Managing Millennials – Balancing Control with Autonomy

Managers are bombarded by confusing advice about the wants and needs of millennials. Already the largest working generation, the 54m Americans between 18 and 34 represent tremendous potential for organizations. They tend to be well adapted to change, technologically savvy, and poised to unleash innovation. But as a manager, how do we successfully motivate this group to maximize satisfaction and opportunity for both the individual, manager and business? Millennials want feedback, but how often and how do you know it’s constructive? How do you match a need for control with a desire for autonomy?

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HR: 5 Human Resources Compliance Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Welcome to the latest Options4Growth blog! We’re your go-to source for all topics related to  HR compliance and so much more.

It’s easy for small and mid-sized organizations to focus so much attention on day-to-day business issues that they forget to keep tabs on an area that could be a serious and costly liability – human resources compliance. Small business owners may not have the resources to properly dedicate to all of the issues involved with human resources compliance, but it doesn’t mean they’re any less liable for them. Let’s have a look at some of the top compliance-related issues companies may face.

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Options4Growth Co-Founder Kirsti Tcherkoyan Profiled in Forbes Online

Kirsti Tcherkoyan, Co-Founder of Options4Growth, was recently profiled in Forbes Online. Kirsti and her business partner, Jill Pappenheimer, have a unique approach to running their business—they honor their people. They hire people who can no longer work 60 hours a week, but don’t want to be limited by what part-tme employment opportunities may offer. People want flexibility to pick up the kids, or care for their elderly parents. The employees of Options4Growth drive their own work schedules, so they can prioritize their lives. Kirsti and Jill’s approach is to empower employees to volunteer their time, give back to their communities, take care of themselves and their families.

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“OpaConnect” Links People to Strategy

I have to say we are not in the habit of blogging, but we have a big announcement to make, hence the shout out. Options4Growth has been consistently delivering the message to our clients and our network about the importance of connecting “people” to the organization’s strategy. When employees share in the creation of their roles and responsibilities and can see the link to the company initiatives, change happens, accountability and engagement occurs.

Conceptually, this makes good sense, but how do you implement? As of last week Options4Growth has engaged on our own journey of practice what you preach. We now have our own proprietary, cloud based tool, that helps employees engage, perform and move in the same forward direction, together, toward the completion of company initiatives.  Key word here is “together”.

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Kirsti in Kenya – My Last Update from Kenya

Saturday was the second day of leading a “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” workshop in Nairobi.  The workshop was made up of working class women, many of which are entrepreneurs, looking grow their businesses.  We worked again, on the normal foundation of a strong business, including defining their core values.  Many of which included:

  • Hard work
  • Respect
  • Trustworthiness
  • Fear of God

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Kirsti in Kenya – A Day for the Entrepreneurs

Today was a day for me to dig in and work hard. Part of the work I am doing in Nairobi is with two small non-profits, eMentor and Youth Banner.  Both programs support entrepreneur’s by giving them training and mentoring to start their own businesses.  I am working with individuals, who have gone through the training programs and have already been running their own businesses for a period of time.  The workshops focus on how they can build a solid foundation for their businesses and how to grow them.

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Kirsti in Kenya – Day Two of Visiting Schools

Today we visited three more schools, all of which are public, government run institutions. What struck me the most, was that every single school had their mission, vision and core values posted all around the school.  It was amazing!

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I spoke with Alice Watakah, the Deputy at Kileleshwa Primary School, and asked why it was that all of the public schools had this.  Her answer was simple. “Because we must!  How else would people know what we do and why we are here?”   Such a simple answer to a tough question.

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Kirsti In Kenya – A Cultural Consciousness

The first time I traveled to Kenya, I was taught that it was important to not force my Western standards on a country whose culture is quite different than mine.  The lesson has been a difficult one to learn, and today I found myself really questioning my own assumptions of how “things should be.”

Kirsti with Teacher Alfred, Volunteer Josh and three students.

Kirsti with three of the students, Teacher Alfred (center) and Josh (left), another volunteer.

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Kirsti in Kenya – They Say, “It Takes A Village!”

Today, we spent the day in what could be considered a small village.  Four small classrooms with nearly 100 children crammed inside of them.  And teaching them are two teachers who have done an amazing job of not only teaching the basics for school, but the basics of life.

Evelyn Waneloba and Alfred Gatimu are two remarkable teachers in this tiny learning center in the heart of Kawangware, Kenya. Kawangware is the second largest slum outside of Nairobi, home to over 400,000 people.  In this small learning center called, “Ray of Hope” and “Little Ray of Hope”, Evelyn and Alfred and a small group of others, make sure the children are clothed and fed each day before they go to school.  The older group of children, all go to public schools during the day, and get their breakfast and tutoring at the Ray of Hope.  The Little Ray of Hope is home to over 50 children from ages 2 – 7, who are being taught the basics before they can go to public school.

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Options4Growth is More Than Just an HR Company

When we (Kirsti Tcherkoyan and Jill Pappenheimer, co-founders) started Options4Growth two years ago, we began with the shared vision to support small to mid-sized companies with their growth thoughtfully, and to build our own great company for career parents to be a part of. In keeping with that vision today, we continue to successfully support starts-up’s and growing organizations with attentive, strategic pursuit of growth. We love the work that we do, the companies and people we are able to support in the process.

Just as important to us, is our desire and aspiration to support women and children through our efforts with non-profit organizations. Kirsti will be traveling to Kenya this week to work with the Ray of Hope Foundation, eMentoring Africa and Youth Banner, to provide training to 50 women on much needed business skills and ensure a small group of children are receiving the best possible education available.

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