This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Cut the Fat to Lose More Weight

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 29, 2009

New Rules for Engagement

A brand new study just released last week from the MetLife Mature Market Institute details the most important factors for engaging different segments of the workforce. Titled "Engaging the 21st Century Multi-Generational Workforce", the study indicates that employers can maximize the strength of their workforces and optimize worker productivity by using best practices, geared to the various generations. Identifying the values of the groups, the report reflects the "hot buttons" that are most effective in producing the desired motivation.

Conducted in partnership with Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging & Work, the study explores the drivers of engagement for employees of different ages, including demographic characteristics, factors related to the job, and work-team factors. The Institute defines "engagement" as "a positive, enthusiastic, and affective connection with work that motivates an employee to invest in getting the job done, not just 'well' but 'with excellence'".

Also noteworthy was the MetLife finding that older workers are more engaged than younger workers. For many business leaders, this information will come as no surprise. The research suggests that "focusing on the talent management of older individuals is important because they may best relate to the Baby Boomer customer base responsible for $3.8 trillion of annual spending in the US. They also found the highest levels of engagement among women, without elder care responsibilities, in good physical and mental health, with a positive self-perception and those having job security.

Three key findings indicate that employee engagement can be greatly enhanced by simple and cost-efficient efforts, including providing strong training and development opportunities, encouraging work team inclusion, offering customized benefits plans, and promoting a culture of workplace flexibility and supervisor supportiveness. None of these findings came as new revelations to us and we found the absence of life-work balance interesting, but not surprising, given the economic times.

Wise employers will update their assumptions about the generations, based on these findings and will pay particular attention to how they may enhance employee engagement through the quality of the employment experiences they offer.

The full study and the accompanying tool kit are available at

© 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."

To find the translation for Tikkun Olam for last week's Herman Trend Alert, I went to Google Translate. Not surprisingly, it was not a great translation. Actually Tikkun Olam means "repairing the world". Special thanks to reader Jeff Rothman for this information. JLG

On March 1st, Joyce graduated from Clint Arthur's Celebrity Launchpad. Since then, she has made twenty-one appearances on local television stations, including Fox San Diego and CBS Las Vegas. In a couple of weeks, Joyce will start a new TV Media Tour with her new segment: How Soon Will You Be Replaced By a Robot? (coming soon to a television station near you) You can see most Joyce's appearances on her travel website at You can do it, too! If you sign up for Celebrity Launchpad, you will qualify for a free coaching session from Joyce in your chosen area. Launchpad's are held monthly, but space is limited. For more information, call Joyce at 336.210.3548.

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