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The Future is in Understanding the Next Generation The Art and Science of Talent Management:

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Presentation on theme: "The Future is in Understanding the Next Generation The Art and Science of Talent Management:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future is in Understanding the Next Generation The Art and Science of Talent Management:

2 The Generations Collide… When does intergenerational conflict in the workplace occur? What causes it?

3 A New Lens of Diversity: Generational Differences Managing generational differences is a critical part of your Talent Management Strategy. These differences impact recruitment, engagement, and retention. It’s time to reduce the focus on generational conflict and focus on common ground issues that will make a difference.

4 Are you a Gen Savvy Leader? Gen savvy leaders are those who understand generational differences and are able to make these differences become a workforce asset, not a problem to be solved.

5 Connection Activity Let’s discuss the following questions: “How do you see generational differences showing up in your company?” “What are your experiences with this topic?”

6 Why Is This Perspective Important? A seismic shift is occurring in the US labor market. – By 2012, 40% of the US workforce is now 40+ – In US manufacturing, the average age is now 50+ – Federal workforce (1.6 million civilians): half can retire within 3 years, 70% of supervisors – NASA scientists and engineers: Those over 60 outnumber those under 30 3:1

7 Changing US & World Demographics Between 2004 and 2015, over half of net workforce growth in the US will come from Asians and Hispanics Between 2020 and 2050, they will account for all net workforce growth. This isn’t just a US issue: – Germany’s workforce will be 25% smaller by 2025 – Italy’s population will drop 28% in the next 50 years. – Japan’s Working Support Ratio (the number of working age people, 15-64, relative to the # of elderly) is one of the world’s lowest.

8 Let’s Meet Five Generations Civic / GI ( ) Adaptive / Mediating ( ) Baby Boomer ( ) Gen X ( ) Gen Y / Millennial ( )

9 Civic/GI Generation ( ) The “Greatest Generation” Shaped by the Depression & WW II Mostly gone from the workforce, but still a powerful presence in many orgs. Practical, dedicated, loyal, hierarchical Examples: GHW Bush, Warren Buffet, Frank Sinatra, Sandra Day O’Connor

10 Adaptive/Mediating ( ) Pioneers in new attitudes about retirement, aging, and health Leading the way for what’s coming – Staying in the workforce – Leaving the workforce and “ReFiring ® ” Still providing leadership in the workplace and beyond. Examples: John McCain, Gloria Steinem, Dick Cheney, Elvis, Jesse Jackson, Tina Turner, Joe Biden, Colin Powell, Jane Fonda

11 Boomers (1946 – 1964) Largest cohort, 76 – 85 million So used to being the center of the universe; the “pig in a python” generation Expect fulfillment in all areas of life Want to keep working, but do something different What’s next? Examples: Oprah, Bill & Hillary Clinton, GHW Bush, Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Sara Palin (cusp)

12 Gen X (1965 – 1981) Work to live, not live to work Company loyalty doesn’t pay off Wish that Boomers would get out of the way Very media savvy—skeptical Want flexibility in their work Examples: Tina Fey, Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google), Bart Simpson, Tiger Woods

13 Gen Y / Millennials ( ) Very high expectations! Team/group oriented Often received “stuff” instead of time from their parents Technology is like breathing— multi-tasking is the norm Troubling attitudes about fame and becoming rich* Ex: Lindsay Lohan, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Luke Ravenstahl (mayor of Pittsburgh), Venus Williams, America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) * Source: Pew Research Center Study on Generation Next, January, 2007

14 Gen Y in the World Most tolerant on social issues such as immigration, race, and homosexuality Maintain close contact with parents and family—8 in 10 have talked with their parents in the last day. About half have a tattoo, an “untraditional” hair color or a body piercing other than in their ear lobe. Source: Pew Research Center study on Generation Next, Jan. 2007

15 People Entering the Workforce Right Now… Are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up on liftoff. Have always had an answering machine. Cannot fathom not having a remote control. Have always cooked popcorn in a microwave. Have never taken a swim and thought about Jaws. Bottle caps have always been screw-off and plastic.

16 Oh Yeah, Those Boomer Parents Gen Y carries the Boomer’s high expectations, hopes, and fears Who bought them all that stuff? Impact of the self-esteem movement Team/group orientation has positive and negative consequences The extreme: helicopter parents

17 Impact of Generational Differences Values Attitudes towards work Work styles Job satisfaction criteria Levels of commitment to the organization

18 The New Economy Organization 1950 – 2000 Hierarchy Different levels by age kept generations apart Job security 9–5 Face time in the office 21 st Century Flattened structures Fewer levels bring generations together Free agency 24 x 7 Virtual work, virtual teams Source: Diane Pitkialis, the Conference Board, 2007

19 Generation Gaps at Work 75% of workers 55+ say they relate well to younger coworkers. Only 56% of younger employees relate well to older workers. Source: Ransdsat USA 2006

20 Flashpoint Issues Dress/appearance Work hours/work ethic Technology Expectations for advancement Communication Lack of respect

21 What do notice about generational conflicts in your Organization? – What are the flashpoints of misunderstanding or conflict? – Do you see examples of rolled eyes and blind spots? What specifically could/should managers do to address these issues?

22 The Risk for Employers* Disengagement Poor productivity Low morale: “they just don’t get it” High turn-over Poor recruitment results * Generational differences are not the only cause of these employer risks, but are a significant contributor

23 Workplace Current State Executives: mostly in denial, but becoming more concerned about generational issues Confusing messages about the impacts of: – Immigration. – Technology. – How long the Boomers will stay. – The current economic situation

24 More Than a Labor Shortage Labor : fewer workers in the labor pool Skill: shortage of high-skill workers Knowledge: loss of critical knowledge in all sectors of the economy Source: David W. DeLong, “Lost Knowledge”, 2004

25 What Do They Want? Boomers: – Phased retirement (80% say they want it) – Flexibility in work hours and benefits – Opportunities for continued growth, including training and education – Rewards for their work ethic and long hours

26 What Do They Want? Gen X: – A chance to show what they can do: equality and fairness – Flexibility in work hours and benefits: fewer rules – A fun and informal work environment – Career development opportunities – Cutting edge technology

27 What Do They Want? Gen Y: – Interesting, challenging work with fast upward mobility – Mentoring, feedback, access to opportunity. Now. – Career development – Work in teams – Respect – Newest technology

28 Common Ground for the Generations Workplace flexibility: schedules and location Coaching approach to leadership Desire for development Respect

29 Benchmarks: What do other companies do? Dress code: “You must wear clothes”. An organization that is flat, transparent, and non-hierarchical. A company-wide rule that allows developers to devote 20% of their time to any project they choose. “Keep the bozos out” and reward people who make a difference. Employee services that make it easy to balance work/life Source: Gary Hamel, “Management à la Google,” WSJ, April 26, Image:

30 Benchmarks: What do other companies do? Basic organizational unit = team, not store High autonomy, high accountability – Product Selection, Promotion, and Hiring – Every four weeks, Whole Foods calculates the profit per labor hour for every team in every store. CEO John Mackey: “We don’t have lots of rules that are handed down from headquarters in Austin. We have lots of self-examination going on. Peer pressure substitutes for bureaucracy. Peer pressure enlists loyalty in ways that bureaucracy doesn’t.” Source: Charles Fishman, “The Anarchists Cookbook,” Fast Company, July 2004.

31 1. What should your organization do to create a more “gen friendly” workplace? 2. What should individual leaders/managers do? Individual reflection and goal setting: 2. What can YOU do? How can you integrate the common ground factors into these solutions?

32 Summary The key for working well across generations? – Respect (defined by whom?) Look through the lenses of other generations — it’s a different perspective!

33 Korn/Ferry International Nick Huck 2000 Corporate Ridge Drive McLean, VA,


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