From the Publisher

When Proven Methods Succeed – ‘Y’ Change?

By Brian Rowland 

Recently, I read an article written by a columnist whose advice to me – and the business community of today – was to begin making fundamental changes in one’s philosophy of doing business as it applied specifically to human resources. It was about dealing with the “Y” generation – those 20-somethings just now finishing their educations and embarking on professional careers.

While I agree with much that was said, I believe that changing a business model that has worked well in the past to fit a single generation is a disservice to the developing “green” professional and also will send the wrong message to current employees whose dedication and hard work built the company.

These are young adults who need parameters, support, consequences for not following the prescribed business model – and, of course, the rewards, tangible and intangible, for doing so. They need training, guidance, advanced technological tools and a working environment that will support, challenge and encourage their potential. In exchange, they must shoulder some responsibility and show commitment to those providing the opportunity.

In addition to providing the “opportunity” to come into a business, an employer has an obligation to provide certain resources. It can expect to receive a determined amount of return for the investment in this human resource to the company. I also believe that in successfully caring for a business, employees must interact with employers in a series of give-and-takes that will result in a well-rounded individual.

The days of working for a company one’s entire life are over; today’s business work force is technology-based and highly mobile. A smart employer knows that the minds working in a cyberworld will move on in order to chase new opportunities. Most businesses will not or cannot change as fast as technology, so the job market will be a revolving door.

One of the first things I look for is work stability. I’m just not interested in job jumpers – regardless of their talent – because it takes six to 12 months and five figures to get a person up to speed at this publishing company. My ongoing goal is to build an integrated team and retain them.

Of course, we have an employee handbook that outlines the basics of employee performance and company benefits. Otherwise, I ask only three things from all employees: Return your phone calls and e-mails within 24 hours; keep your work space clean and organized; and do what you say when you say it will be done. All else is negotiable. I want to offer better compensation than the norm, provide ongoing professional challenges, create an excellent working environment, deliver a product we, and all of Tallahassee, can be proud of – and have fun along the way.

I welcome any Y’s who can help the growth and success of Rowland Publishing on its journey. I am just not going to do it your way or the way a columnist who probably never had to meet a payroll recommends.

So I say to the Y’s: No question you are adept at putting technology to work at work. You have the potential to keep America positioned as the leading nation in the world. This is a wonderful opportunity and a tremendous responsibility. You need some serious polishing, a lot of training, the opportunity to test your talents, make some mistakes on someone else’s nickel, learn from this and gain expertise and maturity.

Hope you enjoy this issue. Next generation will be the “Zs” . . . Then what? Do we start over at A?