2 Objectives Enhance understanding of the differences across generations Increase awareness of sources of generational conflictImprove effectiveness in advising / managing across generations
3 Four Generations at a Glance* Veterans Born 1920 – 1945Ages 66 – 91a.k.a., Traditionalists, Matures, Silents, GreatestBaby Boomers Born 1946 – 1964Ages 47 – 65a.k.a., Hippies, Beats, Jones (mini-generation, )Generation X Born 1965 – 1980Ages 31 – 46a.k.a., Busters, Invisibles, SlackersGeneration Y Born 1981 – 2000Ages 11 – 30a.k.a., Millennials, Echo Boomers, Nexters*Edges can be squishy, as date ranges sometimes vary a bit from study to study
4 Generation Quiz How well do you know the generations? Circle answer you believe is correct.We will discuss answers at end of presentation.
5 Defining Generations Old Proverb: Not a matter of Stereotyping people People resemble their times more than they resemble their parentsNot a matter of Stereotyping peopleCohorts tend to share same qualities and life viewsWhy? Undergone similar experiences/events at same timeFirst time ever – Four generations in the workplaceMultiple generations have worked together in the past, but in a more rigid, hierarchical structureFlatter organizations of today lend themselves to more generational interaction…or collisionTo be effective…understand your own and others!
11 Tendencies: Boomers Educated Optimistic Believe debt is OK Personal growth-oriented (read self-help books)Question authorityIndependentCause-orientedWorkaholic / competitiveValue youthfulness, health and wellness
12 Defining Events: Generation X Challenger explosionFall of Berlin WallIran Hostage CrisisCollapse of CommunismFirst Gulf WarAIDSHigh divorce rateLatch-key kidsCorporate downsizingsPersonal computersVideo games
13 Tendencies: Generation X Live for todaySkeptical/cynicalHave a global perspective/value diversityDistrust corporationsEntrepreneurialStrong belief in work/life balanceTechno-savvy – Internet becomes standardEnjoy/need a challenge
14 Defining Events: Generation Y Oklahoma BombingSchool violence (Columbine)Clinton/Lewinsky9/11Internet availabilityOverscheduledHigh parental divorce rateTwo working parentsCell phones standardExposure to sex, violence at early ageObesity epidemicDiabetes epidemic“Ritalin Generation”
15 Tendencies: Generation Y PatrioticIntrospectiveSkepticalMasters of technologyMedia-voresOpen to diverse perspectivesAcceptance of multi-culturalismInnovativeDependentSelf-confidentSocially consciousFamily is prioritySociable/InclusiveImage drivenOverly medicated
16 And then there are the Cuspers… Born on cusp between two generations, the Cuspers:May firmly identify with one generation or the other, but more oftenAre naturals at mediating, translating and mentoring, soCan be extremely valuable in bridging generational gapsSource: When Generations Collide. Lynne C. Lancaster & David Stillman. Harper Collins
17 Group DiscussionWhat band or solo artist best defines your generation?What song best defines your generation?
18 Thought QuestionsWhat generation do you most closely identify with and why?What do you like about your generation?Do you believe your work-related talents and skills are used on the job?What challenges do you face at work that may be associated with your generation?
19 Generational Repetition Each generation believes the following generations should pay their dues, in the same way, to earn success.Each generation assumes the following generations will want what they have and will share their definition of success.With a few exceptions, each generation believes the following generation has it much easier.
20 Common Generational Theory The oldest, wealthiest and most visible members of a generation typically define the behavior and attitude for those that follow. (The same can be said for defining the behaviors and attitudes in the workplace.)
21 Boomers Rule in the workplace!...for now In other words…Boomers Rule in the workplace!...for now
22 The Boomers 1970 2010 Long hair Acid rock Rolling Stones Trying to look like Liz TaylorLonging for hairAcid refluxKidney stonesTrying NOT to look like Liz Taylor
26 Though Boomers may Rule… They must recognize that there will be no spoils for a winner to collect if they take a win-lose approach when managing generational differences.Those who choose to stick to their guns, and prove who is boss, might win the battle, but they will surely lose the war.Source: “Baby Boomers: Don’t Drink the Hater-ade” Ira S. Wolfe. Success Performance Solutions. September, 2009.
27 Though Boomers may Rule… Managers/Advisors must learn to:See the world through the lens of younger workers/studentsSimilarly, Gen X and Gen Y must be willing to see a world that was and learn from it!!!Make peace with all 4 generationsLeverage each generation’s unique strengths to create a win-win solutionSource: “Baby Boomers: Don’t Drink the Hater-ade” Ira S. Wolfe. Success Performance Solutions. September, 2009.
28 Work Style: Veterans Conformity, blending, unity – We first Team playersStrong commitment to workSee work as an obligationDependableHard workersAge = Seniority
29 Work Style: Boomers Service-oriented Driven Good team players Willing to go extra mileWant to pleaseGood at relationshipsUncomfortable with conflictNot budget minded
30 Attitudes/Expectations of ProfessionalsBaby Boomers:Regard work as an anchor in their often turbulent livesValue being true to oneself, feeling in control, making enough money to ensure comfort, maintaining health and vitality, and doing work that provides personal satisfactionAs they approach retirement, they are looking for more meaning in their work and ways to ‘give back’ to others‘Sandwich’ generation juggling responsibilities for children, grandchildren, aging parents, and preparation for retirementSource: “Long-term global demographic trends: reshaping the geopolitical landscape.” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 2001.
31 Work Style: Generation X Want to know whyKnow there are no guaranteesSee multiple perspectivesResults-orientedIndependentWant flexibilityMulti-taskersCreative
32 Attitudes/Expectations of ProfessionalsGeneration X:Individualistic, assertive, independent, shape their own work environment, take responsibility for development of skills/employabilityAmbitious, want advancement and good salaries, but follow their hearts and quality of life concerns Enjoy work but consider work/life balance importantView each job as a chance to learn; less hesitant to change jobs/companies or to become entrepreneursLikely to seek new career opportunities and ventures as they grow olderSource: “Long-term global demographic trends: reshaping the geopolitical landscape.” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 2001.
33 Work Style: Generation Y Ask whyThirst for knowledgeNetworkersTeam playersStrive for work / life balanceHard workers / multitasking abilityTenaciousOptimisticNeed for supervision and structureLess developed coping skillsLooking to make a differenceCause-orientedFocus on the present (future uncertain)Tend to multi-taskFast-thinking skills (honed on Playstation / Gameboy)Expect immediate gratificationValue other’s perspectives
34 Attitudes/Expectations of ProfessionalsGeneration Y:Adaptable and flexible, but less homogenous and more conservative Assume a ‘free agent’ mindset and are realistic about their expectationsListen, respond, wait and see, and build trust one day at a timeMore relaxed about diversity and far more prepared to participate in teamworkInternet generation, dependent on technology, too often at the expense of basic reading, writing, and math skillsNo secrets; more willing to share pay/workplace infoSource: “Long-term global demographic trends: reshaping the geopolitical landscape.” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 2001.
35 Attitudes of Gen YGen Y’s are ambitious, energetic, hungry for stimuli – and possess the overwhelming desire to stay put in one company for as long as possible.Striking contrast to late ’90s when young people moved from company to company in search of new skills, contacts and experiencesMajority expect to hold more jobs over course of career than they would preferWould like to be loyal if employer was loyal to them, but know business is no longer set up that wayNoticeable gap exists between what skills students and employers believe are needed to succeed at workStudents gave lowest marks to mathematics, speaking foreign language, public speaking, selling things or ideas, writing and editing…skills needed in increasingly global business worldStudents ranked highly habits such as working patiently/diligently, working independently, multi-tasking, and developing personal connections.Source: “Work Place Flexibility – The Next Frontier.” Billy E. Johnson. Deloitte Services LP. May 11, 2005.
36 Thought Questions What is your preference for communication style? What is your motivation for work?What type and amount of feedback do you prefer?What rewards do you prefer?What do you want others to understand about your generation?What statements about your generation do you never want to hear again?
37 Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them Younger generations do want to be mentored…they don’t want to be lecturedRather than advising them, try guiding them insteadSource: “Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them” Mary Jo Asmus. March 7, 2011.
38 Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them Guiding requires you to help students / employees develop their own solutionsPossible guiding questions:What has worked for you in the past?What have you seen others do that you would like to try?Of all the ideas you’ve put on the table, what do you think you would like to begin with?Source: “Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them” Mary Jo Asmus. March 7, 2011.
39 Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them Help them sketch out small steps to get startedGuide them when things go wrong…guide them again to get them back on their feetCatch them doing things right, and let them know they are on the right trackWatch them grow/develop so that they will be prepared to take your placeSource: “Don’t Advise Them, Guide Them” Mary Jo Asmus. March 7, 2011.
40 Narrowing the Generation Gaps Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim.We attain unity only through variety.Differences must be integrated,Not annihilated, not absorbed.~ Mary Parker FollettFact: Working effectively across generational groups, results in a more satisfying and productive workplaceWhat can you do to narrow the generation gaps?L. E. Bernstein suggests 5 “A list” strategies:Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
41 Narrowing the Generation Gaps Accept your “mutual rightness.”With few exceptions, each of us is RIGHTAcknowledge your interdependency.We need coworkers who think/act differentlyAppreciate what you have in commonFocus on what binds you, not what divides youAssume responsibility for making your relationships better.We rarely choose who we work with, always choose how we deal with themAdopt “The Platinum Rule”…Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
42 The Platinum Rule We’re all familiar with the ‘Golden Rule’ “Treat others as you would like to be treated”However, some folks may not want to be treated in the exact same manner as youConsider treating folks the way they want to be treatedWe refer to this as “The Platinum Rule”Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
43 Taking ActionEnsure that training/on-the-job experience increase transferable and marketable skillsProvide rationale for work you are asking employees to do and explain value addedProvide task varietyBuild teams with great careProvide work environment that rewards extra effort and excellencePay attention to blurring of work, life and family issuesSource: “Work Place Flexibility – The Next Frontier.” Billy E. Johnson. Deloitte Services LP. May 11, 2005.
44 If it were not for VETERANS… …we wouldn’t have the sage wisdom that only comes with age.Nor the history to learn from as we enter each new stage.We wouldn’t see the loyalty so needed for success.Nor the common sense we count on to avoid each pending mess.Sure, their need to follow protocol may seem a bit too much,But we nonetheless can count on them for a warm and human touch.Thank goodness for these special folks who rarely search for fame.If it weren’t for our VETERANS, we just wouldn’t be the same.Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
45 If it were not for BOOMERS… …we wouldn’t have hard-working folks who don’t go by the clock.Nor the chance to pick the brains of thosewho’ve “been around the block.”We wouldn’t have the leaders who have made us what we are.Nor their “can do” optimism that has taken us so far.Perhaps it seems they have no lives and are often labeled fools,yet the teamwork that they bring to us is the best of all our tools.Thank goodness for these special folks who help us win the game.If it weren’t for our BOOMERS, we just wouldn’t be the same.Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
46 If it were not for GEN X-ers… …we wouldn’t have so many perspectives that are new.Nor the challenge to examine everything that we all do.Without them, only “nine to five” would be our way to go,because we’d have much less incentive to step away from status quo.While it seems their only interest is in doing things their way,this group’s focus on results has very often saved the day.Thank goodness for these special folks who at times are hard to tame.If it weren’t for our GEN X-ers, we just wouldn’t be the same.Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK
47 If it were not for GEN Y-ers… …we wouldn’t have the growing push for workplace fun.Nor the ability to quickly knock out work when under the proverbial gun.There would be no fellow workers pushing all of us to see,that everything can be improved with advanced technology.Though we may not like that work for them is often just a ‘gig,’the future that they represent is unquestionably big.Thank goodness for these special folks who see older ways as lame.If it weren’t for our GEN Y-ers, we just wouldn’t be the same.Source: Generations Working Together. Laura E. Bernstein. Vision Point Productions & WALK THE TALK