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The Contemporary Multi- Generational Workforce Bahira Sherif Trask Human Development & Family Studies University of Delaware Bahira Sherif.

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Presentation on theme: "The Contemporary Multi- Generational Workforce Bahira Sherif Trask Human Development & Family Studies University of Delaware Bahira Sherif."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Contemporary Multi- Generational Workforce Bahira Sherif Trask Human Development & Family Studies University of Delaware Bahira Sherif Trask Human Development & Family Studies University of Delaware

2 Why Are Things Different?  In past, relatively stable organizational model for career advancement  Today, organizations come in many sizes, types, shapes  Career paths vary (average 25 year old is expected to experience anywhere from 3-5 careers in lifetime)  Work-life expectations have changed with the generations  In past, relatively stable organizational model for career advancement  Today, organizations come in many sizes, types, shapes  Career paths vary (average 25 year old is expected to experience anywhere from 3-5 careers in lifetime)  Work-life expectations have changed with the generations

3 The Generations: In Groups of 2-3 people  Make a short list of defining social, political, and/or technical events - trends of:  The 1960s  The 1970s  The 1980s  The 1990s  The 2000s  Make a short list of defining social, political, and/or technical events - trends of:  The 1960s  The 1970s  The 1980s  The 1990s  The 2000s

4 Points to Keep in Mind! Common experiences of each generation frequently define their assumptions and perspectives BUT Never generalize from a few to the whole - there are ALWAYS exceptions Common experiences of each generation frequently define their assumptions and perspectives BUT Never generalize from a few to the whole - there are ALWAYS exceptions

5 Traditionalists  Born between 1900 and 1945 (approx. 75 million)  Loyal -- often found to have worked for only one employer.  Many of the men have military background and are comfortable with a top-down management style.  May be motivated by recognition in doing a job well done.  Exhibit a strong work ethic that was shaped by the Great Depression with an “onward and upward” attitude.  Born between 1900 and 1945 (approx. 75 million)  Loyal -- often found to have worked for only one employer.  Many of the men have military background and are comfortable with a top-down management style.  May be motivated by recognition in doing a job well done.  Exhibit a strong work ethic that was shaped by the Great Depression with an “onward and upward” attitude.

6 Baby-Boomers  Born between 1946 and 1964 (approx. 80 million)  Typically respond to symbols of recognition: enhanced titles, more money,special perks such as parking spaces, and other status symbols or symbols of peer recognition.  Optimistic and idealistic.  As result of their large numbers, tend to be extremely competitive Realize that they have spent too much of their time working / may want to add more balance to their lives / may feel new generations need to put “their time in.”  Born between 1946 and 1964 (approx. 80 million)  Typically respond to symbols of recognition: enhanced titles, more money,special perks such as parking spaces, and other status symbols or symbols of peer recognition.  Optimistic and idealistic.  As result of their large numbers, tend to be extremely competitive Realize that they have spent too much of their time working / may want to add more balance to their lives / may feel new generations need to put “their time in.”

7 Generation X  Born between 1965 and 1980 (approx. 46 million)  Typically have little trust in the system.  Freedom is often perceived as ultimate work reward  Want training that enhances their skills, and portability of benefits like 401Ks that can be taken elsewhere.  Characterized by skepticism, self focus, lack of loyalty to employer.  Has seen scandal effect of every institution from the stock market to the presidency/ divorce rate tripled during their lifetimes; informality and fun/work as a means to an end and not an end in and of itself  Born between 1965 and 1980 (approx. 46 million)  Typically have little trust in the system.  Freedom is often perceived as ultimate work reward  Want training that enhances their skills, and portability of benefits like 401Ks that can be taken elsewhere.  Characterized by skepticism, self focus, lack of loyalty to employer.  Has seen scandal effect of every institution from the stock market to the presidency/ divorce rate tripled during their lifetimes; informality and fun/work as a means to an end and not an end in and of itself

8 Generation Y/ Millennials  Born between 1981 and 1999 (approx. 75 million)  One in three is not Caucasian  Two in four come from a single parent home  Four in five have working mothers  Perceived as wanting to make a difference and knowing that their work has value  If they question authority, it’s usually for “moral” reasons  Characteristics include sociability, civic duty, and morality.  Born with technology / adept at multitasking Grown up with group work, athletics and team sports, and personal recognition  Born between 1981 and 1999 (approx. 75 million)  One in three is not Caucasian  Two in four come from a single parent home  Four in five have working mothers  Perceived as wanting to make a difference and knowing that their work has value  If they question authority, it’s usually for “moral” reasons  Characteristics include sociability, civic duty, and morality.  Born with technology / adept at multitasking Grown up with group work, athletics and team sports, and personal recognition

9 Workplace Conflict  Often have generational issues at core even though identified as personal:  “She has a poor work ethic”  “He is not committed to his job”  Differing styles: team work vs. individual  Newer generations “branded” as less motivated  Do not understand why “lateness” is viewed as a bad thing by a boomer for example  Generation Y very committed to balancing work and family  Often have generational issues at core even though identified as personal:  “She has a poor work ethic”  “He is not committed to his job”  Differing styles: team work vs. individual  Newer generations “branded” as less motivated  Do not understand why “lateness” is viewed as a bad thing by a boomer for example  Generation Y very committed to balancing work and family

10 Differences between the Generations (*Eric Chester, Employing Generation Y) TopicBoomersGen XGen Y Loyalty to Employer I can work my way to the top I’ll work if I have to Jobs are a dime a dozen Respecting Elders Is automatic Is polite Just because they are older - no way! TrainingTell me what to do Show me HOW to do it WHY do I need to learn this?

11 Motivating Different Generations  Baby Boomers:  Authority, prestige, status markers, professional networking  Work for work’s sake  Generations X and Y:  Work is means to an end  Needs to be fun, special, flexible  Teamwork and the “why” count  Baby Boomers:  Authority, prestige, status markers, professional networking  Work for work’s sake  Generations X and Y:  Work is means to an end  Needs to be fun, special, flexible  Teamwork and the “why” count

12 General Guidelines  Identify your own generational assumptions:  What do I believe are the most important attributes of an employee?  How loyal do I believe an employee should be to an organization?  What balance do I maintain between my work and personal life?  Do I feel most comfortable with people of a certain age group at work?  Identify your own generational assumptions:  What do I believe are the most important attributes of an employee?  How loyal do I believe an employee should be to an organization?  What balance do I maintain between my work and personal life?  Do I feel most comfortable with people of a certain age group at work?

13 How to Manage a Multi- Generational Workforce  Maintain Communication  Respect the different values held by various generations  Encourage generational partnerships and collaborations  Remain flexible  Maintain Communication  Respect the different values held by various generations  Encourage generational partnerships and collaborations  Remain flexible

14 Lessons To Keep In Mind  There is more diversity than just generational diversity  We are all more similar than different  We can learn from each other - everyone brings something to the table  Everyone wants to succeed  There is more diversity than just generational diversity  We are all more similar than different  We can learn from each other - everyone brings something to the table  Everyone wants to succeed

15 Thank You!


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