2 Learning ObjectivesIdentify and describe key traits of four generationsDescribe how generational differences can shape professional behavior and interactionsIdentify ways to adapt communication styles to communicate more effectively across generationsMake decisions on how to adapt workplace behaviors and practices to attract, develop, and retain different generations of employees
3 NormsPlease make sure all cell phones and pagers are turned to “vibrate” mode!Be openListen activelyParticipate fully at your own comfort levelShare “talking” timeUse “I” statementsUse only hypothetical examplesAsk questionsHonor confidentialityTreat others with respect“Ouch” and educateHave fun
4 A Key Message from Phi Beta Sigma The characteristics and attributes associated with individuals in the described generations represent generalizations determined by third-parties with expertise in this area. They do not represent the official views of Phi Beta Sigma or any of its executives, and should not be construed as such.
6 Definition of Diversity “The many identities that define each person as a unique individual including:”AgeEducationSocioeconomic classRaceEthnicityGenderNationalityLanguageReligionSexual orientationPhysical & mental abilities
7 Diversity WheelSource: Adapted from Marilyn Loden, Workforce America, 1991
9 People resemble their times more than they resemble their parents…. Old ProverbPeople resemble their times more than they resemble their parents….
10 Stereotypes vs. Cultural Patterns Generalizations that we make about a group of people based on a particular diversity dimension that they shareFixed and absoluteCultural PatternsRefers to the shared norms and values which make up a cultural group’s “programming”Flexible for individual differences
11 Which Generation do you most identify with? NAME OF GENERATIONAGESYEARSTraditionalists60 Years PlusBorn before 1946Baby Boomers43 – 61 Years of AgeBorn betweenGeneration Xers27 – 42 Years of AgeBorn betweenMillennials (Generation Y)7 – 26 Years of AgeBorn between
13 Group DiscussionHow did you wear your hair in eighth grade? In High School?What television/radio shows did you watch/listen to after school or on Saturday mornings?Who were your heroes and heroines when you were growing up?What world events were going on when you were growing up?
14 Generation Heroes and Heroines TraditionalistsBorn before 1946Baby Boomers1946–1964Generation X1965–1980Millennials1981–2000Heroes and HeroinesWar Heroes, Political Figures and ParentsSupermanFranklin D. RooseveltGeorge PattonJackie RobinsonJoe DiMaggioWinston ChurchillPolitical Figures Civil Rights Movement (Pro or Con)Martin Luther King, Jr.Rosa ParksThe Kennedy’sActors, Athletes, Musicians across Race/Gender linesMichael JordanBill CosbyMichael JacksonSelenaHoward SternPeople in Business, Singers, Musicians, Actors, and ParentsBill GatesTiger WoodsAllen IversonMom and Dad
17 Traditionalists—Born before 1946 UpbringingAs children, grew up in hard timesMany lived in segregated communities and attended segregated schoolsKey Events Shaping their LivesStock market crash2000+ banks failed9 million Americans lost life savings1930s Great Depression86,000 businesses closed their doorsBy 1932, 1 out of every 4 workers was unemployedWorld War IIValues/BeliefsPlace duty before pleasureBelieve patience is its own reward; are willing to wait for delayed gratificationValue honor and integrity
18 Traditionalists—In Professional Environments WantsWant others to respect them and value their expertise, which was gained over time and through experiencePreferencesHierarchy—respect authority, even sometimes when it frustrates themMore formal communicationsSpelled out roles and responsibilitiesClear directionsStabilityWorkplace BehaviorsAvoid challenging the systemMaintain dedication to a job, once they take itMost are not technology savvy, and tend to avoid using itEngage in face to face communications
20 Baby Boomers—Born 1946–1964 Upbringing Key Events Shaping Their Lives Indulged by their parentsWere told they would be the generation that would change the worldExperienced integration in neighborhoods and schoolsKey Events Shaping Their LivesJohn F. Kennedy AssassinationVietnam WarCivil Rights MovementMan landing on the moonHealthier/ Post War Era resulted in a baby born every 17 minutes for 19 years—resulting in 76 million baby boomersValues/ BeliefsOptimisticPersonal Gratification—now versus laterPersonal GrowthInvolvement
21 Baby Boomers—In the Professional Environment WantsWant to change the world and the workplace to suit their needs—including government policy and consumer productsWant to please everyonePreferencesPrefer the process of getting things done, sometimes to the detriment of achieving resultsPrefer convenience and immediate gratification versus delayed gratificationWorkplace BehaviorsLive to work—put in long work hoursDriven—willing to “go the extra mile”Good at RelationshipsGood Team PlayersProcess OrientedUncomfortable with ConflictJudgmental of those who see things differently
23 Generation X—Born 1965–1980 Upbringing Key Events Shaping their Lives 50% were latch key kidsLearned to be autonomous and self-reliant50% were affected by divorceBoomerang Kids—3 times more likely to move back home as young adults (in their 20s)Key Events Shaping their LivesWatergate ScandalWomen’s Liberation MovementU.S. Corporations began massive layoffsRodney King IncidentValues/BeliefsDiversityBalanceInformalitySelf Reliance
24 Generation X—In the Professional Environmet WantsWant to be independent and self-reliantPreferencesPrefer not to make long term commitments to companiesPrefer full package of workplace benefits that allow for balance—not just more moneyWill speak up for themselvesComparison shop during interviews—looking for best salary, benefits, work/life balance, and raisesWorkplace BehaviorsWork to Live, not live to workAdaptableTechno-literateIndependentNot intimidated by Authority—don’t automatically give respect to authority in the workplace
26 Millennials—Born 1981–2000 Upbringing Values/Beliefs Many are the children of Baby Boomers1/3 born to single mothersMore demographically diverse than any other generation—1 out of 3 is an ethnic minorityBest educated generation in U.S. HistorySpend a great deal of time on internet and computersValues/BeliefsBelief in Collective Action and OptimisticRelationship with ParentsCivic DutyDiversityTenacity/“Stick- to- it”ivenessCombines teamwork ethic of boomers, (can do attitude) of traditionalists, and “technologically savvy” like Gen X
27 Millennials—In the Professional Environment WantsWant to live in the momentPreferencesPrefer to be optimistic about lifePrefer to earn money and consume it immediatelyKey Events Shaping their LivesOklahoma City BombingSchoolyard ShootingsClinton/Lewinsky AffairColumbine High School MassacreWorkplace BehaviorsTechnologically SavvyMultitaskersInexperienced with handling difficult people and issuesDemonstrate respect only after they are treated with respectRely on immediacy of technologySkeptical—question everything; that’s how they grew upHave a need for supervision and structure
29 Comparison of Generations TraditionalistsBaby BoomersGeneration XMillennialsWhat Motivates Them At WorkHard WorkPersonal FulfillmentOutcomes Driven“What’s Next?”PhilosophyDutyOptimismPersonal FocusOn My TermsAttitude Towards LifeSacrificeCrusading OthersLive for TodayJust Show UpApproach to SpendingThriftinessBuy Now/ Pay LaterSave, Save, SaveEarn to SpendApproach to WorkWork FastWork EfficientlyEliminate the TaskDo Exactly What’s Asked
31 Newly recruited Millennial staff member… “A hiring bonus! Still wet behind the ears, and he wants a hiring bonus! At his age, I was just grateful I had a job!”Who’s this Traditionalistreferring to?Newly recruited Millennial staff member…
32 Who’s this Generation Xer referring to? “So I told my boss, if you’re looking for loyalty, buy a dog...”Who’s this Generation Xerreferring to?Baby Boomer boss
33 Traditionalist coworker “If I hear, ‘We tried that in '87,’ one more time!”Who’s this Millennialreferring to?Traditionalist coworker
34 “Where is he? Doesn’t anyone have respect for time anymore?” Who’s this Baby Boomerreferring to?The “late” Millennial
38 “In Good Company” Video Clip Part A2 What did you observe in the video?What were the dynamics between generations?How does this relate to what you’ve learned thus far about the generations?
39 Communicating Across Generations AdaptationCommunicating Across Generations
40 Communicating with Traditionalists Build trust through inclusive language (we, us)A leader’s word is his/her bond, so focus more on words, not body languageFace-to-face or written communication is received bestUse more formal languageDon’t waste their time; they have a job to doDon’t expect them to share their innermost thoughts immediately
41 Communicating with Baby Boomers Boomers are the “show me” generation, so use body language to communicateSpeak in an open, direct styleAnswer questions thoroughly, and expect to be pressed for detailsAvoid controlling, manipulative languagePresent options to show flexibility in your thinkingUse face to face or electronic communication to reach out to them
42 Communicating with Generation Xers Learn their language and speak itUse as your primary communication toolTalk in short sound bytes to keep their attentionPresent the facts, use straight talkAsk them for their feedbackShare information with them immediately and oftenUse an informal communication styleListen! You just might learn something
43 Communicating with Millennials Let your language paint visual picturesUse action verbs to challenge themShow respect through your language, and they will respect youUse and voic as primary communication toolsUse visual communication to motivate them and keep them focusedConstantly seek their feedbackUse humor—reassure them that you don’t take yourself too seriouslyEncourage them to explore new paths or options
45 “In Good Company” Video Clip Part B What did you observe in the video?Why was Dan able to be more effective in this meeting than his coworker?How does this information relate to what you’ve learned thus far about the baby boomers? Millennials? Traditionalists?