Presentation on theme: "Connecting Generations “If the different generations are to thrive--not just survive--we need translators and interpreters rather than declarations of."— Presentation transcript:
Connecting Generations “If the different generations are to thrive--not just survive--we need translators and interpreters rather than declarations of war.”
The ability to relate to all generations is one of today’s essential leadership skills
Today’s most effective organizations don’t just tolerate diversity, they seek it out. Differences become miraculous when we appreciate and utilize them
When we look at a generation, we look at similarities
Shaped by our times Examine the commonalities among vast numbers of people. Delve into the common forces that affected millions of people at once. Explore the mainstream messages. Look at programming.
Shaped by our times From the moment of birth, we are programmed. Coded with data about what’s right and wrong, good and bad, stylish and geeky. We begin a series of programming experiences that create filters through which we see the world.
Shaped by our times A generation is a group of people who are programmed at about the same time. What makes each generation unique is the programming experiences they shared during their formative years.
Shaped by our times During any given era, the media bombards children with consistent and compelling messages. It is their shared experiences that unite them as a generation. What binds them is the mainstream culture of the time that formed them.
Cohorts Refers to people born in the same general time span who share key life experiences. … setting out for school for the first time together. Reaching puberty at the same time. Entering the workforce or university or marriage or middle age at the same time.
Cohorts Most of us think of ourselves as individuals and underestimate how much we have in common with our cohort. A generational cohort is a product of its times and tastes. People tend to resemble their times more than they resemble their parents.
Cohorts Their first headlines to inspire, horrify or thrill do much to shape the character of a generation. The music The heros The passions Their common history
Generational commonalties cut across racial, ethnic, and economic differences
Generalizations and Stereotypes Generalizations are valuable when examining how generations collide and collaborate. Generalizations are flexible. Stereotypes are inflexible and applied to all members of a group. It is very different to say, “Some Gen Xers are cynical,” than to say, “Gen Xers are cynical.
Caution: Stereotypes at work AV woman at hotel Expecting Tech savvy Xer Support-hose, corrective shoes older women Are you running MPEG video off your laptop?
Exceptions To the Rule Remember the bell curve from college!
To be successful, our organizations must harness the energies of every person regardless of age
It can only be accomplished if we build a bridge between the generations to help them more effectively collaborate and communicate
Veteran teachers think young teachers lack initiative and common sense. Young teachers think older teachers are stuck in their ways.
Young teachers depend on technology Older teachers depend on their experience And so it goes…
American’s born since 1940 do not want to follow in the footsteps of their elders
People blame it on immaturity, but the reality seems to lie more in perspective
The most significant changes in perspective are the ways older and younger generations think about time, technology, and loyalty
The Sounds of Conflict “They have no work ethic. They’re just a bunch of slackers.” “So I told my principal, If you’re looking for loyalty, buy a dog.”
The Sounds of Conflict “I have a new rule. I will not attend meetings that start after 4 p.m., I have a life. “He asks me. “Do you have an address? I felt like telling him, ‘since you were in diapers, buddy!” “If I hear ‘We tried that in ‘87 one more time, I’ll hurl in his wrinkly, old face.”
What is different is that the new generation gap is a four-way divide
Four Generations The four generations of today’s workplace cover nearly seventy birth years.
Generational Breakdown Matures Born before million Approximately 10% of workforce Baby Boomers 1940 – million Approximately 45% of workforce Generation X 1960 – million Approximately 45% of workforce Millennials Born after million Now emerging into the workforce
The Matures, born before 1940 Were children of the Great Depression and World War II. They lived through the Korean War God, family, and country. Respect for authority, loyalty, hard work, and dedication. “heads down, onward and upward”
The Matures The Dole/Bush/Kennedy/Carter generation Tom Brokaw called them “Greatest Generation” Rosie the Riveter and “don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone but me.” Came of age before and during WWII Last of the gray flannel suits.
The Matures Think American Values, civic pride, loyalty, respect for authority, and apple pie. … attend more symphonies than rock concerts. …watch more plays than play in softball games. …eat more steak than tofu.
You know you are a Mature if… You remember how to entertain yourself when there’s no TV You remember black and white TV You mowed a yard with a push mower. You listened to Ricky Nelson on the radio. You remember doing ballroom dancing instead of watching it on TV.
People matures remember… Joe DiMaggio John Wayne Benny Goodman John Glenn and Neil Armstrong Cassius Clay Jackie Robinson
Typical mature comments “I don’t need help crossing the street, remembering numbers, or finding the conference room.” “I can do more than share stories about the good old days. I can help shape the future.” “Don’t hesitate to check ALL my refernces from past employers. PLEASE do check so you know what I bring to the table.”
Key Word Loyalty
The Baby Boomers, born between 1940 and 1960, … grew up during a time of great economic growth and prosperity. Their lives were influenced by the civil rights movement women's liberation the space program and the Vietnam War.
The Baby Boomers Place a high value on youth. …health and wellness, … personal gratification, and material wealth. Baby Boomers are optimistic and believe their generation changed the world.
Boomers They live to work. Maintain a sense of optimism. Are willing to go into debt, betting on future income. They are team-oriented, sensitive to feedback, and driven.
Boomers …are graying and looking forward to slowing down and enjoying their retirement years. …they define the generational world as “pre-us,” “us,” and “post-us” They have never met a problem they couldn’t bluff, or blunder through and then pronounce themselves master of…and write a book about it.
Boomers This is the group that invented “Thank God, its Monday! And the sixty-hour workweek. Stay tuned, they will define old and cool and important and success a half dozen or more times before they are done with the world they’ve sworn to make over in their own Sharper Image.
Boomers Many boomers are locked into paying for children in college and parents in nursing homes…”the sandwich generation”.
Typical boomer comments “I don’t say “far out” anymore. But I still want to reach out to fulfill my career dreams.” Keep me interested or I’ll leave and start my own company- I have expertise to be your competitor.” “I paid my dues along the way.”
You know you’re a boomer if… You knew who Elvis was before he wore sequins. Your favorite toy was a hula hoop. You used a typewriter to write your term papers. You saw every episode of Leave it to Beaver
Names Boomers recognize Martin Luther king JFK John Glenn The Beatles Bobby Kennedy Kent State University
Key Word Optimistic
Generation Xers, born between 1960 and 1980 Independent, resilient and adaptable. But feel strongly that they don’t want anyone looking over their shoulder Saw their parents get laid off or face job insecurity and lose pensions.
Gen X They are a product of self-centered, work- driven Baby Boomer parents. They grew up with: Watergate, the Brady Bunch, Izod, microwaves, ET, Sesame Street, VCRs, MTV, and Cabbage Patch Kids, Divorce and their working moms created latchkey kids.
Gen Xers, The first generation to embrace the personal computer and the Internet. They welcome diversity, believe in balance in their lives. Key Words are Freedom, flexibility, and balance.
Gen X are self-reliant, value free time, learning, and having fun.
The Xers want freedom in all aspects of their lives. They want what they want NOW! They communicate by and via the internet. They want short-term opportunities that allow them to act independently, and with a flexible timeline.
The needs and values of Gen X They use meetings as a learning opportunity, rather than as a social event. Today’s young leaders act first and evaluate later This rapid response decision-making is a characteristic of today’s younger people.
Their need for feedback and flexibility, coupled with their hatred of close supervision, is but one of the issues they present to employers
They are personally adept and comfortable with change; after all, they’ve changed cities, homes, and parents all their lives.
Xers are very clear about the meaning of the word “balance” in their lives. They work to live, not live to work.
Money is good but control of your time is the primary goal. Money to Gen X means gaining freedom or access to freedom
Technology has always been a friend…they thought computer games were cool because their parents couldn’t play them.
In the world of technology, the Xers were the only ones who knew how to operate it.
Family happiness and a balance between work and life are on the top of the list for Xers
They are not loyal to their company they work for, they are loyal to their bosses.
Often Gen Xers will approach their careers with the attitude “I’m just going to keep changing jobs until I get the title and the pay I want.
…the average Xer leaves their job every 1.3 years
The good news is that if you can keep them on the job for four years, their turnover numbers drop dramatically.
As long as they are involved and learning and contributing, they’ll stay.
Gen Xers are looking for an employer who is interested in them, cares about them, and wants to get to know them.
But knowing and being interested in your employees is different from being their friend.
Gen Xers don’t want to be bossed, and they don’t need more friends--they want to be led.
Gen Xers believe they deserve input into what is happening around them.
Gen Xers are cynical about meetings and view them largely as a waste of time.
They don’t care for teams Make teams fun, rotate leadership, and change meeting locations and times
They value learning, enjoy learning, and are good at learning and they like teaching themselves.
To keep them engaged, the workplace must become a place to fulfill their desire to learn continuously.
They regard expanding their skill bases as the key to creating futures for themselves.
Gen Xers lose interest when the opportunity to grow and learn is not available.
One key issue with recruiting Gen Xers is that there aren’t many of them, and they know it.
…”If you have a Gen Xer and you don’t like him, just give him a copy of the Manual of Procedure. Just don’t get between him and the door.”
Typical Xer Comments “ I have a family life…so sue me.” It’s hard to manage people over 40 because they want to tell me what to do and how to do it.” There’s no reason I have to suffer in a suit and high heels all day just to look like someone’s idea of a professional.”
Typical Xer Comments “Don’t tell me one more time that you have underwear older than me.” “I’m tired of fixing the problems Boomers caused…and if I have to do that, let me do it my way!” “As far as I know we’ve always had TVs and been able to go to the moon.”
You know you’re an Xer if… You remember the Atari. One of your favorite movies was ET Road trips with the family meant riding backwards in the station wagon. You can’t remember not having a microwave. You typed term papers on a word processor.
Names Gen Xers Recognize Bill Clinton Al Bundy Beavis and Butthead Dennis Rodman Former Soviet Union Lockerbie, Scotland
Key word Skepticism
Look on the front lines of your business. Standing between you and your profits are those talented, sometimes weird-looking, sometimes impossible-to-understand, 16- to 24- year-olds. And if you're not connecting with them, they are not connecting with your customers. In short, your front line is the key to your bottom line.
The Millennials have landed! Now millions of post-Generation Xers are rapidly entering the workforce-and-society-with a whole new set of attitudes,values,and beliefs.
Although they are better educated, more techno-savvy, and quicker to adapt than those who have come before them, they refuse to blindly conform to traditional standards and time- honored institutions.
This 16 to 24 year old generation doesn’t follow the values of their parents They question everything; that’s how they grew up!
Once employers talk values and give them meaningful roles in the company, they will engage Millennial workers
Millennials Call this group 3.5.1, the newest version Among the smartest, cleverest, healthiest, most-wanted people to have ever walked the face of the earth. Their parents see themselves as devoted parents sacrificing to bring this new generation to adulthood
Millennials Think soccer moms and little league dads and nonstop rounds of classes. They’re an optimistic bunch, and what their parents think is important to them. They they think their parents are cool.
Millennials Increasingly Diverse--color blind Need to enjoy where they are working… Training needs to be interactive Focused on improving themselves Recognition is very important
Most important to Millennials Quality friendships Feeling they can make a contribution Feeling of safety
Millennials Mostly planned children Born to parents who wanted to conceive Born into small families Special and Wanted.
When I talk about Millennials I am talking about people who live in the moment. They rely on the immediacy of technology. They demonstrate respect only after they are shown respect.
Millennials They are extremely conscious of the environment. 89% use 80% have internet access. They will spend a third of their lives on the internet.
Millennials To them every household has a computer, CD player, DVD, and video games. They use to talk to “older people” and text messaging to talk to friends.
Raised by parents who want to be their friends Focus on “quality time” Parents “obsessed” with their children “Times outs” with spankings viewed as abuse “Not a good choice” The “teachable moment” exists to correct
Parenting In sports, every child is a winner Children excelled in school or were “special learners” Parents tell their child to “go out and find a good job that makes you happy”
They are the first entirely technologically savvy generation to enter the workplace
The Entitlement Mindset Entitled to cutting-edge technology Entitled to a conflict-free workplace Entitled to constant feedback Entitled to a high salary
Of the three older generations, the one with which they feel the most affinity is the Matures
You know that you are a Millennial if… You typed your term paper on a computer. You always had voice mail. You grew up on play Station or Nintendo. You always had cable TV and remote control. You make your popcorn in the microwave. You’ve considered piercing something besides your ear.
Typical Millennial Comments “So I have a pierced tongue…what does that have to do with my IQ? “I’d like a mentor, not another mother or father.”
Names Millennials Remember Price William MySpace.com Britney Spears Survivor Columbia Space Shuttle 9/11 disaster
Key Word Realistic
Both Gen Xers and Millennials are the “connected generations” Two generations of “always on” people
What links them as the connected generation is their attitude toward technology.
The Connected Generation Constantly upgrading their technology Their technology lets them complete their jobs and get back to what’s really important…their lives.
They both measure an effective work ethic by whether they get their jobs done on time, not by how many hours they work each week.
“If I get my work done on time and to my bosses satisfaction, I should be able to leave.”
“Are you paying me to be here or are you paying me to get the job done?”
Both will cite productivity, not time spent working, as the measurement for the work done.
Gen Xers say “Get a life.” Millennials say “I have a life.” Work comes second
New Rules for both Xers and Millennials Give instant feedback and recognition Don’t assume anything –If you want me to do something, tell me. Use clear straightforward language –Not “You might want to consider.” –They hear that as a suggestion not an order.
Generations Outlook –MaturesPractical –BoomerOptimistic –XerSkeptical –Millennial Hopeful
Generations Work Ethic –MaturesDedicated –BoomerDriven –XerBalanced –Millennial Ambitious
Messages that Shaped Generations Matures –Make do or do with out –Stay in line –Sacrifice –Be heroic –Consider the common good
Messages that Shaped Generations Boomer –Be anything you want to be –Change the world –Work well with others –Live up to expectations –Duck and cover
Messages that Shaped Generations Gen X –Don’t count on it –Remember-heroes-aren’t –Get Real –Survive--Stayin’ Alive –Ask “why?”
Messages that Shaped Generations Millennials Be Smart--you are special Leave no one behind Connect 24/7 Achieve Now! Serve your community
How Parenting Differed Matures Discipline Schedules Conformity Strict obedience “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child”
How Parenting Differed Boomers Dr. Spock Throw away the schedule Love and nuture, pamper and cherish Stay-at-home moms
How Parenting Differed Xers Parenting by proxy Working moms Latchkey children Soaring divorce rates Autonomy and independence
How Parenting Differed Millennials Parent advocacy Put children first Soccer moms Supervision Strictness on drugs, drinking, and driving
Adapting Your Style We’ve all had experences when we really connected with someone. And we all had a disconnect with someone. These disconnects can happen when people are from different generations.
Adapting Your Style Communication experts tell us that it’s a matter of rapport. Establishing rapport is based on the principle that people connect with people who are like them. Think…Law of Magnetism
The Golden Rule The Golden Rule--do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This works incredibly well when people are carbon copies of each other. It assumes everyone sees the world as you do and is motivated just as you are This can cause a disconnect when the person is different from you.
The Titanium Rule Author Clare Raines suggests a new Rule… Do unto others, keeping their preferences in mind. When we recognize someone’s preferences, we honor them. By adapting our style for other generations, we slip into a different frame of reference. We become more flexible.
Managing generational diversity requires diplomacy It requires understanding the generations, and the dynamics between them.
Principles for Mixing Generations Successfully 2. Offer Options –It is no longer a “one size fits all” world. Example…coffee yesterday –Today we expect options …Starbucks today
Principles for Mixing Generations Successfully 3. Build on strengths –Recognize the unique strengths of each individual. –People are urged to become more of who they already are.
Principles for Mixing Generations Successfully 4. Pursue Different Perspectives Choose people with varied backgrounds and perspectives. –Recognize where you are missing diversity. –Recruit people who are not carbon copies of you.
Conflicts between generations are largely due to differing perspectives on work ethic and work-life balance
ClashPoints The collisions that arise when two generations bump headlong into each other.
Clashpoints Around Leadership “chain of command” Matures “change of command” Boomers “self-command” Xers “Don’t command – collaborate!” Millennials
Clashpoints around Job Changing Matures “Job changing carries a stigma.” Boomers “Job changes puts you behind.” Gen Xers “Job changing is necessary.” Millennials “Job changing is part of my daily routine.”
Clashpoints on Feedback: Matures “No news is good news.” Boomers “Feedback once a year, with lots of documentation!” Gen Xers “Sorry to interrupt, but how am I doing?” Millennials “ Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button.”
Clashpoints & Career Goals: Matures “Build a legacy.” Boomers “Build a strong career.” Gen X “Build a portable career.” Millennials “Build a parallel career.”
Clashpoints around Rewards: Matures“The satisfaction of a job well done.” Boomers “Money, title, recognition, the corner office.” Gen Xers “Freedom is the ultimate reward.” Millennials “Work that has meaning for me.”
Clashpoints around Conflict: Matures “Avoid Conflict with a supervisor.” Boomers “Let’s bring the team together and we’ll resolve this.” Gen Xers “tell their coworkers in a straightforward way if they disagree.” Millennials…Avoid “in your face” conflicts.
Clashpoints around Training Matures- They arrive early & preview materials…Get coffee half hour early Boomers- Want social time before training starts Xers- Do not waste time with “feel good” activities Millennials- Need to capture and keep their attention
Tom Peters was quoted as saying, “If your top management isn’t spending at least a half day once a month sitting down with someone twenty-five years old or younger, then they are blowing it.