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AFAIUI (As Far As I Understand It): The Workplace Generation Gap

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1 AFAIUI (As Far As I Understand It): The Workplace Generation Gap

2 Workplace Generation Gap
Traditionalist (born 1922 to 1945) Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) Generation Y (born 1981 to 2000)

3 The Generations Each brings strengths Each has challenges
They have different: Views and expectations Work ethics Communication methods Familiarity with technology

4 Common Generalizations
Baby Boomers feel that the Gen X-ers do not care enough about work

5 Common Generalizations
Gen X-ers feel that Baby Boomers care too much about work

6 Common Generalizations
Gen Y-ers want to move up the corporate ladder too quickly without paying respect to the traditional methods of advancement

7 Common Generalizations
Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers would rather be any other place than work, and they would prefer to work from home

8 Common Generalizations
Baby Boomers want everyone to put in long hours in the workplace

9 Common Generalizations
Baby Boomers are extremely loyal to their companies

10 Common Generalizations
Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers are not as loyal as Baby Boomers to their companies

11 Common Generalizations
These are sweeping generalizations, but there is some truth Each generation lived in a different time

12 Traditionalists They are also known as the Silent Generation
Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

13 Traditionalists Have worked longer than any other generation
Known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II Lives were very tough at times, and they worked hard for what they had They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

14 Traditionalists Usually “live within their means”
Loyal to family, friends, and employers Financially conservative Many are retired or nearing retirement; many working part time They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

15 1940 Earliest Traditionalist would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1940.

16 In 1940 Winston Churchill became Britain’s Prime Minister
Hitler invaded many countries The first Social Security checks were paid out The first McDonald’s opened in Pasadena, California They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

17 In 1940 The Superman radio show debuted
Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath received the Pulitzer Prize The Rh factor in blood was discovered They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

18 1953 Middle Traditionalist would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1953.

19 In 1953 Joseph Stalin died Moscow exploded a hydrogen bomb
Dwight D. Eisenhower became US President (with Nixon as VP) The Rosenburgs were executed TV Guide premiered its first issue They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

20 In 1953 Playboy premiered its first issue
Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea received the Pulitzer Prize Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mt. Everest The first successful open-heart surgery was performed in Philadelphia They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

21 1963 Youngest Traditionalist would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1963.

22 In 1963 The Washington to Moscow “hot line” opened
There were US military “advisors” in South Vietnam Martin Luther King Jr.’s held his March on Washington President John F. Kennedy was assassinated They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

23 In 1963 Beatlemania hit the UK Julia Child debuted on TV
Faulkner’s The Reivers received the Pulitzer Prize The first liver transplant was performed Valium was developed They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

24 Traditionalists Most companies have a Traditionalist on their Board of Directors These are the people who set the tone of the workplace, create the workplace culture, and set the strategic direction They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

25 Traditionalists Traditionalist were the parents of the Baby Boomers, and while Traditionalists went through difficult economic times, their children did not They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

26 Baby Boomers

27 Baby Boomers Were raised to have the things their parents never did
They are also known as the “Me” generation They are generally optimistic Can be competitive because they needed to compete with their peers Work well in team settings They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

28 Baby Boomers Hard working—Do not mind putting in very long hours
Post World War II, Cold War, civil rights, women’s rights Want acknowledgement for their efforts Motto: “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

29 1964 Earliest Baby Boomers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1964.

30 In 1964 Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize China detonated its first atomic bomb Bob Dylan's protest music became popular They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

31 In 1964 The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
Peyton Place premiered on TV US Surgeon General affirmed that cigarette smoking causes cancer They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

32 1973 Middle Baby Boomers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1973.

33 In 1973 OPEC hiked oil prices
A ceasefire was signed in the Vietnam War Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize Nixon accepted responsibility for Watergate They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

34 In 1973 Roe v. Wade Sacheen Littlefeather stood in for Marlon Brando and refused his Oscar for The Godfather Skylab was launched Pablo Picasso died They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

35 1982 Youngest Baby Boomers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1982.

36 In 1982 Princess Grace of Monaco died Leonid Brezhnev died
Israel invaded Lebanon attacking the PLO Ronald Reagan was president John Hinkley was found not guilty of shooting Reagan because of insanity They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

37 In 1982 Michael Jackson's Thriller was released John Belushi died
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines were introduced in Britain The first genetically-engineered plant, a tomato, was approved for sale They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

38 Baby Boomers Women were in the workforce Divorce rates were increasing
Children were being raised in child care centers, and there were latchkey kids Children saw their parents working extremely long hours and sacrificing family time for work They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

39 Baby Boomers These children saw gasoline rationing and long lines and the pumps They witnessed their parents being laid off and downsized during the difficult economic times with double digit inflation They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

40 Generation X

41 Generation X Generation X is more economically conservative than their parents Have a strong need for family connections and will not sacrifice long work hours and endure stress as their parent’s generation did Will not depend on their companies to provide long term security for them They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

42 Generation X They are very independent Want a work/life balance
Committed to work, but not committed to the company Like technology Not interested in hierarchical structures Like collaboration Have an entrepreneurial spirit They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

43 1983 Earliest Gen X-ers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1983.

44 In 1983 A terrorist explosion killed 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut
A South Korean jetliner was shot down by the Soviets Sally Ride was the first U.S. woman astronaut in space Compact discs were introduced Karen Carpenter died from anorexia nervosa They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

45 In 1983 The last episode of M*A*S*H was shown
"Crack" cocaine was developed in the Bahamas and appeared in the U.S. El Nino disrupted global weather patterns The FCC authorized testing of cellular phone service in Chicago They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

46 1991 Middle Gen X-ers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1991.

47 In 1991 The Soviet Union broke up
A ceasefire ended the Persian Gulf War Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment Fox Broadcasting permitted condom advertising on TV Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

48 In 1991 Nirvana released Smells Like Teen Spirit
Gopher, the first user-friendly internet interface, was created at the University of Minnesota The first transpacific hot-air balloon flight was successful Theodore Seuss Geisel died They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

49 1998 Youngest Gen X-ers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1998.

50 In 1998 India conducted three atomic tests; Pakistan responded with five nuclear tests Europeans agreed on the Euro Iraq ended cooperation with UN arms inspectors The Clinton and Lewinsky sex scandal The Unabomber was sentenced Matthew Sheppard was fatally beaten They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

51 In 1998 Terry Nichols received a life sentence for the Oklahoma City bombing The movie Titanic became the highest grossing film of all time The last episode of Seinfeld aired Frank Sinatra died The FDA approved Viagra The Endeavour crew connected the first two modules of the international space station They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

52 Generation X Generation X used collaborative education in the classroom Gen-Xers are team oriented This was a transitional generation with many technological changes They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

53 Generation X They ushered in the era of video games and personal computers Gen-Xers want things to happen quickly and efficiently They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

54 Generation Y

55 Generation Y The Gen-Yers were brought up during an affluent time
They had very supportive parents and teachers In school they learned to multi-task because of the pressure to be successful in the classroom and with extra-curricular activities They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

56 Generation Y They are also called Millennials
They are comfortable using technology Social networking is important Lines between work and life are blurry Need a structured work setting They ask a lot of questions Flexibility is important They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

57 1999 Earliest Gen Y-ers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 1999.

58 In 1999 Global fear of the Y2K bug and Armageddon
The Columbine school shootings John F. Kennedy, Jr. was lost at sea The impeachment trial of Clinton Monica Lewinsky's first TV interview aired on 20/20 with Barbara Walters They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

59 In 1999 Stanley Kubrick died The Blair Witch Project emerged
Rev. Jerry Falwell calls Teletubby Tinky Winkey gay Melissa and Chernobyl viruses affect computers worldwide Worldwide internet use reaches 150 million with over 50% in the U.S. They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

60 2008 Middle Gen Y-ers would have turned 18 or graduated from high school in 2008.

61 In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia Castro resigned as Cuba's president
Numerous suicide bombings in the Middle East The stock market plunged Unemployment rates spiked Barack Obama elected US President They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

62 In 2008 Bill Gates retired from Microsoft
The banking and automobile industries declined Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer The polar bear designed as threatened California banned trans fats in restaurants They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

63 Youngest Gen Y-ers will turn 18 or graduated from high school in 2018.

64 Generation Y The Millennials have had cell phones, pages, and personal computers all their lives They have high self-esteem and are extremely confident They are used to full lives combining school, family, and extracurricular activities They are also known as the Silent Generation Many lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Their lives were very tough at times, and they had to work hard to get whatever they had. These people “live within their means.” They are loyal to family, friends, and their employers. They are financially conservative—money was hard to come by. Many are retired or nearing retirement, and many are working part-time jobs.

65 Attitudes in The Workplace

66 Attitudes A 2008 survey* by Harris Interactive conducted for Charles Schwab and Age Wave, shows that people have strong positive and negative opinions about the different generations * Widely Held Attitudes to Different Generations, Financetorial, August 24, 2008,

67 Generations Identified
Generation Y, people aged 13 to 31 Generation X, aged 32 to 43 Baby Boomers, aged 44 to 62 Silent Generation, aged 63 to 83 Greatest Generation, aged 84+

68 Finding: Baby Boomers (35%) are most widely viewed as having a positive effect on society, followed by Generation X (25%)

69 Finding: The Silent Generation (33%) and the Greatest Generation (30%) are the most widely admired generations, followed by Baby Boomers (22%)

70 Finding: The Silent Generation (40%) and Baby Boomers (33%) are widely viewed as the most generous

71 Finding: The two generations widely seen as the most productive are Baby Boomers (45%) and Generation X (32%)

72 Finding: A 53 percent majority (including a majority of Gen Y itself) believe Generation Y is the most self-indulgent, followed by Generation X (25%)

73 Finding: Generation X is seen as the most innovative (41%), followed by Baby Boomers (25%) and Generation Y (22%)

74 Finding: There is no consensus as to which generation is most socially conscious, but Baby Boomers (34%) and Generation X (26%) top the list

75 Finding: Gen Y would like to rename themselves the “Internet Generation” (32%). They really dislike being called “Generation Y” or “Millennials”

76 Finding: Gen X would choose to rename themselves “Generation Tech” (25%). They dislike being called “Generation X”

77 Finding: Baby Boomers are the only generation which seems to really like the name given to them (27%)

78 Finding: The Silent Generation would re-name themselves the “Responsible Generation” (44%). They strongly dislike being called “Silent” or “Invisible”

79 Outcomes Two widely-held views are false:
America is riddled with ageism Younger people have no respect for older people

80 Outcomes: The two oldest generations are much more admired than any other generation

81 Outcomes: Baby Boomers get higher marks than any other generation for being socially conscious, being productive, and having a positive effect on society

82 Working With The Generations

83 Each Generation… Has a unique history that affects how they view work

84 Each Generation… Has learned something from the previous generations (That has helped shape them)

85 Each Generation… Has lived with different and changing family structures

86 Each Generation… Has a different communication style

87 Each Generation… Has values and strengths they bring into the workplace (Focus on those)

88 Each Generation… Has challenges they face and needs that could make the workplace more attractive

89 Each Generation… Has a unique approach to work

90 Each Generation… Has differing views on recognitions and awards

91 Consider Your Workplace
What is your workplace culture? Are you goal oriented Do you value teamwork or individuality Do you value your employee’s input Are you flexible with schedules Do you ever have fun Are you consistent throughout the company

92 Consider Your Workplace
What is your organizational structure? Formal with a complex structure; clear chain of command; fixed duties and relationships; established channels of communication Decentralized with a relaxed structure; flexible duties and relationships; casual communication

93 Consider Your Workplace
What are your specific job requirements? How are meetings held and conducted? How do you motivate your employees? How are promotions and awards conferred?

94 Know Yourself In which generation are you?
What are your values, strengths, challenges, & needs? What are your expectations for yourself and others?

95 Know Others Be aware of the differences Appreciate other’s strengths
Interact with others and encourage them to interact

96 Tips: Be Respectful Focus on the strengths Acknowledge differences
See value in questions See value in experience and company history Use humor and a positive outlook

97 Tips: Communicate Appropriately
Use face-to-face or written communication, when necessary Be brief—use bullets Avoid jargon, clichés, and abbreviations Pay attention when multi-tasking Have brief, efficient meetings

98 Tips: Be Personable Be available to answer questions Ask questions
Communicate the big picture Be a role model

99 Tips: Support Your Employees
Build morale Manage conflict Value diversity Encourage continuing education Seek challenging and creative tasks

100 Tips: Support Your Employees
Provide timely feedback and acknowledgements Consider community involvement activities Consider mentoring relationships Be a role model Have fun, as appropriate

101 Velda Arnaud Lane Community College
Prepared by: Velda Arnaud Lane Community College


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