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MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKPLACE M. Laura Kane-Sellers, Ph.D. (Laurie) TTI Inc., V.P. Human Resource Development.

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Presentation on theme: "MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKPLACE M. Laura Kane-Sellers, Ph.D. (Laurie) TTI Inc., V.P. Human Resource Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKPLACE M. Laura Kane-Sellers, Ph.D. (Laurie) TTI Inc., V.P. Human Resource Development

2 BIRTHRATES BY ERA Born before 1943 Influenced by depression & World Wars Strong work ethic Extreme organizational commitment Born “Live to work” & strive to provide more for their children than they had First generation to be impacted by lay-offs Subscribe to “my way or the highway” approach Born Entered job market during economic slump Lack of employer trust Want flexible work hours & technology in workplace Expect managers to coach & mentor Born Beginning to enter the workforce Focus on work/life balance Want flexible workplace Remain in first job months Expect coaches & mentors

3 U.S. BIRTH RATES TraditionalistsBaby Boomers Gen XersEcho Boomers

4 1954McCarthy HCUAA hearings began 1955Salk Vaccine tested on the public; Rosa Parks 1956First nuclear war 1957Congress passes the Civil Rights Act 1960Birth control pills introduced; JFK elected 1961Kennedy establishes the Peace Corp 1962Cuban Missile Crisis; John Glenn circles the earth 1963Martin Luther King leads march on Washington DC; JFK assassinated 1965U.S. sends ground troops to Viet Nam 1966National Organization for Women founded; China’s Cultural Revolution 1967American Indian Movement founded 1968Martin Luther King & Robert F. Kennedy assassinated 1969First lunar landing; Woodstock 1970Kent State shootings BABY BOOMERS’ SEMINAL EVENTS

5 BABY BOOMERS’ CHARACTERISTICS Markings: Designer glasses, cell phones, BMWs, designer suits, designer bodies, vintage wines Spending style: Buy now, pay later – with credit cards What they read: Business Week, People Their humor:

6 BABY BOOMERS’ CORE VALUES Optimism Team orientation Personal gratification Health and wellness Personal growth Youth Work Involvement

7 WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT BABY BOOMERS They’re self-righteous. They’re workaholics. They’re too political, always trying to figure out just what to say…to whom…and when. They do a great job of talking the talk. But they don’t walk the walk. Get outta my face. Lighten up; it’s only a job. What’s the management fad this week? They’re clueless They’re cool. They’re up to date on the music we like. They work too much. Traditionalists say: They talk about things they ought to keep private – like intimate details about their lives. They are so self-absorbed! Echo Boomers say: Gen Xers say:

8 MANAGING BABY BOOMERS RecruitingDevelopingMotivating 1. Value their experience1. They need development in strategic planning, coaching skills, budgeting, and all the “soft stuff”. 1. Use the personal approach (“I really need for you to do this for me.”) 2. “You’re going to come in here and make a difference” 2. Boomers know that, but may not be practicing it. 2. Give them lots of public recognition. 3. Stress that this is a warm and human place to work 3. They need developmental experiences and assignments. Give them projects and recognize them. 3. Give them a chance to prove themselves and their worth. 4. Show them how to be a star.4. Look for lots of notable accounts/projects to give them. 4. Give them perks – company car, expense account for 1 st class travel, etc. 5. Promote the leading-edge nature of your organization and industry. 5. Encourage them to read business books & listen to training tapes 5. Get them quoted in an industry journal. 6. Reward their work ethic and long hours.

9 MENTORING BABY BOOMERS 1.Coach tactfully. 2.If you’re blaming, they aren’t listening. 3.Be nice. Be warm. Find opportunities for agreement and harmony. 4.Ask questions to get to the issues. 5.Think of yourself as a friendly equal. Ask permission every step of the way. 6.Most difficult coaching situation is the one when you think their performance is substandard and they don’t. Tell them they are doing well, but they could do better if… 7.Respect them, but don’t call them “Mam, Sir, Mr. or Ms.”

10 DESCRIPTION OF GEN XERS’ Disregard for authority Avoid publicity and labels Get a life Distrust for politics – government & corporate “Oh, God, not again”

11 GEN XERS SEMINAL EVENTS YearEvent 1970Women’s Liberation protests and demonstrations 1972Arab terrorists at Munich Olympics 1973Watergate; Energy crisis begins 1976Tandy and Apple market PCs 1978Mass suicide in Jonestown 1979Three Mile Island; U.S. corporations begin massive layoffs; Iran holds 66 American hostages 1980John Lennon shot and killed; Ronald Reagan inaugurated; 1986Challenger disaster 1987Stock market plummets 1988Terrorist blows up flight 103 over Lockerbie 1989Fall of Berlin Wall; Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill 1991Operation Desert Storm 1992Rodney King beating videotaped; Los Angeles riots

12 GEN XERS’ CORE VALUES Diversity Thinking globally Balance Technoliteracy Fun Informality Self-reliance Pragmatism

13 GEN XERS’ MEMORABILIA The Brady Bunch Pet Rocks Platform Shoes The Simpsons Dynasty ET Cabbage Patch Dolls

14 WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT GEN XERS They’re not educated. They don’t respect experience They don’t follow procedure. They don’t know what work is. They’re slackers. They are rude and lack social skills. They’re always doing things their own way, instead of our way. They spend too much time on the Internet and . They won’t wait their turn. Cheer up!!!! Traditionalists say: Baby Boomers say: Echo Boomers say:

15 MANAGING GEN XERS RecruitingDevelopingMotivating 1. Include the phrase, “we want you to have a life” at least 3 times during the interview. 1. Use technology like online self- directed training modules. 1. Let them work on multiple projects and simultaneous assignments. 2. Convince them that ideas are evaluated on merit, not tenure. 2. Gen Xers read less than previous generations. Keep training materials brief and scan able. 2. They need constructive feedback to become more effective. 3. Don’t use the business terms d’jour. Instead of “change agent” say our business is going through a lot of change. 3. Ask them to inventory what they learned today at least this week. Gen Xers like jobs that promote learning. 3. Give them freedom and time to pursue other interests. They want the job to be fun. 4. Make it a fun and relaxed place to work. 4. Gen Xers appreciate leading-edge technology. 5. Use phrases like “hands-off supervision. Stress that you’ll need them to manage multiple projects simultaneously. “We are looking for a good juggler.” 5. Review overall employee motivation packages; Gen Xers may not want perks, but they expect distributive justice. 6. Stress the importance of technological innovation. 7. Consider setting up a special customer service department for these employees.

16 MENTORING GEN XERS Pitch office politics as a way to get around the rules. Make them feel like insiders as quickly as possible. Mentors serve a surrogate parent role to Gen Xers. Coach them to take responsibility for their own issues – “How do you think YOU might best go about solving this?”

17 MOTIVATING MESSAGES FOR GEN XERS Do it your way. We’ve got the newest hardware and software. There aren’t a lot of rules here. We’re not very corporate.

18 ECHO BOOMER’S MEMORABILIA Barney Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tomagotchi and other virtual pets Beanie Babies Pogs American Girl dolls Oprah and Rosie The Spice Girls The X Games

19 ECHO BOOMERS SEMINAL EVENTS Child focus Violence: Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine Technology Busy, over-planned lives Stress Clinton/Lewinsky

20 ECHO BOOMERS CORE VALUES Optimism Civic duty Confidence Achievement Morality Street smarts Diversity

21 Markings Spending style What they read Their humor Spend as much of your parents money as fast as you can ECHO BOOMERS’ CHARACTERISTICS

22 WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE ECHO BOOMERS Here we go again…another self-absorbed generation of spoiled brats. What do you mean, “What’s an album?” They need to learn to entertain themselves. They’re cute!!! They need more discipline from their parents. Do you think they can do my webpage? Baby Boomers say: They have good manners. They’re smart little critters. They need to toughen up. They watch too much TV…with crude language and violence.

23 MESSAGES THAT MOTIVATE ECHO BOOMERS You’ll be working with other bright, creative people. Your boss is in his (or her) sixties. You and your coworkers can help turn this company around. You can be a hero here.

24 ATTRACTING EMPLOYEES Ages 18-29Ages 30-44Ages 45-54Age 55+ Competitive base pay 1112 Career advancement opportunity 2469 Salary increases linked to individual performance 3554 Competitive health care benefits 4221 Work/life balance 5346 Learning & development opportunities Caliber of co-worker 7997 Reputation of the organization as a good employer 8888 Challenging work 9775 Competitive retirement benefits Organization’s financial health --10 Source: Towers Perrin

25 REFERENCES - Hicks, R. & Hicks, K. (1999). Boomers, Xers, and other strangers: Understanding the generational differences that divide us, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. Twenge, J. M. (2006). Generation me: Why today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled – and more miserable than ever before, New York: Free Press. Zemke, R., Raines, C. & Filipczak, B. (2000). Generations at work: Managing the clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in your workplace, New York: AMACOM.


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