Linda Keane ITHRFinanceMarketing Project Mgmt Corporate (both small & large) Entry Level Management Executive Mgmt People & Processes Consulting Management Executive Level Industries: Pharmaceutical Clinical Research Clinical Testing Systems, Banking, Recruiting and more… MAPEX focus: Training & Teams Professional Coach Process Strategic Planning Meeting Facilitation Speaking Project Mgmt Change Mgmt and more…
What to expect! What is it? Why you need to care? –Understand the generational groupings –Reasons to proactively address –Issues that arise in the workplace Align versus bridge the generations –Relationship/Communication skills –Organizational HR strategy Questions & Answers
Quote “The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction” -Jawaharlal Nehru
Generation All of the people who were born at approximately the same time, considered as a group, and especially when considered as having shared interests and attitudes. --as defined in the Encarta Dictionary English (North America)
The Generational Groupings Traditionalist BoomerGen X’ers Millennials Four Groups in the work place at once!
Traditionalists a.k.a. Silents, Veterans Born: 1900 – 1945 Values: Responsible Loyal Family & Tradition Risk averse Conservative Work Ethic: Work and sacrifice Dedicated and loyal Job for life Heads down and do job Communicate face-face Authority Respect it Structured Chain of command Embrace it Clear lines Influences Great depression WWII War on poverty Money Savers Buying first home! Pay in cash Culture TV, Rotary phone Personal cars Drive ins Letter writing & memos
Boomers a.k.a. Baby Boomers Born: 1946 – 1964 Values: Optimistic Can change the world Distrust authority Self gratification Personal growth Work Ethic: Driven workaholics You are what you do Loyal to expense of personal life Title & money Authority: Question authority Non-trusting Understand paying your dues Influences JFK & MLK Cold War Assassinations Vietnam War Civil Rights movement War on crime Money Lost retirement savings in.com bust – will have to work much longer Spend now, pay later Culture: American dream Motown & Beatles TV & Touchtone phone Psychedelic age Folk music Soul searching
Gen X’er a.k.a. Generation X, Nexters Born: 1965 – 1980 Values: Fun and informal Skeptical Self-reliant Pragmatic Work Ethic: Desire work-life balance Move jobs to compete Loyal to self first Lower work priority gives perception of slacking Authority: Unimpressed by it Saw failing role models Question authority Influences Watergate Desert Storm Fall of Berlin Wall Iran hostages Challenger explosion War on drugs Money A little more cautious and conservative with money Culture: Two-working parents Latch Key kids Internet & Cell phones Star Wars Trilogy Michael Jackson Sesame Street
Millennials a.k.a. Gen Y Born: 1981 – 2000 Values: Believe can do anything Confident Social and fun Civic duty Achievement oriented Respect diversity Work Ethic: Observed lack of company loyalty Not overly enthusiastic Hard worker-determined Multi-taskers Need feedback Short termers Authority Unimpressed Don’t respect “know-it- all” bosses Respect knowledge/skill over position/rank Want a say in how it’s done Influences: School shootings Lack of company loyalty Oklahoma City & 9/11 Iraq & Afghanistan War on terrorism Money: Earn to spend Culture Two working parents Non-traditional families Digital generation Reality TV
Feedback scenarios…. Traditionalists and BoomersGen X’ers and Millennials Photos Had to do something BIG to get a photo taken! Photos Were born having a photo taken! Performances Had to be really good to get a standing ovation! Performances Standing ovations even if they were bad! Relatives fly in for performances. Awards/Trophies Limited and hard to obtain! Awards/Trophies Given just for showing up! On the Job Traditionalist: No news is good news Boomers: once/year with lots of documentation On the Job Gen X’er: Sorry to interrupt but how am I doing? Millennial: Feedback at push of button when I want it
QUESTION?: THE RESUME: What is perceived by a hiring manager if a person has changed jobs a lot?
QUESTION?: The RESUME What is perceived by a hiring manager if a person has changed jobs a lot? Answer: Depends on the generation! Traditionalist – may think its devastating Boomer – may think person can’t keep a job Gen X’er – may think it’s a necessity Millennial – may think it is a positive thing
Perception PERCEPTION can create a reality Manage it well and it can be successful Don’t manage it or manage it poorly and it can be devastating ….this applies to the generational issue
Perception Is perception affecting your company’s reality? Do you have generational perception issues? –Boomers as workaholics –Millennials as lazy and entitled Do you have managers and employees unfairly assessing each other based on their generational view?
Quote “I have a different idea of a universal. It is of a universal rich with all that is particular, rich with all the particulars there are, the deepening of each particular, the coexistence of them all.” –Aimé Césaire (poet)
Why proactively address issue? Demographics are changing! –Labor force is decreasing 76 million will retire in the next two decades* Only 46 million will be arriving to replace them* Many of those retiring are executives –As Millennials enter in larger numbers issues will magnify Millennials have been described as the most high maintenance, yet potentially most high- performing generation * American Society of Training & Development
Why proactively address issue? Minimize organization conflict and disruption Ensure organization strategy for succession and longevity Create a positive work environment for all generations for retaining and recruiting talent
Issues that arise in workplace Technology learning curve Technology life cycle is now 12-24 months For Traditionalists and Boomers, it changes just as they assimilate the last version For Millennials, it is life as they know it
Issues that arise in workplace Technology learning curve –Give a young person a device with a button and they will push it and learn what it does –Give an older person a device with a button and they will ask what it does before they push it (source: unknown)
A question…. How and where did Kennedy die? What would they say?: Veteran & Boomer: –Gunshot, Dallas, Texas Gen X’er –Near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts in a plane crash Millennial –Kennedy?
Issues that arise in workplace Relationships & Communication People communicate based on their generational background –It creates the starting point for understanding –With 4 different generations, there are 4 different starting points –This sets up too many assumptions!
Issues that arise in workplace Relationships & Communication –What is said versus what is heard Said Heard In my day It’s the only way You don’t get it You’re not smart You have it easy You don’t work hard I’m the boss My boss doesn’t care …Avoid trigger statements like these!
Issues that arise in workplace Relationships & Communication “This needs to be done now” -To a Traditionalist or Boomer: It means do it right now, it must be urgent -To a Gen X’er – it’s a commentary, the urgency is not assumed
Issues that arise in workplace Resolving issues in these two major areas: –Technology learning curve –Relationships and communication Results in: –Less time needed from Human Resources and Management resolving issues –Increased productivity –Improved communications –Happier workforce
Align versus bridge Traditionalist Boomer Millennial Gen X’er Bridge – something that provides a link, connection or means of coming together - as defined in the Encarta Dictionary English (North America) Bridging allows groups to stay segregated and the organization therefore doesn’t reap the benefits of the diversity
Align versus bridge Boomer Traditionalist Gen X’er Millennial Align –to bring something into correct position with respect to each other or something else or come into this position. -- as defined in the Encarta Dictionary English (North America) Aligning gets everyone moving in the same direction, maximizing the contribution by each group and individual.
Align versus bridge Boomer Traditionalist Gen X’er Millennial So how do you align the generations? Organization Success !
Align versus bridge 1.Communication techniques –Back to communication skills basics! Be clear and concise Do not make assumptions Reflecting technique Training –Foster and model open communications Employee Employee, Manager Employee –Multiple formats for all corporate messages Validate the message was heard and understood
Align versus bridge 2.Relationship building techniques –Back to relationship skills basics Build cross generational teams Reward/encourage cross sharing Make mentoring and networking a constant –Encourage face-to-face when appropriate –Find the value Don’t always look for what to change
Align versus bridge 3.Collaboration versus competition –Know what you are rewarding Performance evaluation Bonuses Verbal and written mid-term accolades How/who are you promoting and why –Buddy system Technology Leadership Knowledge transfer
Align versus bridge 4.Spend time understanding your team(s) and organization make up and work styles –How do they relate & communicate –Establish agreed methods, processes and acceptable access times/days –Create sharing opportunities –Educate on generational differences
Align versus bridge 5.Work/Life balance priorities –Understand generational differences –Implement flex schedules, pay, and benefits to acknowledge differing work/life priorities 6.Generational differences can bring value –Learn to leverage what each generation has to give
Align versus bridge 7.Unify goals and set clear expectations –Be specific and clear –Set and follow 8.Respect for ALL generations –Must start at the top with senior management and HR –Model the behavior and attitude you want in your organization
Organization Strategy HR must lead Get in on the strategy table Ensure your organization understands its demographics –Resulting labor force impact –Resulting business impact Knowledge, products, expenses, profit/loss
Organizational Strategy Build a generational strategy that will work in your environment –Work processes –Retention & Succession –Recruiting –Training –Teams –Pay and Benefits –Motivation
Organizational Strategy As you address the strategic items: Understand what the generations in your organization want –DO NOT assume you know –Assume and you may be doing the wrong things –Ask and probe
Organizational Strategy As you address the strategic items: Remember training and coaching –Typically the first budget cut, but generationally everyone benefits –Be creative if budgets are tight –Explain cost of doing nothing
Organizational Strategy As you address the strategic items: Deliver on what you say! –Review company mission/vision statements Revise or take down if you are not living it –Have a clear statement about Corporate responsibility Deliver on it –When recruiting, sell only what you can deliver to new hires To keep them, deliver on it
Organizational Strategy Prepare a strategy that identifies: Facts and data Current demographics and impact Generational diversity Opportunities and corresponding strategies Challenges and corresponding strategies State strategy in business operations and financial terms so they see real impact
Organizational Strategy Potential IssuesHow to eliminate or minimize? Different decision making approach (e.g. consensus vs. individual) Set rules on decision making with clear expectations on who needs to be involved at various levels Desire different recognition for achievement Involve managers/supervisors in how to reward their employees. Allow flexibility within a specific range(s) Different opinions on technologyShow real value of technology to Traditionalists/Boomers. Show younger generations how “doing it the old fashion way” has merit in certain instances. Issues retaining newly recruited talent Do not oversell what we can give the employee To help set strategy identify generational issues and how to minimize. EXAMPLE:
Organizational Strategy OpportunitiesHow to capitalize Gen X and Millennials are strong in technology Pair these individuals with those who struggle –maybe make it fun! Boomers work well in teamsInvolve these people in team work and mentoring situations Gen X’ers are loyalHelp them build strong networks within your Organization so they will be less likely to leave Traditionalists and Boomers need to work for pay/benefits, but want more time off Explore part-time with benefit or job sharing options To help set strategy identify generational opportunities and how to capitalize EXAMPLE:
Organizational Strategy Educate and Communicate –Executive Team and Management on the issues and strategy for capitalizing Integrate key initiatives into overall company strategy documents –Specific training and communications for manager and supervisors –Training and communication for staff
As you know…. If you are not leading, you are just managing!