BBB, UCCS join forces on series to help businesses


A meeting over coffee two years ago led to the creation of a seminar series designed to help employers and job seekers in the Pikes Peak region. The collaboration between the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado and the UCCS College of Business begins Feb. 1, with the first seminar in the 12-part series.

This is the second year for the collaboration, with the “Multi-Generational Professional Series” running through June 21.

Shawna Lippert, director of the Office of Professional & Executive Development in the UCCS College of Business, said she had coffee with Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado CEO Jonathan Liebert back in 2016 and “asked how the UCCS College of Business could support the BBB and accredited businesses.”

Liebert reached out to several of the BBB’s accredited businesses and inquired about their main business struggles.

“The feedback he received was overwhelmingly related to issues surrounding how multiple generations can effectively work together, and to specifically understand how to attract and keep those in the Millennial generation,” Lippert said. “After much planning and discussion with local professionals, we decided to partner and co-offer a seminar series for the community.”

The four-part series, with all sessions scheduled from 8:30-10:30 a.m., includes:

  • Track 1: “Attracting, Motivating & Retaining a Millennial Workforce,” $200, Feb. 1, 8, 5, 22 at the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, 559 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Suite 101
  • Track 2: “Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce,” $150, March 8, 15, 22 at The Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave.
  • Track 3: “Thriving as a Millennial in the Workforce,” $100, April 5, 12 at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St.
  • Track 4: “Marketing to Millennial Customers,” $150, June 7, 14, 21, location to be announced
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Lippert said information in the seminar could contribute to the success of many local businesses.

“Many organizations have been struggling with how to attract and retain high-level talent,” she said. “We now have four or five generations working together in the workplace for the first time — people are waiting longer to retire, and new generations are entering the workforce. This has great opportunity, but also comes with great challenges. We have heard from local leaders, managers, supervisors and HR professionals that they are looking for updated strategies on not only how to attract top talent for their organization, but keep them once they are hired.”

The seminar could also benefit job seekers, even after they accept a position, she said. And it might even help them get a job.

“The seminar series can help job seekers be better employees once they are hired,” Lippert said. “I would think that a job seeker with this seminar series completion on their resume would be of interest to an organization. Also, current employees who are looking to further their career can benefit by learning how to work better with people and teams. By understanding how the different generations respond, their perspective on work and life, and how to build strong teams, current employees can potentially move up to be strong managers and supervisors.

“Whether a participant is a Millennial or an HR professional, sessions will essentially cover how to best understand people from their perspective, and how to motivate them.”

She warned that businesses should not ignore older employees, or overlook hiring older job seekers, even though Millennials are flooding the workforce and drawing focus to that generation.

“Organizations should not overlook the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers,” Lippert said. “We have seen data that proves these employees are loyal, committed to the success of their profession and organization, and tend to jump between jobs less often [than Millennials]. Baby Boomers specifically are very tech-savvy and want to work.

“Many Boomers have already achieved great success in their careers, and may not necessarily be looking solely for status or promotion. They are really committed to doing a great job, and helping companies toward success. Employers are looking for committed, loyal employees for their teams — they should consider employees from the older generations, along with the younger employees, to build strong teams.”

UCCS College of Business instructor Scott Van Ness facilitates the series.

“Coming from an academic and professional perspective, sessions will cover data, research and evidence-based strategies that participants can try out the next day,” Lippert said. “Sessions will look at examples from companies across the globe who are doing this well. We don’t let the sessions become gripe sessions about the Millennials — our goal is to give information to leaders in order to improve their workforce and teams.

“The sessions are offered once per week, in two-hour sessions on Thursday mornings, allowing participants to still have the rest of their day to work.”

To register, go to