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Generations X and Y November 2009. Characteristics of Generations X and Y Generation X: Born 1965-1977 (varies) – 32 to 44 years old Best educated generation.

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Presentation on theme: "Generations X and Y November 2009. Characteristics of Generations X and Y Generation X: Born 1965-1977 (varies) – 32 to 44 years old Best educated generation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Generations X and Y November 2009

2 Characteristics of Generations X and Y Generation X: Born (varies) – 32 to 44 years old Best educated generation (40% have earned a university degree or higher) 48% men; 52% women Money is an important motivator Materialistic Accepting of, if not comfortable with, change, adapts easily Self-reliant, fearless, independent and creative Sceptical, distrustful of authority Likes directness and straightforwardness Concerned with financial and emotional security More global, technologically-oriented, and culturally diverse Embrace risk and prefer free agency to loyal corporatism Jump from job to job, are unwilling to conform to organizational demands that do not suit them, and leave jobs that bore them Want to be valued immediately for their skills Require more coaching and feedback from their supervisors Enjoy achieving measurable results and streamlining systems and processes Learning preference: Unstructured, consensus Generation Y: Born (varies) – 14 to 31 years old 16.2% are visible minorities Among those of 18-24, 30% are currently attending a college or university Among those of 18-24, 50% men; 50% women Born into “technology” Raised in comfort and with the Internet Ability to multi-task Display a high degree of tolerance towards different cultures, lifestyles and behaviours More involved in the community, environment and poverty Self inventive / individualistic Pragmatic and hard-working Goal- and achievement-oriented Likes positive attitude and teamwork Parents, family, religion and generosity are central Learning preference: unstructured, spontaneous, interactive Work on their own terms – command of technology and having experienced affluence so early in life puts them in a unique position to negotiate those demands Want to be “paid volunteers”, joining an organisation not because they have to, but because they really want to, and because something significant is happening there

3 Quick differences between Generations X and Y Generation XGeneration Y OutlookScepticalHopeful Work EthicBalancedAmbition View of AuthorityUnimpressedRelaxed, polite Leadership by…CompetenceAchievement, pulling together RelationshipsReluctance to commitLoyal, inclusive PerspectiveSelf-reliantCivic-minded Turn-offsClichés, hypeSarcasm, condescension

4 Challenges The workforce is growing older, over 50% of Canada’s workforce is over 40 years old. In RTA, 65% of the Canadian workforce are baby boomers. Baby-boomers are retiring over the next years and the next generation (Gen X) is smaller in numbers Generation X is generally sceptical and distrustful of authority, also have realigned their work/family priorities Generation Y will make a significant impact on the overall workforce as they need to develop faster, take on important positions and acquire leadership skills earlier in their careers. They also have different demands of their employers than previous generations Generation Y needs supervision, structure and interpersonal skills; they have inexperience, particularly with handling difficult people issues Total rewards programs need to consider generational differences

5 Motivational Factors and Preferences Generation X: Work Attitude: Many are goal-oriented and money is an important motivational factor Want to be coached, guided and have increased opportunities and responsibility Need independence to get the task done and to be constantly challenged Want to work for a flexible, results-driven organisation that adapts to their preferences Want the opportunity to collaborate with others across the organisation Prefer to work for a manager who is competent, direct, straight-forward, informal, supportive of training and growth opportunities, flexible, results- oriented and comfortable in giving them a deadline while letting them loose to meet it Likes to have frequent, accurate, specific and timely feedback in order for them to build their skills Development Programs: Mentoring Programs Community Volunteer Programs Wellness Initiatives and Programs Perks & Benefits: Paid time off Flexible work arrangements, lots of options for their workplace schedule On/off ramps through career lifecycle Diversity / Inclusion Initiatives Access to Information Networks Job Security Rewards & Recognition: Recognition Programs Prefer rewards such as free time, upgraded resources, opportunities for development, bottom-line results, certifications to add to their resumes

6 Motivational Factors and Preferences Generation Y: Work Attitude: Want to be treated as equals Need new challenges and to have fun at work Prefer informal communication Expect a knowledge-rich, web-based world at work (such as networking through Facebook, myspace, etc.) Like to be involved when their capability to access and share information quickly can be used Need an atmosphere to work on their own terms and figure things out for themselves Seek out change, innovation, immediate response, teamwork, and frequent reward and recognition Prefer to work for a manager who is positive, comfortable in coaching and supporting them, collaborative, organized and create a reasonable structure, achievement-oriented and motivational Are more motivated when their managers connect their actions to their personal and career goals Development Programs: Mentoring Programs (should be paired with older mentors (baby boomers) as they resonate better with them) Formalized volunteerism programs and to be rewarded for participating Perks & Benefits: Flexible work arrangements Rewards & Recognition: Prefer rewards such as awards, certificates, tangible evidence of credibility

7 Retention Measures Ability to work from home: –Makes managing work-life easier for employees –Often increases morale and productivity –Should be balanced with regular visits to the office to meet with teams and clients –Indicates a high degree of Independence and trust Education and Personal Development: –Training inside and outside is important to career-oriented people –Investing in education gives employees a sense that the organisation cares about their development –Companies that support the education of their employees get a smarter, increasingly-talented and dedicated workforce in return On/off ramping: –For people who want to take a few months or a few years from work to raise familiar or try something new, these programs are one way to retain employees who might otherwise not come back Flexible schedules: –Enabling employees to have flexible schedules is a liberating and motivating benefit – many believe it’s not the hours spent, it’s how effective you are at your job, no matter when it gets done Sabbaticals: –People often learn a lot while on sabbatical and many times return with a renewed sense of purpose and enhanced perspectives –Allows employees to experience a regenerative process – reset, recharge, refresh and return more productive Various appealing benefits: –Benefits suited to an employee’s stage of life –Health and wellness programs –Subsidized transportation Opportunity for advancement, early job moves Performance-based bonuses and salary increases New challenges and a variety of interesting projects

8 References “Managing today’s multigenerational workforce” by Adecco “Rewarding a Multigenerational Workforce” by WorldatWork “Engaging the 21 st Century Multi-Generational Workforce” by Marcie Pitt- Catsouphes and Christina Matz-Costa “Leading a Multigenerational Workforce” by AARP


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