Employee in the Spotlight: Jacqui White Jansen

Jacqui White Jansen
Assistant Vice President, Barrister Executive Suites, Inc.

 

Meet Jacqui White Jansen!

 

Jacqui has been with Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. for 23 years, and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President.  She’s primarily responsible for the West Los Angeles region, where we recently opened our newest location: 233 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400, Santa Monica.  With 8 locations in the Westside region, Jacqui is kept busy!

Having been born and raised in Manchester England, Jacqui immigrated to the U.S. at age 22. Jacqui has two children, Zoe and Zari, and she lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Skip.

Jacqui brings valuable knowledge, great energy and experience to everything that she is involved with. While managing the Westside area for Barrister, Jacqui is involved in the local community in many other aspects. She has been volunteering on the Oncology Floor at St. John’s Hospital every week for 6 years, and is a member of LACRA (the Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate Association).  She serves on the Planning Committee for the LACRA Broker Challenge, a day of fun taking place on September 21st, 2015 at the Beach Club in Santa Monica (see our post Calling all Brokers! for more information).

Stop by our newest Santa Monica addition and say hi! We will be hosting our Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Party on November 4th.  Stay tuned for more details.

Managing The Multi-Generational Office

For the first time in modern history, workplace demographics now span four generations!   Today we see 20-year-old new hires working side-by-side with colleagues who are older than they are by 50 years or more.

This rich mix of generations in the workforce is often attributed to labor shortages experienced in many industries along with the rising average age of retirement.  Boomers are also working beyond retirement.  One study finds that eight out of ten Baby Boomers expect to work at least part time in their so-called retirement years. [1] In the meantime, the number of Millennials entering the workforce is only growing!

Figure 1: From AARP:  Leading an Intergenerational Workforce, p. 8 at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf
Figure 1: From AARP: Leading an Intergenerational Workforce, p. 8 at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf

An intergenerational workplace must support real communication and understanding across all ages, and it must understand – and build upon – the unique values and strengths of each generation. Businesses that pay attention to intergenerational issues will see an impact on their bottom line in a number of areas including the following:


Communication:
The younger generation has grown up communicating in text messages, tweets, and instant messages. Baby boomers and older Gen Xers tend to prefer phone calls and emails. To further muddle the communication, different generations may use different abbreviations, informal language, and colloquialisms.

Everyone needs to make a concerted effort to communicate in the way each person prefers, especially leaders and employers. Face to face team building exercises and ice breakers may help to break down some of the barriers that can occur with digital communications. [3]

Corporate Culture: Educating employees on generational issues can boost understanding, respect and productivity. One example: younger generations may speak to their employers more casually, which may be interpreted by older generations as lacking respect.

Younger managers and workers may feel that time spent in the office is not as vital as your results and are more open to teleworking. Generation Y may value and expect a more healthy work-life balance, including the time to have a life outside of working. For leaders, it is best to approach the issue by allowing individuals to work in the style that’s best for them and acknowledge the efforts of each team member. [3]

Millennials are the fastest growing cohort, comprising 15 percent of the U.S. workforce.
By 2011, their participation will swell to 25 percent.[2] 

To recruit and retain them, organizations will need to understand and appeal to their perspectives, communication styles, and work ethic.

Recruitment: Recruitment messages geared to each generation will attract talent across the age spectrum.  Targeted recruitment of mature workers gives employers a competitive advantage in acquiring the right talent.  At the same time, knowing how to attract younger workers is crucial to ensuring future business success and leadership.

Also be aware of negative stereotypes. “Lazy”, “entitled”, and “tech obsessed”, are just a few of the terms that may come to mind when older workers think about millennials. Baby boomers may be perceived by their younger peers as stubborn, set in their ways, and difficult to train. Leaders can help the situation by looking for and intervening when there is misunderstanding and generational judgment.

Employee Engagement:  Managers who know what motivates employees of different generations are more effective in keeping them engaged.  Employee satisfaction is higher when they believe that career development opportunities are equal for all, regardless of age.

How Millennial Are You? Take this quiz to find out! 

Also be aware of negative stereotypes. “Lazy”, “entitled”, and “tech obsessed”, are just a few of the terms that may come to mind when older workers think about millennials. Baby boomers may be perceived by their younger peers as stubborn, set in their ways, and difficult to train. Leaders can help the situation by looking for and intervening when there is misunderstanding and generational judgment.

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Retention:  All generations want their contributions to be recognized. Rewards and recognition should reflect each group preferences and priorities. Employee benefits which are geared to the needs of different generations can build loyalty and retention.

Customer Service:  Each generation has unique service preferences. Businesses that understand and adapt to those preferences will attract and retain customers across the age spectrum.

While creating an inter-generational workspace may take more time, customization, and intentionality; there are several benefits to be gained by the whole organization when a multigenerational team works well together.

The team can attract and retain talented people of all ages.

  1. The team is more flexible.
  2. The team can gain and maintain greater market share because its members reflect a multi-generation market.
  3. Decisions are stronger because they’re broad-based with multiple perspectives.
  4. The team is more innovative and creative.
  5. The team can meet the needs of a diverse public and can relate more effectively

As employers strive to recruit and retain the best and the brightest, they should look to attract mature workers and young minds with fresh ideas.  Both are part of a crucial mix. Combined with recruitment practices, the right combination of policies and practices is also key to a productive, engaged, and “age-neutral” workforce.

If you’re looking for an office space that appeals to multiple generations be sure to explore our many Barrister Executive Suites Office Spaces available throughout Southern California. We offer traditional offices as well as virtual offices to meet your team’s diverse needs. Many of our offices are also located around cultural centers with restaurants, fitness centers, theaters and more to assist you with maintaining a work-life balance that’s right for you.

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Learn more about the multi-generational office at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf

 

[1]  AARP, Baby Boomers Envision Retirement II: Survey of Baby Boomers’ Expectations for Retirement (Washington, DC, September 2004), 24.

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics (see chart)

[3] Fallon, N. (2014, June 16). Tackling the Challenges of the Multigenerational Workforce. Retrieved from Business News Daily: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6609-multigenerational-workforce-challenges.html

The Power of the Receptionist!

If you ask someone to name the most important person in their business they’d likely name the CEO, a manager or the top sales representative.  But the most crucial person may actually be the person you wouldn’t expect:  your receptionist!

When clients or visitors enter your business for the first time, the person to greet them is typically not the CEO or sales manager. It is the receptionist.  This is the person who creates the first impression that a client or visitor has of your business and it’s essential to choose the right receptionist for your company’s image.

While many people view the role of the receptionist as minor, this couldn’t be farther from the truth! The role of the receptionist is vital to the smooth operation of any office. Duties often include: acting as an ambassador by welcoming people to your business, screening phone calls, and directing client traffic throughout the work day. Organizational skills are an intrinsic part of the receptionist’s job, as is diplomacy, proper etiquette, and good judgment. Good receptionists will create a welcoming atmosphere for your clients and visitors; they help to keep the staff organized; and they serve as an information center for clients, visitors, and employees.

 

A company’s CEO may set the tone for corporate culture and brand, but it’s the staff that reinforces it with the clients.  Effective company owners know that their customers’ experiences start with the person who answers the phone and greets people at the door.  The receptionist!

Some have suggested there is a trend towards the removal of the receptionist position altogether.  This trend – often seen within start-ups or technology companies –is often a result of financial restraints.  These companies believe a receptionist area is a poor use of real estate and/or they believe a receptionist salary can be better applied to a position they consider more important.  Some of these companies are using various technologies to greet their visitors and while these endeavors can be successful in certain industries, most companies eventually realize the need for a live receptionist.

At Barrister Executive Suites, we offer highly trained and professional receptionists and they are included as a part of our Full Time Office and Virtual Office programs.  Our hiring process for receptionists is very selective; the average length of time that a receptionist has been with us is 5 years!

Learn more about these Barrister Office Programs and discover the right space for you….at the right price…and with the right receptionist!