A Publication of WTVP

As we recommit to a new year of professional results, it is important to lift our heads, breathe and look around to get a broader perspective of the work environment. Give 2010 a fresh new start!

Think about your employees—they are talented, they are energized, they are skilled, they possess their own characteristics and they range in age. As you think about the new year, consider how you can really engage the young professionals in your workplace.

Think back to the holiday dinners; remember those two separate tables? There was the kids’ table and the adult table. In order to sit at the adult table, you had to be a certain age. As a child, you wanted to sit at the adult table so badly. The conversations were deeper, and they weren’t nearly as trivial as what was happening at the kids’ table. Sitting at the adult table meant that you belonged to something bigger and better.

Invite young professionals to sit at the “adult table.” This could mean serving on a board, leading a project or managing others. Ask young professionals to step up to the table and take the lead. Another way to engage young professionals is to let them work at the “adult table” remotely (a.k.a. Starbuck’s, home, etc.). They will need their blackberries, and they might work with their iPod plugged in, but that doesn’t mean they are ignoring their responsibilities. Their wheels are in motion, but it’s a motion you might not be used to just yet!

In this new year, eliminate the kids’ table within your workplace. Today’s young professionals crave responsibility and embrace challenges. Bring them to your adult table before the competition offers them a seat. Once you have eliminated the kids’ table, tell everyone you did it. It is okay to brag about what you are doing right. Be the talent magnet that everyone else wants to be. iBi

The Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria is a committee
of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.