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Welcome! Generations in the Workplace Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome! Generations in the Workplace Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce Office of Diversity and Inclusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 welcome! Generations in the Workplace Key Considerations for an Inclusive VA Workforce Office of Diversity and Inclusion

2 Learning Objectives At the end of this session, you will have gained knowledge of key considerations of generations for workforce inclusion through Examining: VA Strategic Plan, Equality of Employees and why should we understanding generations Recognizing : Importance of developing and maintaining psychological safety for all generations Identifying: Generational profiles, experiences, and influences Discussing: What do generations think of each other? Considering : Perceptions of Generations and challenges that lie ahead for the workplace

3 To fulfill the mission and vision 1.A Diverse Workforce: Build a diverse, high-performing workforce that reflects all segments of society. 2.An Inclusive Workplace: Cultivate a flexible, collaborative, and inclusive work environment that leverages cultural competency and empowers all contributors. 3.Outstanding Public Service: Facilitate outstanding, culturally competent public service and stakeholder relations through effective leadership and accountability. DI Strategic Plan

4 Equality of Multigenerational Employees Everyone has the ability to do something amazing, some just do it on a more regular basis.

5 Managers’ and Employees’ Generational Workplace Challenges Co-Responsibility

6 Our Customer is Changing There will be more Veterans who: Live in Rural Areas Identify as LGBT Millennials both Employees and Veterans Are Multicultural Hold diverse religious or spiritual beliefs All Expect Inclusive Services

7 Psychological Safety Is it safe to take a risk within the workplace? The right to express thoughts and opinions freely and encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity and mutual respect. Are all generations comfortable and capable of having a discussion with issues, i.e., Immigration, Religion, LGBT, Political Elections, Affirmative Action, in-house promotions, Tea Party, Unions, changes in the workplace, etc., openly and respectfully? Veterans WILL talk about these subjects! When Millennials wish to talk about these areas…

8 When was the last time you received recognition at work for a job well done or gave recognition to someone else for a job well done? Does not have to be supervisor to subordinate –Encourage encouragement and set the example.

9 Why Understand Generations? Preferred Leadership Approach Communication Style Motivational Buttons How They Interact with Others Preferred Approach to Feedback View toward the VA When generations fail to communicate with each other: May impact turnover rates, recruitment, hiring, training, retention) May impact grievances and complaints May impact perceptions of fairness & equity

10 Generational Perspectives Whatever your age, the other ages you have are still inside of you. That’s what gives you the compassion and patience for those who are irritatingly younger (or older) than you! The principles other generations used to get through life remain relevant – yet you may need a completely different set of tools in order to tackle modern nuances of the current workplace.

11 What is a Generation? “In addition to coincidence of birth year grouping, a generation is also defined by common tastes, attitudes, and experience…. Those times encompass a myriad of circumstances – economic, social, sociological, and, of course, demographic.” Zemke, R. Raines, C., & Filipczak, B. (2010) Generations at work: Managing the clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in your workplace. New York:Amacon.

12 Current Working Generations Veterans or Traditionalists (1900-1945) Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Generation X (1965-1980) Generation Next or Millennials (1981-1999)

13 Department of Veterans Affairs by Generations Source: ODI Workforce Analysis Team, May 2011 April 2011

14 Department of Veterans Affairs by Generations Source: ODI Workforce Analysis Team (12/2012) *2 SES Millennial

15 Veterans or Traditionalists: 1900-1945 Also known as the Greatest Generation Defining events: Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, Korean War; remembers life before TV and fireside chats with FDR. Faith in institutions; loyal; patriotic and actually did ball room dancing. “Save for a rainy day,” “Waste not, want not” Remembers cars with running boards. Influential people: Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Lindberg, Franklin Delano Roosevelt

16 Veterans or Traditionalists: Born 1900 - 1945

17 Baby Boomers: 1946-1964 Defining events: television, Vietnam, women’s and human rights movements, wanted to join the Mickey Mouse Club; saw every episode of Leave it to Beaver. Optimistic and competitive; prosperous Promise of good education = opportunities their parents didn’t have; used a typewriter to write term papers Influential people: Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Beaver Cleaver Now dealing with difficult life decisions; retire or not to retire?

18 Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964

19 Generation Xers: Born 1965-1980 Defining events: Challenger explosion, fall of Berlin Wall, fall of Soviet Union, personal computer, played Asteroids on an Atari, Schoolhouse Rock, and cell phones; comfortable with smart phones. Skepticism; institutions called into question, rise of single parents and both parents working of Gen X (latchkey kids), record player is antique, Ipod is a given; environmentally conscious. Now in middle and upper management waiting for those “old folks” to get out of the way Leading people: Monica Lewinsky, O.J. Simpson, Supermodels, Michael Jordan, Dilbert

20 Generation X: Born 1960-1980

21 Millennials: Born 1981-1999 Also known as Echo Boom, Generation Y, Baby Busters Defining events: Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine High School massacre, death of Princess Diana, Lewinsky scandal, smart phones – live on social networks with texting as major communication vehicle Realistic; optimistic yet cautious; multiculturalism, believe in group consciousness and collaboration “Personal Safety” is a workplace concern; appreciate diversity; deeply worried about future and employment Influential people: Barney, Backstreet Boys, Venus and Serena Williams, Tinky Winky

22 Millennials: Born 1981 -1999

23 Perceptions of Traditionalists Workplace Characteristics Strict adherence to rules and directives and a strong respect for authority. Hard working and loyal to the institution, believing that duty and responsibility takes precedence over personal leisure pursuits. Promotions in a traditionalist workplace may be based upon time served and seniority. 23

24 What other generations (sometimes) say about Veterans/Traditionalists Baby Boomers –They’re dictatorial –They’re technological dinosaurs Generation X –They’ve got all the money –They’re too set in their ways Nexters/Millenials –They are trustworthy –They are brave

25 Perceptions of Boomers Workplace Characteristics Continues to be the majority generational group in the workplace due to their sheer numbers and representation. –However, Millennials now make up the majority of eligible workers in the US. Occupies many of the upper management and executive positions in an organization exerting strong influence over the cultural characteristics of the workplace. Values hard work, demonstrated by long hours on the job. Members of this generation are considered workaholics, particularly by younger generations who value work-life balance. Place value on education and require a high-quality work product; emphasis on teamwork, with regular face-to-face meetings. 25

26 What other generations (sometimes) say about Baby Boomers Veterans/Traditionalists –They talk about things they ought to keep private –They are self-absorbed Generation X –They’re clueless –Lighten up; it’s only a job Millenials –They work too much

27 Perceptions of Generation X Workplace Characteristics Has been skeptical of authority and tends to not respect hierarchy, status or title emphasizing flattened hierarchy. –Though now going into more senior positions, skepticism is adapting somewhat into traditional heirarchy Seeks work-life balance and prefer an informal, fun workplace. Focus on self-reliance, individual projects and minimal supervision. This generation is not interested in spending hours in meetings; Demands high productivity; prefers to complete tasks as quickly to free up more personal time. 27

28 What other generations (sometimes) say about Generation Xers Veterans/Traditionalists –They don’t respect experience –They don’t know what hard work is Baby Boomers –They’re slackers –They spend too much time on the Internet and e-mail Millenials –Cheer up !

29 Perceptions of Generation Y (Millennials) Workplace Characteristics Now well-established within the organization, this generation is the most diverse of all the generational groups -- one in three is a minority. Those in generation Y are optimistic, confident, civic- minded and fully committed to moral and ethical principles. Expects full communication, speedy decision-making and requires information to be available immediately. constant email or texting communications, multitasking and a recognition that work is a means to an end. 29

30 What other generations (sometimes) say about Millennials Veterans/Traditionalists –They have good manners –They watch too much TV…with crude language and violence Baby Boomers –They’re cute –Can they do my web page for me? Generation X –Neo Boomers –What do you mean, “What’s an album?”

31 What Generation? Seeking challenge Looking for meaningful work Chance to prove themselves and show they can perform well Enjoys contact with people Desire to be in a position of responsibility Resents being looked at as though they have no experience Tends to be more job mobile Less respectful of authority Training and Development Journal November, 1970

32 When We are Focused We See with Clarity –Each person has a different perspective –The brain filters reality through experience, beliefs, education and imprints a new reality.



35 The Great Perception Divide How Millennials How HR professionals describe themselves describe Millennials 65%People savvy14% 35%Tech-savvy86% 82%Loyal to employers 1% 14%Fun-loving39% 86%Hard-working11% Survey of 6,361 job seekers and veteran HR professionals in April and May 2013 35

36 Considerations Before Interviewing Prior experience has not necessarily meant effectiveness or success on the job. Know your own generational biases; assess yourself. What stereotypes do you have of people from different groups and how well they may perform on the job? What communication styles do you prefer? Sometimes what we consider to be appropriate or desirable qualities in a candidate may reflect more about our personal preferences than… about the skills needed to perform the job.

37 Recruiting Strategies Specify the need for skills to work effectively in a diverse environment in the job, for example: "demonstrated ability to work effectively in a diverse work environment." Make sure that good faith efforts are made to recruit a diverse applicant pool. Focus on the job requirements in the interview, and assess experience but also consider: –transferable skills and demonstrated competencies, such as analytical, organizational, communication, coordination.

38 What Challenges Lie Ahead? Replacing the Boomers Managing cross-cultural generational conflict 38

39 What Challenges Lie Ahead? Match management style to generational patterns –Maintaining engagement; leveraging talent, tapping experience, increasing cross generational communication –Capturing experiential knowledge; encouraging mentorship 39

40 What Challenges Lie Ahead? 40 Linking People and Place to Culture Internal External Flexible Focused Collaborate (Clan) Create (Adhocracy) Control (Hierarchy Compete (Merit/Market)

41 What Challenges Lie Ahead? 41 “We” “I” Cyberspace Physical Space OwnedShared Team Rooms Conference Rooms Touchdown Spaces Cubicles Supporting Multiple Workplaces

42 Summary Discussed VA D&I Strategic Plan and importance of understanding generations for an inclusive workplace Definition of Generation Importance of psychological safety for cross generational communication and productivity Generational profiles, experiences, and influences What generations think of each other Adjusting focus Challenges and considerations for addressing challenges

43 Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Diversity and Inclusion John Fuller, Ed.D. Chief Diversity Educator Office of Diversity and Inclusion 202-491-5969

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