June 24, 2008

Book Review - Igniting Gen B and Gen V

Igniting Gen B & Gen V: The New Rules of Engagement for Boomers, Veterans, and Other Long-Termers on the Job
Nancy S. Alrichs
HF 5549.5 L66 A35 2007

As the millenial generation begins to enter the workforce in significant numbers, considerable effort is being given to discussions of how they operate and how to best engage them. Alrichs' book however, is the beginning of what this blogger hopes will be a larger conversation about how to regenerate excitement among those who have been in the workplace many years. Alrichs focuses on the Baby Boomer or Veteran generations, many of whom are beginning to retire or cut back their workplace participation. In the first part of the book, she raises the question of whether simply showing up for work equals engagement. She asserts that efforts must be given toward regenerating interest and excitement in long time workers, suggesting that workers only put forward efforts in areas that are rewarded. In the second part, she questions the retention focus of many human relations departments, instead stating that organizations should be more concerned with producing results. She discusses the role of knowledge management activities to capture what people know and to develop competencies that allow individuals to grow and develop throughout their careers, enabling them to continually increase their effectiveness. She also addresses the role of organizational culture in providing purpose and rewarding employees for their efforts.