波登和凯特·斯佩德自杀后,思科的首席执行官罗卓克发了电子邮件,表示这次事件影响深远,思科十分不希望这件事留下烙印,愿意为员工提供必要的资源。”

柯林斯本人属于X世代。但她和思科的其他领导人认识到,对千禧一代来说,能够在工作中展示自己完整真实的一面是非常重要的。

“思科社交媒体账号@WeAreCisco希望通过让现有员工发言,吸引新员工,留住老员工。如果你想知道在思科工作是什么样子,那就看看真正的员工是怎么说的。”柯林斯说,“你求职时看到公司是什么样,入职时就是什么样。对于员工来说,这意味着他们可以做自己——我们的口号是‘做你自己,和我们在一起。’”

对卡洛琳·奥尔森而言,做自己就意味着除了当工程师,还可以当瑜伽老师。24岁的她在旧金山的思科公司做售前工程师。思科安排她为北加州地区最大的一些机构提供服务,同时也安排时间让她在周四和周日的下午5:30教瑜伽课。

奥尔森感谢思科在工作时间和地点上保持灵活,这样她每周都可以兼顾数据网络和瑜伽“下犬式”。她自己力争过上圆满全面的生活,许多千禧一代的同龄人也都如此。“我们真的很重视工作和生活的平衡。”奥尔森说,“我能过上平衡、有活力的业余生活,这样我就可以把最好的自己投入到工作中去。”

思科为奥尔森和波普这样的千禧一代创造了空间,让他们过上想要的生活,同时还提升了业绩。截至4月27日的三个月里,思科的营收增长6%,达130亿美元,净收入跃升13%,达30亿美元。

思科强劲的业绩符合卓越职场对“为全民服务”文化的商业效益的研究结果。在“为全民服务”的文化中,公司通过为每个人创造卓越的工作体验,可以最大限度地发挥每个人的潜力,而不管他们是谁或在组织中承担什么角色。

研究显示,“服务所有人的卓越职场”的营收增长是包容性没有那么强的同行公司的三倍。

在思科,像奥尔森和波普这样的千禧一代正以各种方式推动公司前进。比如说波普对思科安全会议的影响。这曾经是一个高度技术性的会议,曾经几乎听不到什么不一样的声音,但现在已经成为了一个更加多元的活动。波普是非洲裔美国人,她打破过去的常规做法,邀请了白人男性之外的演讲者,还扩大了活动范围,将客户、外部合作伙伴以及思科的人力资源和营销等职能部门都囊括在内。例如,思科营销部门的管理人员就利用他们在有效沟通方面的专长,为防范钓鱼网站宣传活动制作了相应的信息图表,以提高公司抵御此类攻击的能力。

波普还引入了一个好玩的元素——在活动中加入了“密室逃脱”的体验。这不过是这位拥有密码学专业知识的千禧一代向广大观众表达自己的又一种方式。

“我拥有了一个展示创造力的容器。”波普在谈到年会时说,“我认为每个人都很有安全感。”(财富中文网)

艾德·弗劳恩海姆是卓越职场的高级内容总监,也是《为全民服务的卓越职场》(A Great Place to Work For All)一书的合著者。

译者:Agatha

Tia Pope may be skilled in cryptographic security, but she lives her life in a way that’s just about the opposite of secret.

Pope is an engineer at technology company Cisco. Her specialty is cryptography, a profession devoted to keeping important information hidden from prying eyes. But Pope is extremely visible in the company and beyond. For the past several years, she has led an internal conference on security issues. Pope, who is in her late twenties, also has taken advantage of a Cisco community service program to give robotics classes to disadvantaged children in South Africa and India. And Cisco has broadcast her volunteer work on its website and social media channels.

In effect, Pope is a hard-charging, live-out-loud millennial. And she says she’s found a home at Cisco, where leaders have given her the power to reshape the security conference, the flexibility to work at home to care for her infant, and the freedom to do charity work around the globe. Four years after coming to the company following grad school, Pope has no plans to leave.

She isn’t temped by the texts from recruiters at some of the firms that first tried to hire her. And she feels bad for friends at other tech firms that lack a caring, power-sharing culture.

“I get texts, and I’m thinking ‘I’m glad I turned you all down,’” Pope says. “I’m speaking to my friends and they feel very confined or restricted in regard to what they can do, or just them mattering as an individual.”

With its ability to create a welcoming, inspiring environment for Pope, it’s not surprising that Cisco is on the 2019 list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, the annual ranking compiled by research and analytics firm Great Place to Work in partnership with Fortune.

Ultimate Software, a maker of HR applications, ranked No. 1 on this year’s list, followed by hotel giant Hilton and business software maker Salesforce.

To determine the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, Great Place to Work analyzed anonymous survey results from more than 4.5 million people, who responded to more than 60 survey questions. Eight-five percent of the evaluation is based on what millennials say about their experiences of trust and ability to reach their full human potential at their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. The remaining 15 percent of the ranking is based on their feedback about daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders.

While studying the data, Great Place to Work also found that this dynamic, oft-misunderstood generation is changing the face of leadership—just as millennials are beginning to assume leadership roles in larger numbers.

The research shows that the style of leadership millennials are modeling and seeking to emulate is more diverse and inclusive than in previous generations. It’s more about partnership. It’s more about staying true to personal values. And it’s more about making space for people—father and mothers especially—to care for loved ones outside of work.

In effect, millennial-style leadership is a far cry from the regimented environments that have long defined workplaces, where employees have little to no flexibility, must do what they’re told and have to divide themselves into a “professional” and “personal” self.

What’s more, the evidence suggests millennial management fits quite well with the shift to a flatter, faster, fairness-focus business world. We’re poised to enter an era of more effective teams and organizations, guided by a new generation of authentic, purposeful, participatory leaders. What we at Great Place to Work call “For All Leaders.”

A particularly striking finding from the research is that when millennials experience a great culture, they want to stay. Members of this generation who call their organization a great place to work are 50 times more likely to plan a long-term relationship with their employer compared to millennial employees who do not experience a great work environment. Eighty-seven percent of millennials at the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials say they intend to remain there for a long time, roughly twice as many as the national average of 44 percent.

A great culture, then, is a solution to the turnover problem many organizations face with younger employees—especially in today’s tight labor market.

Cisco stands out for cracking the code on a great culture for younger people. Its results on the Great Place to Work Trust Index survey rose significantly from 2018 to 2019. There were particularly large jumps for millennials’ responses to statements including:

· We celebrate people who try new and better ways of doing things, regardless of the outcome.

· My work has special meaning: This is not “just a job.”

· I want to work here for a long time.

As a result, Cisco now has 95 percent of its millennials saying the company is a great place to work, up from 91 percent last year.

The strong performance allowed the organization to move up 44 spots on the list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials to No. 9.

Carmen Collins, Cisco’s Senior Social Media and Talent Brand Manager, says a key to making millennials feel at home is transparency.

“Cisco holds all-employee meetings called the Cisco Beat 10 times a year, where Cisconians have a first-hand look at products and campaigns, as well as open and honest executive Q&A time,” Collins says. “Nothing is off limits. If the answer is ‘I don’t know’ to a question—there’s a follow up.”

Collins isn’t kidding about the nothing-off-limits comment. Cisco leaders have shown themselves willing to address sensitive issues that extend beyond the company’s walls.

“When Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade committed suicide, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins sent an email about how important an issue this is and how Cisco doesn’t want there to be a stigma about it, with resources for employees if needed,” Collins says.

Collins herself is a Gen Xer. But she and other Cisco leaders recognize the importance to millennials of being able to bring their full, authentic selves to work.

“The @WeAreCisco social media channels feature employee voices to attract new employees, but also to retain current employees. If you want to know what it’s like to work at Cisco, it’s in the form of what real employees say,” Collins says. “What you see when you apply is the case when you walk in the front door. For employees, that means that they can be themselves—our motto is ‘Be you, With us.’”

For Caroline Olson, being herself means being a yoga teacher besides an engineer. The 24-year-old works as a pre-sales engineer for Cisco based in San Francisco. Cisco has assigned her to serve some of the biggest organizations in the Northern California region, but also makes time for Olson to teach yoga classes at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays.

Olson is grateful for Cisco’s flexibility on work hours and location, so that she can move from data networks to downward dogs every week. Her own commitment to a well-rounded life is something she sees in many of her millennial peers. “We really do value our work-life balance,” Olson says. “I’m able to have balance and feel rejuvenated outside of the office so that I may bring my best self to my work.”

As it makes space for millennials like Olson and Pope to live out the lives they want, Cisco is seeing its business results advance. For the three months ended April 27, Cisco’s revenue rose 6 percent to $13 billion, and its net income jumped 13 percent to $3 billion.

The strong performance is in keeping with Great Place to Work’s research on the business benefits of a “For All” culture, where a company maximizes its human potential by creating a great workplace experience for everyone, no matter who they are or what they do for the organization.

The research shows that Great Places to Work For All enjoy revenue growth that is three times higher than their less inclusive peers.

At Cisco, millennials like Olson and Pope are moving the organization ahead in a variety of ways. Consider Pope’s impact on the Cisco security conference. What was once a highly technical conference with very little diversity of voices has become a much more inclusive affair. Pope—who is African American—not only invited speakers beyond the white, male voices who had been the primary presenters in years past, but also widened the event to include clients, outside partners and Cisco functions like HR and marketing. Cisco marketing officials, for example, brought their expertise in effective communication to help generate infographics for an anti-phishing campaign to improve the company’s defenses against such attacks.

Pope also introduced a playful element, incorporating an “escape room” experience as part of the event. That was just one more way this millennial with cryptography expertise is expressing herself to a wide audience.

“I have a vessel to showcase my creativity,” Pope says of the annual conference. “I personally feel security involves everyone.”

Ed Frauenheim is senior director of content at Great Place to Work and co-author of the book A Great Place to Work For All.

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