As we approach the holidays, I see that my term as President is coming to a close. This is the culmination of several years of interesting times. I can honestly say that APWA is a fascinating organization with many facets of activities and involvements. Of course, the former Congress (now the PWX expo) is the height of the efforts that APWA makes. This year, Arizona was the host committee. The experience was gratifying and the feedback very complimentary. All of our Chapter members should be proud of the tremendous results of this gathering. For me, it is the end of a promise I made to Ray Acuna years ago. He asked me to join the Arizona chapter and I agreed to do so. I have found it to be challenging and interesting and have enjoyed the continuation of many friendships I have developed over many years in the business.
So, as we move toward the end of the year, we have addressed the Chapter Manual and the changes in scope for next year at our strategic planning session. We recently conducted the strategic planning session on the 23rd of October. This November, we have election results, strategic plan results and our new budget to submit for next year. There are a lot of items coming up, so don’t miss the November meeting. After that, we move forward into our Christmas meeting in December (there will not be a December meeting other than that one) At the December meeting, at Aunt Chilada’s, we will install the new Board and officers for 2016. Please attend that meeting which has been arranged to be in the afternoon so members with families can be home near their normal time. This meeting will be on Monday, December 14th. At that time, we will have a chance to discuss what is coming up for next year and Loretta Flick (2016 Chapter President) will be letting everyone know what to expect for next year. Thanks to all of you who supported me, and Happy Holidays to all!
Sincerely, John Hauskins ARIZONA CHAPTER PRESIDENT
This article was written for A/E/C Beat, the community blog for the Arizona Chapter of SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services), and is being reprinted with permission.
How to recruit and retain talent; it’s at the top of mind for most A/E/C firms these days. We just can’t staff up fast enough to meet the growing demands of a recovering economy. Our entry to mid-level workforce was gutted by the recession and our seasoned professionals are starting to think about retirement again. So who’s going to replace them? Millenials.
Every conversation regarding new talent inevitably comes back to Millenials; those “entitled, lazy Millennials.” Of course, negative connotations aren’t isolated to this one generation. Every generation comes with a “stigma” that labels them with a particular mindset. Baby Boomers are “stuck in their ways,” GenXers are “hard to get along with,” and Millenials are “the most high-maintenance workforce in the history of the world.”
Preceding generations almost always tend to think of their predecessors as problematic. They cause trouble, have a different outlook on accepted approaches and come with ‘questionable’ communication styles. But what parent in the history of parents hasn’t said this about their own child at some point? Generations are different, but the “right or wrong” way of doing things is a matter of personal opinion, not of generation. And let’s face it; this IS what it IS. The next generation IS the future.
The Facts: According to Forbes, today’s workers face uncharted territory regarding workforce demographics. There will soon be FIVE generations in the workplace all at once, whereas prior year’s workers contended with only three or four. But Millennials currently make up a HUGE portion of the workforce, and their presence is only going to grow. Here are a few cold hard facts:
Millenials are individuals born between 1981 – 2000
Millenials represent a population of approximately 80 million people (that’s a lot)
So what is SOOOO different about this workforce generation that is causing so much heartburn right now? Why do “those darn Millenials” seem to cause such a stir in office trends? Is there no communication in this big blended office family? Hmmm. Since great communication is rooted in a true understanding of another’s viewpoint, here are a few of the fun facts on Millenials:
Approximately 15% were born outside the U.S.
They have their own computers, phones, tablets, etc.; they don’t need your stuff.
Millenials like to work hard, but they also like to play hard. The two go “hand in hand.”
They went to school in collaborative spaces with a lot of flexibility. It’s only natural that they would want flexibility and telecommuting options in their careers as well.
They grew up with text messages, social media, and instant gratification. Their communication style is fairly informal in comparison to prior generations.
Entitled or just young? Hey, we were all young once…but someone saw our potential and took it upon themselves to mentor us.
In a recent Forbes poll, top employers were asked about how multi-generations affected the workplace:
43% say multi-generational teams are good for projects to provide knowledge in specific areas
45% say the biggest challenge to getting along is understanding each generation’s approach to a work-life balance and work ethic
20% say communication style conflicts are the biggest impediment to working together
Pay close attention the first statistic – “43% say multi-generational teams are good.” Wait, what? Based on all the negative hype, you might expect the stats to reflect the opposite. Not so. As this poll suggests, each generation brings value, and how a company uses that value to benefit their clients in a team setting is what’s important.
The Recruiting Like it or not, it is a job seeker’s market right now in A/E/C (as was so eloquently explained in A/E/C Beat’s “Desperately Seeking MC”), and a lot of those job seekers are Millenials. “They kind of expect a custom deal,” said Christie Borchin, Deputy Director of the California Department of Technology’s Office of Professional Development, during a February 24th panel on recruiting Millennials at the California Public Sector CIO Academy in Sacramento. “You need to really be aware of what makes Millennials tick,” she said, "and adapt your style to meet that.”
Here are a few tips on recruiting Millennials:
Build your company brand by engaging potential Millenial applicants on social media. Exhibit events, perks and benefits on Facebook, Linkedin, and other social media platforms.
Praise Millennials through the interview process. Interviewing is more than ever a two-way street, and Millenial candidates want to be seen as hot commodities. They know that they need to pitch themselves to hiring managers, but they also want to be sold on the values, mission and benefits of a company. Thank candidates for their time and let them know head-on if you are impressed with how they answered a question or an experience they have had.
Millennials expect work-life balance from day one in any new job. They expect to work hard, but they also expect to have the flexibility and time to spend with family and friends. Emphasize your company’s culture and how they will fit into it. Invite potential hires to spend some time in the office getting to know the environment and the people.
Perks are an expectation. With all the press around the perks of the Googles and Facebooks of the world, Millennials see these things as the norm rather than the exception. They expect the celebratory food, drinks, and events…along with “Bring Your Dog to Work Day,” ping pong tables in the break room, on premise day care services and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Millennials feel strongly about a company’s commitment to the community and making the world a better place. Have your HR team organize community service events on a quarterly basis, giving groups of employees the opportunity to participate in revolving community service offerings during work hours.
Millennials seek incentives and performance-based pay. Of course, everyone loves a steady base salary. But on top of that, Millennials also expect performance-based pay, which rewards them for direct organizational contributions. Get creative with bonuses that incentivize all levels of the company to hit their own individual performance goals.
No wonder they are considered “the most high-maintenance workforce in the history of the world.” But seriously, who doesn’t expect kudos for a job well done. Take an inventory of your current employee offerings and ask yourself this: Are we up to the challenge of recruiting these types of job seekers?
The Retaining Starting with the very first conversation, ask Millennial candidates about their career aspirations and goals. In addition to focusing on their aspirations, find out what they don’t like to do. Then be attentive to, engage with, and respond to their stated aspirations and goals. Here are a few key motivators for Millenials:
Millenials view work as a key part of life, rather than a separate activity that needs to be “balanced” by it. Be flexible with the hours they work, and they will work them.
Millenials want a roadmap to success. Maybe not immediate success, but they want to know that a path does exists and they want to know what that path entails.
Millennials are inspired by working with bright and creative people. Create environments that are conducive to brainstorming, emphasize engagement and provide plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.
Millenials are more likely to perform (and less likely to quit) if they feel that their work has meaning or is connected to a bigger picture. Acknowledge their work and highlight its significance to the overall project/company (or world!).
Millenials want a strong sense of their company’s mission and vision. Be forthcoming when explaining the “whys” behind decisions and provide social activities to foster company community.
The Bottom Line Now, we’re not saying that you have to adapt everything that you’re doing as a firm to meet the demands and expectations of the new Millenial workforce. As with any healthy relationship, acclimating to the multi-generational work environment of the future will require a little give and a little take from both (or in this case, all) parties. A modest evaluation of faults is not unwarranted, but a healthy inventory of generational value-added will be the key to bridging this gap. The bottom line is that we all need to find a way to get along, and with that comes understanding generational characteristics.
For all the Baby Boomers and GenXers that just read this article, please consider it a quick lesson on “how to train your dragon…errr…Millenial.” Yeah, we’re sorry Millenials…nobody’s perfect. Not the Boomers, not the GenXers, and not you. But don’t get disheartened. Part two of this article will talk about what you can do to overcome that pesky “entitlement” stereotype in the workplace and prove to the rest of us that you’ve got the chops to take on the future!
About the Bloggers: BeatBlogger was thrilled to be the first to read this post, authored by two of her favorite SMPS Arizona leaders. Here are their stories:
Deirdre Gilmore is a stereotypical GenXer. She loathes useless meetings, people that can’t put their phones down, and most social media. However, in order to avoid becoming a “get off my lawn you punk” adult, delved into understanding the generational gaps and how we can leverage them to get results.
Grenee Celuch is caught in the middle of GenX and the Millenials. She has little patience for people with “entitlement” issues and believes that working hard and going above and beyond your job description reaps huge rewards. Studying the different generations has made her realize that it's a give and take from all generations for the workplace to work as a cohesive machine.
About A/E/C Beat:A/E/C Beat is the community blog for the Arizona Chapter of SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services), the only marketing and business development association serving A/E/C industry professionals and firms. A/E/C Beat's mission? To help ambitious Marketing (and Business Development) Professionals alter their perception of what is possible so that they can claim their power in the A/E/C world. In other words, we're revolutionizing attitudes! Join in the conversation: #RevolutionizeYourAttitude
Palominas Flood Protection and Groundwater Recharge Pilot Project
Project Owner: Cochise County
Contractor: KE & G Construction, Inc.
Consultant: JE Fuller Hydrology & Geomorphology, Inc.
The Palominas Recharge Project, winner of the 2015 APWA-AZ Public Works Project of the Year in the environmental category of projects less than $5M, demonstrates Cochise County’s commitment to stormwater detention, capture and groundwater recharge. The project, which was completed in July 2014, was the first step in Cochise County’s countywide plan to take control and manage its most important resource: Water. Cochise These steps also augment the surface flow and improvement of habitat in the San Pedro River, a riparian habitat protected by Congress. More water is being removed from our aquifer than is being replaced which gradually lowers the water table. If we continue to remove more water from the aquifer than we replenish, we’ll join some other Southwestern communities who have created their own water shortage.
PROJECT BACKGROUND/CHALLENGE: The Palominas Elementary School complex, a small rural educational facility located near the International Border of Mexico, is the heart of the project. The extensive monsoon flooding problem existed for years since the school was (ill advisedly) built at ground level in a known sheet flow area.
The broad grassy slopes, with no sign of a bank or creek bottom in the area carry sheet flow from gathering runoff—in this case, up to three feet deep and swift enough to knock down a grown man. After many years of looking to solve the school flooding and looking for solutions to the Upper San Pedro River watershed problems, things began to fall into place when both were considered together. The Palominas Flood Protection and Groundwater Recharge Pilot Project was born. One of the keys was the ability to see what had always been thought of as a problem—the increasing stormwater runoff in the developing watershed - as the solution. That change in thinking enabled the very diverse partnership to form that made the recharge project possible.
This public-private partnership gelled into the San Pedro River Recharge Network, consisting of Cochise County, Fort Huachuca, The Walton Family Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy. The partnership is tackling the diverse needs of the individual partners: flood reduction for the school and existing homes, future pumping avoidance near the river, open space, recharge of increased runoff due to development near the river and importantly, monitoring data from the pilot recharge project that will provide direction for improved design of future projects, both in this watershed and others.
This project began humbly as an effort to address that flooding and protect the school and surrounding buildings.
COSTS, FINANCING, and PARTNERSHIPS
Ft. Huachuca, The Nature
Conservancy, Cochise County
Analysis and Design
Cochise County, Walton Family Fnd.
Cochise County, Walton Family Fnd.
Installation of Monitoring equipment and 1 year monitoring
Or search Youtube for Mansker Palominas Property Cochise County Recharge
2016 ANNUAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
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APWA Arizona 2016 Statewide Annual Conference , August 10-12, 2016
Mark your calendars for the 2016 APWA Statewide Annual Conference to be held Wednesday, August 10 through Friday, August 12, 2016, again at the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador in Oro Valley, AZA Call for Abstracts will follow shortly.
Exhibitor check-in and set-up will start Wednesday morning August 10th .Reserve your booth today.Contact Al Field at Al.Field@AlField-Assoc.com. First come, first served for exhibit booth location selection!
Your Conference Committee Chairs, Robin Bain and Arno Leskinen, are already working with the dedicated Planning Committee members to organize an exceptional Conference. See you ALL there!
Fall Mixer at O.H.S.O.
We had a great turnout for the Mixer on October 29th. It was encouraging to see some of our newest members at the Mixer, as well as some familiar faces. Thanks to everyone’s generous donations, the Events Committee dropped off two big boxes of food for the Mesa Community College Student Life Food Pantry. One of our newest members, Christa Harvey from American Direct was the winner of our door prize drawing. And a big shout out to Cad Soft Consulting for sponsoring the appetizers! Thank you to all who came out and joined us!