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Changes In Technology Mean Changes In Policy

While in a meeting with my boss I noticed she seemed a bit stressed. I asked if she had a lot on her plate this week. She said that she did and maybe there was a way I could help.

by Rebecca Lovell

While in a meeting with my boss I noticed she seemed a bit stressed.  I asked if she had a lot on her plate this week. She said that she did and maybe there was a way I could help. 

She asked me if I was aware of their no cell phone policy during work hours and I said I was.  She then went on to ve

nt about how she doesn’t understand why some of her younger employees seem to totally disregard this policy and keep their cell phone out on their desk in plain view as if its not a violation.  She explained that she wasn’t in the business of policing cell phone use but many of her older employees had begun to complain about it so it was apparent that something needed to be done. 

I laughed a little bit, and politely suggested that since employees were allowed to use iPods while they worked that maybe they had music loaded on their phones and thought it was ok to use them for that purpose.  I informed her that no one my age would blatantly use their phone during work unless they thought it was okay. 

We ventured out on the floor together and she noticed that everyone that had their cell phone out had ear phones plugged into them.  She seemed satisfied and went back to her office.  About 15 minutes later there was a staff notice posted to the company website saying that cell phones would be allowed for music use only and must have head phones plugged if they are going to be out.

I thought this was a really good example of how employees of different generations need to ask questions of each other instead of jumping to conclusions.  This creates a workplace with better communication and understanding of employees. It also shows that as younger generations become part of organizations it will be crucial for these organizations to be open minded and flexible. 

Although being able to listen to music during work is not essential for doing business, the fact that the organization was willing to make a change to their policy for this matter shows that they welcome feedback and are prepared to make changes to improve their company.  Organizations with this kind of attitude will come out on top when it comes to recruiting younger generations.

Rebecca Lovell is a student at Luther College.

Sarah Sladek

Concerned about declining engagement in our nation’s membership associations, non-profits, and workplaces, Sarah Sladek founded XYZ University, the nation’s first and only generations-focused training and engagement strategy company, in 2002.

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