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Department of Management Generations in the Workplace Dr. Michael Wesson February 29, 2012 HR Liaison Network Meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "Department of Management Generations in the Workplace Dr. Michael Wesson February 29, 2012 HR Liaison Network Meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Department of Management Generations in the Workplace Dr. Michael Wesson February 29, 2012 HR Liaison Network Meeting

2 Department of Management “Today’s children love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority: they show disrespect for their elders, and love to chatter in place of exercise… The contradict their parents, talk before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” Socrates – over 2300 years ago

3 Department of Management What is a “Generation” A generation can be defined as a group of people born roughly within a twenty year time period during the same era in history.

4 Department of Management Why differences between the groups? Shared events define and influence a generation’s values who all come of age around the same time. Population swings * Some people don’t believe they exist.

5 Department of Management What is a generational difference?

6 Department of Management Generational Timeline (56 million) – Builders, Traditionals, Veterans, Greatest Generation (80 million) – Baby Boomers (38 million) – Generation X or X’ers (78 million) – Millennials, Generation Y, Nexters, Echo Boomers

7 Department of Management The Builders ( ) Descriptors: Conservative, disciplined, strong sense of obligation, fiscal restraint Values: private, integrity, formality, respect for authority, sacrifice, loyal, risk averse Life Events: Great depression, World War II

8 Department of Management The Baby Boomers ( ) Descriptors: Workaholics, willing to fight for a cause, “pig in a python” Values: Hard-work, optimism, sacrifice, self- fulfillment, individualism, material wealth, teamwork, loyalty toward an employer, conflict-avoidant Life Events: Vietnam war, civil rights, Kennedy and King assassinations, Watergate, sexual revolution, freewheeling 60’s.

9 Department of Management Generation X ( ) Descriptors: Baby bust generation; “Work to live” not “live to work”; lacking loyalty; slackers Values: Work-life balance, self-reliant and autonomy, ruled by accomplishment not the clock, skepticism, diversity, career security Life Events: Latch-key kids, high divorce rates, stagnant job market, corporate downsizing, MTV, AIDS, global competition, computer and video games.

10 Department of Management Millennials ( ) Descriptors: Internet generation, multi- taskers, overly confident, attention-loving, task-oriented, feedback hungry Values: Informality, civic duty, optimistic, diversity, work/life balance, adaptability Life Events: Dramatic technological changes, social networking, school shootings, OKC, 9/11, Iraq/Afghanistan, “you are special” parenting, political correctness

11 Department of Management

12 Harry Potter describes the differences…

13 Department of Management Harry Potter describes the differences…

14 Department of Management Harry Potter describes the differences… VS. GENERATION X? BoomersMillennials

15 Department of Management Five Major Workplace Differences Need for immediate and continual feedback – X’ers and Millennials are different from Boomers who are annoyed when told things more than once Respect for Authority – Boomers used to “distance” between management and subordinates; X’ers and Millennials don’t see that difference and are willing to ask questions that might viewed as disrespectful.

16 Department of Management Millennials are the first generation who can access information without an authority figure.

17 Department of Management Five Major Workplace Differences Loyalty – Boomers commit to the company; X’ers commit to people; Millennials commit to an idea or cause Work-Life Balance – X’ers and Millennials work to live. Boomers believe in “face time” and the fact that hours count. Motivation – Millennials need to see the “why” before the “what”. Boomers more comfortable with authority and top-down mgmt.

18 Department of Management Some major NON-differences Desire for learning and development – Millennials do not all want to be taught by a computer… Leadership – Good leaders are good leaders Desire for advancement/promotions Desire for a challenging job

19 Department of Management Lessons for Managers Adapting – Willingness to understand that the other generations have different backgrounds and mindsets – What makes you “react”? Communicating – Boomers will need to “reach out” because Millennials don’t know how to. Envisioning – Creating meaning (“why”) and accountability (explicit expectations

20 Department of Management In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation. Roger Allen


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