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Presentation on theme: "T HE M ILLENNIAL S UPERVISOR IN THE M ULTIGENERATIONAL O FFICE."— Presentation transcript:


2 I NTRODUCTION Meggan Ford Assistant Director for Academic Services George Mason University, School of Management

3 A BSTRACT This presentation will focus on the strong and unique qualities Millennials feature and how to utilize these qualities to motivate, influence, and enable their employees to succeed in a healthy and cohesive work environment. Offer suggestions and tips for Millennials who are supervising a multigenerational staff.

4 A UDIENCE C HECK -I N Supervisors Generation Representation Multigenerational Office? How Many of You… Listen to music at work? Remember using the card catalog at the library? Know someone who asked for vacation time the first month at a new job? Utilize FB, Twitter, or a blog for your office? Sleep with your cell phone next to your bed? Daily utilize two or more social media sites?

5 W HAT IS A M ULTIGENERATIONAL O FFICE ? A Multigenerational Office is one which encompasses staff members from different generations A Generation is a group of individuals, having similar ideas, problems and attitudes most of whom were born and living at about the same time

6 THE G ENERATIONS AT W ORK T ODAY ? Silent Generation/Veterans/Traditionalists -1927-1945 Very defined sense of right and wrong Loyal, disciplined, detail-oriented Fastest growth on social networking sites has come from this generation Baby Boomers- 1946-1964 Loyalty to employer, strong work ethic, long hours Career and self one in the same Finding solutions to problems, respect for authority Generation X- 1965-1980 Set and meet goals, productive Balance work and life-enjoy flex hours Comfortable with authority, but not impressed with titles Tech savvy, value independence Millennials/Generation Y/Next/Echo Boomers- 1981-2000 Teamwork, multitasking all the time Tech savvy-tech advancements Expressing oneself, work and social life are separate Dependent



9 T HE B OOMERS The Internal Consultant Many Boomers have been working for as long as a Millennial supervisor has been alive Utilize this work experience by viewing your Boomers as “internal consultant” and acknowledge their expertise The People People Boomers very good with one-on-one communication and contact Especially useful when working with college students Competitive Had to stick out in a crowd of 80 million They like to be held in “good light”

10 T HE G EN X E MPLOYEE Honesty and Frankness Don’t try to butter up some trivial task to be something it is not Value Independence Have Gen X staff member take the lead on a new program Do not micromanage and constantly check-in Utilize individual talents to invent and achieve Slow to Trust Work is no guarantee

11 T HE M ILLENNIAL E MPLOYEE Innovative Not afraid to use creativity or new resources Team Work Work well with others, great motivators, great excitement Try Anything Attitude Like being a part of implementing new programs, will try anything once *How Millennial Are You Quiz?


13 S UPERVISING A M ULTIGENERATIONAL S TAFF Who is Your Staff? Meet with staff members and ask about their role in the office, career goals, professional development, trainings they would like to attend, changes they may want to implement in the office How have you been valuable to the office? Does your staff understand their duties and role in the office? The Office What are the mission and goals of your office? What services does your office provide and how? What is the office hierarchy? Limitations-What are your limitations and those of your staff What are they comfortable doing What are some tasks they are uncomfortable with or lack expertise How can you change the way staff thinks about what is possible? Turning negative energy into positive

14 G ETTING TO K NOW YOUR S TAFF “You’re the new kid” Staff Meetings One-on-One Meetings Snaps/Pop Quiz Build Confidence Envelope game Committee Staff Retreats How have you been valuable to the office? “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are” –Satchel Paige

15 N EED F OR S PEED Set a speed limit for your staff What is an appropriate amount of time to spend with a student? What are expected deadlines for projects? What is YOUR definition of ASAP Millennials are Fast-Try not to mistake efficiency for laziness 61% of Millennials said they were bored at work Is the pace you set reasonable for all generations in your office? Do boomers feel frustrated at the constant need for speed?

16 W HAT ARE PEOPLE S AYING ABOUT THE M ILLENNIALS ? NegativesPositives Lazy, No work ethicMultitask Self involvedAll about giving back The Dumbest GenerationIncredibly educated Trophy KidsFamily values RudeInquisitive Too demandingTeam work and feedback EntitledHigh expectations

17 T HE M ILLENNIAL Does office policy and procedure cause your Millennial to lose heart and give up? Make sure you communicate with your younger staff the challenges some change presents and suggest strategies to overcome them Study by Adecco found that 71% of full-time employees age 18-29 said they were likely to look for new jobs as soon as economic downturn reversed Desire Instant Feedback Try to keep as equal for all staff members Make rounds Check-in via e-mail or office AIM The Multitasker Researchers have shown that performing multiple tasks at once makes the brain less efficient


19 T HE MILLENNIAL Network Millennials need contact with other young professionals, especially in higher education Assist your young staff with building relevant contacts. This means you will need to get yourself well-connected on campus and know what is going on Invite guest speakers from campus to your staff meetings

20 S UPERVISING “I Don’t Know” You will not have the 15 + years work experience that some of your staff have It’s okay to be “out of the loop” Have fun staff meetings where you sometimes conduct role play with your staff Don’t Make Assumptions Never assume your staff understands basic etiquette You may have to conduct a training on what business professional dress means, what are work hours and how to show up on time, how to leave professional voice mail and proper e-mail correspondence

21 “I’ M N OT A K ID, I’ M Y OUR S UPERVISOR ” The Parent Relationship How does your staff communicate with you? Supervisor not Mentor Don’t reverse roles in the office Work Ethic Know what it means to have an old fashioned work ethic To some generations amount of hours spent at work = how hard you work “Don’t judge me by what I do at my desk, but what I produce”

22 W HAT W ERE Y OU T HINKING ? Generational expectations do not always match up Would you refer to your Dean as “Hey Bob”? Is it okay to utilize your cell phone while in meetings? Would you show up to an important office event in a short skirt or ripped pants? Social Media stalking, pinterest, fantasy football, blogging at work Is it okay to use “text language” when communicating with staff or students, LOL? Would you utilize confidential information for your benefit? HR is Your Friend-Use Them! New Supervisor Training Series Safe Space Training

23 Q UALITIES O F A M ILLENNIAL S UPERVISOR The Great Collaborator View parents, peers, and staff as colleagues not rivals Natural ambassadors, we like to teach what we know The Great Motivator Technology is our Friend Remember tech savvy does not mean tech expert High Energy Enthusiasm Use this to reinvigorate a burnt out staff Higher Education Counseling foundation Student development theory Better understanding of what students want and expect Understand how to work with different personalities

24 W HAT N OT T O D O Communicating Avoid profanity like the plague Shy away from saying “I know how you feel” especially to Boomers and Veterans Don’t interrupt-even if you are excited about an idea Don’t criticize staff for the way things are done – “You’re STILL using files in this office” Time Management Procrastination is NOT your friend – Complete tasks as they come across your desk, don’t let staff see you frazzled or stressed Don’t let your staff constantly see you on social media sites, texting, or taking personal phone calls at work Hierarchy Respect the Corporate Ladder Avoid sending direct e-mails without going through your supervisor first

25 W HAT N OT T O D O Shrug Responsibility Don’t deflect responsibility if you failed to do something Never throw your staff under the bus – let them know they have your support Constant delegation = you not doing work Hold your tongue Never speak ill of your staff to other staff members Do not make negative comments about your supervisor to or around your staff Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” Don’t pretend to understand or know something you don’t Especially true with the young staff – Sometimes have a tendency to spout theory, it’s OKAY to not know every theorist

26 J UST A F EW T IPS Communicate Change with your Staff Make sure your staff is in the loop If new implementations and changes are coming up, make sure they are prepared and not taken by surprise Ask their opinion Avoid Office Isolation Get your office involved in homecoming, alumni weekend, participating in Diversity Events on campus Utilize your Contacts What are other offices implementing? What are some new technologies that will improve the services your staff provides? Maintain Optimism If ideas get shot down, more work for same pay, frustration with higher up’s – whatever it may be keep a smile on your face

27 T IPS Consult with Your Supervisor Bring expectations and frustrations of your staff to the attention of your supervisor Is your staff utilizing your supervisor too much? Keep Records This will come in handy during staff assessments. Boomers want specifics (date, time, how often, etc) having records will help you prove your point Be Understanding When dealing with difficult staff understand generational differences Be sympathetic in regards to your staff’s personal life May be caring for a parent at home, health issues, etc Don’t get frustrated if staff uncomfortable with technology Rewards Give credit where credit is due Rewarding staff can be as small as taking them for frozen yogurt during your regular meeting time Flex time Showcasing awards of your staff in department newsletters and websites, same as is done for faculty



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