Presentation on theme: "Generational Differences in the Workplace"— Presentation transcript:
1 Generational Differences in the Workplace There is an old adage that says, “Everyone is part of something greater thanone’s self.” This saying rings true, as we are all a part of a family, neighborhood, sports team, religion, or workplace. But perhaps the largest group with which we are associated, and probably the one that influences most who we are, is a generation. Throughout history generations have clashed with one another, their differences causing conflict and misunderstanding between the young and the old, parents and their children, or even generation to generation. Though generational diversity is not a new phenomenon, the recent attention given to its effects in the workplace is new.The American workforce today is more diverse than ever with a mix of gender, race, and ethnicity. However, generational diversity has come to the forefront in recent years, creating new tensions, challenges, and opportunities in the work environment. Exploding in the 1990s, this issue has continued to grow and change as now a fourth generation is joining the ranks of the working. In order for companies to survive in the future they must have a clear understanding of generational differences, including what causes them; how they manifest themselves in the workplace; and how this knowledge can be used to develop new strategies to attract, retrain, and manage their employees.James SmithMary WolfKaty Wolfrom
2 Generations in the Workplace Traditionalists (born before 1946)Baby Boomers (born )Generation X (born )Millennials (born )This is the first time in American history that we have four different generations working along side of each other in the workplace.The traditional roles in the workplace have also undergone a change that has caused additional stress in the workplace. The traditional hierarchal chain of power in the workplace:Oldest – CEO, upper managementMiddle age – middle managementYoungest – labor forcewhich was based on paying your dues and slowly working your way up the ladder:has given way to an environment where the roles are all over the place. Now it is not uncommon for Generation X or even Y may be in a position of power over older employees.
3 Why Learn About the Generations? Gain an understanding of the changing demographicsUnderstand its impact in the workplaceIncrease communication and effective managementPromote teamwork
5 Changing Workforce Structure Employers need to plan for this impending shift in the generational structure of the workplace by changing their current policies for attracting, retaining, and managing employees. There is no coincidence that new programs that address lifestyle changes, work/life balance, and health and fitness, which were not previously considered key benefits, are now the primary consideration of potential employees
6 Generational Differences The events and conditions each of us experience during our formative years help define who we are and how we view the world.The ‘core values’ and attitudes that we develop as a result manifest themselves in the workplace and can cause conflict.ancient saying, “people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents”
7 Borrowing an Analogy from Nature: You can compare members of the same generation to trees that were planted in the same year…..Let us take a look at each generation, what events they have in common, and how these events have shaped the “core values” of that generation.
8 Traditionalists – Age 62 + *Events & ExperiencesGreat DepressionNew DealWorld War IIKorean War*ValuesHard workDedication & sacrificeRespect for rulesDuty before pleasureHonor
9 Baby Boomers – Age 43-61 *Events & Experiences Civil rights Sexual revolutionCold WarSpace travelAssassinationsTV in every homeVietnam War*ValuesOptimismTeam orientationPersonal gratificationInvolvementPersonal growth
10 Generation X – Age 28-42 *Events & Experiences Fall of Berlin Wall WatergateWomen’s liberationDesert StormEnergy crisisChallenger explosionOil embargo*ValuesDiversityTechno literacyFun and informalitySelf-reliancePragmatism
11 Millennials – Age 13-27 *Events & Experiences *Values School Shootings Oklahoma CityTechnologyChild focused worldClinton/Lewinsky9/11Iraq WarHurricane Katrina*ValuesOptimisticFeel civic dutyConfidentAchievement orientedRespect for diversity
12 Generational Work Traits Workplace CharacteristicsVeteransBaby BoomersGeneration XGeneration YWork Ethic and ValuesHard workRespect authoritySacrificeDuty before funAdhere to rulesWorkaholicsWork efficientlyCrusading causesPersonal fulfillmentDesire qualityQuestion authorityEliminate the taskSelf-relianceWant structure and directionSkepticalWhat’s nextMultitaskingTenacityEntrepreneurialTolerantGoal OrientedWork Is…An obligationAn exciting adventureA difficult challengeA contractA means to an endFulfillmentLeadership StyleDirectiveCommand and controlConsensualCollegialEveryone is the sameChallenge othersAsk why*TBDInteractive StyleIndividualTeam playerLoves to have meetingsEntrepreneurParticipativeCommunicationsFormalMemoIn personDirectImmediateVmailFeedback and RewardsNo news is good newsSatisfaction in a job well doneDon’t appreciate itMoneyTitle recognitionSorry to interrupt, but how am I doing?Freedom is the best rewardWhenever I want it, at the push of a buttonMeaningful workMessages that MotivateYour experience is respectedYou are valuedYou are neededDo it your wayForget the rulesYou will work with other bright, creative peopleWork and Family LifeNe’er the twain shall meetNo balanceWork to liveBalanceLet us examine how these core values manifest themselves in the workplace in the form of work traits, values, ethics, leadership, work/life balance, and how the generations differ in what motivates them and how they like to be rewarded.Veterans - work first attitudeBoomers – live to workGeneration X – work to liveMillennials – live then workSource: Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees by George Hammill
13 Frequent Conflicts/Complaints So I told my boss, “If you’re looking for loyalty, buy a dog.”“They have no work ethic. They’re just a bunch of slackers.”“A hiring bonus! Wet behind the ears and he wants a hiring bonus!”“I can’t believe the way he/she dresses.”“He/she is out of touch; he/she should just retire.”“He/she has no manners/does not follow proper etiquette.”If I hear “We tried that in ’87 one more time, I’ll hurl in his wrinkly old face.”He asks me, “Do you have an address?” I felt like telling him, “since you were in diapers buddy.”
14 Heathfield’s (2007) tips for managing millennials: Provide structure.Provide leadership and guidance.Provide encouragement.Encourage teamwork.Listen.Provide challenge and change.
15 More tips:Expect them to multi-task, otherwise millennials will get bored.Expect them to use the computer, cell phone, and other electronic devices…all at onceEncourage networking.Provide a life-work balanced workplace.Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace.