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“THE REAL VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY CONSISTS NOT IN SEEKING NEW LANDSCAPES BUT IN HAVING NEW EYES.” MARCEL PROUST Intergenerational Communication in the Workplace.

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Presentation on theme: "“THE REAL VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY CONSISTS NOT IN SEEKING NEW LANDSCAPES BUT IN HAVING NEW EYES.” MARCEL PROUST Intergenerational Communication in the Workplace."— Presentation transcript:

1 “THE REAL VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY CONSISTS NOT IN SEEKING NEW LANDSCAPES BUT IN HAVING NEW EYES.” MARCEL PROUST Intergenerational Communication in the Workplace

2 Workshop Goals Increase knowledge and understanding of the four generations Enhance comprehension of how generational differences affect you Promote skills for effective intergenerational communication Expand capacity to manage diverse working styles across the generations

3 Is the Generation Gap Back? Generational differences represent a critical new aspect to workplace diversity. How you view generational differences is based on your generational perspective.

4

5 The Four Generations The Traditionalists 1922–1943/46 The Boomers 1943–1960/ Generation X’ers / Millennials

6 The Traditionalists Born between /1946 are now years old Represent 25% of the work population Also known as the:veterans, seniors, traditionalists, silent generation

7 The Baby Boomers Born between / * Now between the ages of 39 and million strong Also known as: Boomers

8 The Generation X’ers Born between / Currently 23 – 43 years of age 17 Million Also known as: X’ers, Baby Busters, Post-Boomers

9 The Generation Y’s or Millennials Born between 1980 and 2000 Under 23 years of age 68 Million Strong Also known as the: Nexters, Nintendo Generation, Internet Generation

10 How Their Times Shaped Them

11 Traditionalists: Defining Events The Great Depression & Dust Bowl The New Deal Social Security Established Golden Age of Radio Pearl Harbor Attacked WW II and Korean War Patriotism Rise of Labor Unions

12 Traditionalists: Heroes Superman MacArthur, Patton, Halsey, Montgomery, Eisenhower FDR Winston Churchill Audie Murphy Babe Ruth Joe DiMaggio

13 Boomers: Defining Events Economic Prosperity Expansion of Suburbia Focus on Children Television Vietnam Assassinations Civil Rights Movement Cold War/McCarthy Hearings Space Race/Moon Landing

14 Baby Boomers: Heroes Ghandi Martin Luther King Jr. John and Jacqueline Kennedy John Glenn Feminist Movement

15 Gen X’ers: Defining Events Watergate, Nixon resigns Challenger Disaster Computers Single-parent homes Latchkey Kids MTV AIDS Harsh economic conditions Glasnost, Perestroika Persian Gulf

16 Gen X’ers: Heroes ? Oprah Winfrey Bill Gates & Steve Jobs Michael Jackson Michael Jordan Things, animation…

17 Millenials: Defining Events Technology TV Talk Shows Multiculturalism Desert Storm Clinton Scandals Schoolyard Violence Oklahoma City Bombing 9/11 Columbia tragedy

18 Millenials: Heroes ? Michael Jordan Princess Diana Mother Teresa Tiger Woods Lance Armstrong

19 Comparing the Generations Traditionalist Baby Boomers Generation Xers Key descriptorLoyalOptimisticSkeptical Notion of commandChain of command Change of command Self-command View of hierarchyPrefer top- down; military Comfortable with top-down Prefer flat What they’re buildingA legacyA stellar, upward career A portable career Job changingCarries a stigmaPuts you behindIs necessary MotivatorA job well doneMoney, title, promotion Self fulfillment, freedom, fun Workplace flexibilityWho will do the work? The nerve of those Xers! I’ll go for the right lifestyle

20 Comparing the Generations Traditionalists Baby Boomers Generation Xers Working long hoursRequired, prudentWill get you ahead, money, bonus Get a life! ProductivityInputs and outputs matter Input matters mostOutput is all that matters Give me more…EssentialsMoneyTime Performance reviews If I’m not yelling at you, all is fine. Once a year; well- documented. Sorry to interrupt again, how am I doing? Work-FamilyWork matters most; wife at home Work matters most; dual career or divorced Family matters; dual career Career pathsSlow and steadyLadderLattice Career paceProve yourself with loyalty; pay dues Prove yourself with long hours; pay dues I want to know all my options now.

21 Generational Clash in the Workplace Worldwide economy Rapid change in the workplace Downsizing of companies Mergers, acquisitions, consolidations Elimination of middle management Less union activity in companies Seniority only one element of promotion Technology

22 The Result: No job is safe, and no career assured. Causes employees to identify more with their generation and blame other generations for workplace problems and issues. The real generational workplace conflict is based on differences in values, ambitions, views, mindsets, and demographics.

23 Traditionalist Values Dedication/sacrifice Law and order Strong work ethic Risk averse Respect for authority Patience Delayed reward Duty, honor, country Loyalty to the organization

24 Traditionalists at Work Assets Stable Detail oriented Thorough Loyal Hard working Liabilities Inept w/ambiguity and change Reluctant to buck the system Uncomfortable with conflict Reticent when they disagree

25 Traditionalists: Training & Development Training Take plenty of time Give them the “big picture” Emphasize long- term goals Let them share their experience Developing Technology Don’t stereotype as technophobes Use formality and order Don’t rush it

26 Messages that Motivate Traditionalists “Your experience is respected here.” “It’s important for the rest of us to hear what has, and hasn’t, worked in the past.” “Your perseverance is valued and will be rewarded.”

27 Boomer Values Optimism Team work Personal gratification Health and wellness Promotion and recognition Youth Work Volunteerism

28 Boomers at Work Assets Service oriented Driven Willing to “go the extra mile” Good at relationships Want to please Good team players Liabilities Not naturally “budget minded” Uncomfortable with conflict Reluctant to go against peers Put process ahead of results Sensitive to feedback Judgmental of those who see things differently

29 Boomers: Training & Development Training Focus on the near future Focus on challenges Focus on their role Development Meetings and team team building Provide develop- mental experiences Use business books and training tapes

30 Messages that Motivate Boomers “You are important to our success. “We recognize your unique and important contribution to our team.” What is your vision for this project?” “You are valued.”

31 Gen X Values Diversity Thinking globally Balance in life Computer literacy Personal development Fun Informality Independence Initiative

32 Gen X’ers at Work Assets Adaptable Techno-literate Independent Not intimidated by authority Creative Liabilities Impatient Poor people skills Inexperienced Cynical

33 Gen X’ers: Training & Development Training Focus on balance Offer them access to many different kinds of information Provide resource lists Development Electronic support Keep materials brief – bullets/checklists Help them train for another job

34 Messages that Motivate Gen X’ers “Do it your way.” “We’ve got the latest computer technology.” “There aren’t a lot of rules here.” “We’re not very corporate.”

35 Millennial Values Optimism Civic duty Confidence Ambition/ achievement Tradition Education Idealism Fun Diversity

36 Millennials at Work Assets Loyalty Optimism Tolerant Multi-tasking Fast-thinking Technological savvy Liabilities Need for supervision and structure Inexperience, particularly with handling different people issues Service levels are low

37 Millennials: Training & Development Training Take plenty of time Let them know what they do matters Communicate expectations Development Focus on customer service and interpersonal skills Model the behavior you want to see Large teams with strong leadership

38 Messages that Motivate Millennials “We provide equal opportunities here.” “Your mentor is in his/her sixties.” “You are making a positive difference to our company.” “You handled that situation well.”

39 Using the ACORN Approach A ccommodate employee differences. C reate workplace choices. O perate from a flexible management style. R espect competence and initiative. N ourish retention. Source: Generations At Work, Ron Zemke, Claire Raines, and Bob Filipczak

40 “It is axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: Conscious insensitivity is a self- contradiction.” - W.H. Auden


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