This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Huge Victory for Bees
and What It Means


  The Herman Trend Alert

January 16, 2008

System Helps Bridge Generation Gap

We have long suggested to clients and audiences alike that pairing older and younger employees really works, because of the respect the two generations have for each other.

Finally, there is proof that this "buddy system" works to increase productivity and employee retention. Randstad, the Dutch-based staffing company has apparently been "pairing" people, since its inception forty years ago. With a motto of "No one should be alone", the company founder Frits Goldschmeding built his company on the premise that job sharing would optimize productivity. He wanted his sales agents to share one job and trade off responsibilities.

That original concept has now been refined to bridge the generation gap and help young people acclimate faster to Randstad's jobs and work environment. Now a week at a time, one team member will make outside calls, while the other interviews potential "talent" and handles administrivia. The next week they trade responsibilities. The key is that one employee is a veteran and the other is a Millennial, mostly defined as those born 1981 and later.

We know that new twenty-somethings often require high levels of attention and nurturing. The neat part of this "Unit System", as Randstad calls it, is that older workers learn from younger worker as well. Of course, this system only works with "team players", because the work and rewards are shared.

Initially brought to the United States in the late 1990s, this partnership concept was only fully integrated two years ago, when Randstad began recruiting new employees in larger volumes. Of the 600 people hired last year, 420 were twenty-something workers.

The bottom line for the company is a significant reduction in employee turnover to the point where their turnover is 20 percent below the industry standard. "We have determined a clear connection between being in a unit and feeling more successful and productive," says Genia Spencer, Randstad's Human Resources executive. Increases in productivity come from mutual accountability.

Randstad is on the leading edge of this optimal use of human capital. In 2008 and beyond, expect to see more of this sharing and pairing to help Millennials to acclimate.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

While other web hosting companies are nickel and diming you with all kind of add-on costs, charges one low price. A fraction of the cost you will pay for domestic hosting. For more information, email You'll be surprised and pleased.

July 22 to 24 The World Future Society will host its 50th anniversary conference in Washington, DC. Last year's conference earned great acclaim and this year's promises to be even better. Held at the Washington, DC Hilton Hotel, WF2016 offers an immersive experiences where speakers, panelists, and participants alike will challenge the parameters that currently restrict decision-making. Early Bird Rates—starting at a low rate of $495 for WFS members, these rates are only good through December 13th. To register, visit this special site:

If so, The Innovation Global Network ( is your go-to spot for best practices and experts you need to help you with any aspects of creating innovation, entrepreneurship, or change. IGN is a global ecosystem that welcomes anyone who want to find or offer innovation help, expertise, tools and resources. When you visit their website, you'll find all kinds of information and resources, including networking events and webinars. Basic membership is free, so sign up today!

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web: http://

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 87 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home · About · Products · Resources · Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3547
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.