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FOUR GENERATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE Communicating and working within a multi-generational workforce.

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Presentation on theme: "FOUR GENERATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE Communicating and working within a multi-generational workforce."— Presentation transcript:

1 FOUR GENERATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE Communicating and working within a multi-generational workforce

2 What we have here is a failure to communicate... 2  “The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.” Aristotle  “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Aristotle  “All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” Aristotle  “Ah, the pity, youth is wasted on the young.” George Bernard Shaw  Boomers won’t admit they’re old until three years after they’re dead. (anonymous)

3 THE FOUR GENERATIONS AT WORK IN TODAY’S LAW OFFICE The Silent Generation – 50 million (a/k/a The Traditionals) Baby Boomers – 76 – 90 million (estimates vary) GenX – million (estimates vary) GenY – 75 million (a/k/a The Millennials, Gen Next, The Echo Boomers) 48 Million balance of the U.S. population is the GI Generation (the very old) and the beginning of Generation Alpha (the very young)

4 We’re Living Longer  For the first time in history, there are four generations working together in the law office.  Is it any wonder we’re having communication issues over work, family, life, politics, mores.  In 1940, the first monthly social security check was issued to Ida May Fuller, a retired legal secretary.  Back when the first social security checks were issued, many joked, “just how many people are going to live to age 65 anyway?” And, not many did.  Except for Ida Mae who died in 1975 at age

5 U.S.A. Average Life Expectancy  1930  1940  1950  1970  1990  2005  In 75 years  59.7  62.9 (SS age set at 65)  68.2  70.8  75.4  77.8  18 years increase in average life expectancy 5

6 Follow the Boomers 6  The tidal wave of babies that began in 1948 changed every aspect of American life.  Boomers’ parents were born and raised during The Great Depression.  Boomers were told by their Depression-era parents that they were lucky to have a job, any job  Which is what Millennials are being told today.  Millennials are expected to have as big an impact on society as the Boomers

7 Recent Surveys & Trends 7  76% of Boomers intend to keep working and earning after retiring from their regular job –2005 Merrill Lynch survey  61% of attorneys surveyed n 2007 by legal consultants Altman Weil said they would continue to work in some capacity after “retirement;” 48% of these lawyers plan to continue practicing law.  The legal marketplace has not addressed retirement of the Baby Boomers  ABA has coined terms such as “Encore Career” and “Senior Tsunami”

8 What is happening now... 8  12% of Americans were 65 and over on July 1, 2004  By 2050, 21% of Americans will be age 65 and over  ( erstats.htm) erstats.htm  Contrast this against the fact that the average American lawyer does not hit his/her career “peak” until about age 54 and stays on that plateau until about age 62, and then the retirement transition might begin (

9 The Senior Tsunami 9  According to a January 2007 report by the National Association of Bar Counsel and the Association of Professional Responsibility Joint Committee on Aging Lawyers (whew!), neither the ABA nor any State Bar has compiled demographic data on the “aging of the profession.”  The senior wave has not crested; the peak of Boomer births is (2010 = 53 year olds)  The chart on this next slide is the most recent from the ABA.

10 Aging of the Profession In 2000, 44% of American Lawyers were age % change % of all lawyers under 40 44% of all lawyers under 40 33% of all lawyers under % 37% of all lawyers 40 & over 46% of all lawyers 40 & over 56% of all lawyers 40 & over +19 % 13% of all lawyers over 65 10% of all lawyers over 65 12% of all lawyers over % 24% of all lawyers age 40 – 65 36% of all lawyers age % of all lawyers age 40 – % MEDIAN AGE

11 Younger lawyers vs. Older Lawyers 11  Many older lawyers believe that younger lawyers are “slackers” because they won’t “work hard” like they had to work  Many younger lawyers believe that older lawyers are workaholics  Now that you have a better perspective, you know both sentiments are incorrect  To wit: Boomers worked hard to improve their children’s quality of life, and they succeeded  Now, these Boomers have to work with two generations that BELIEVE in work/home balance

12 Becoming the Next Generation of Leaders 12  Plan to acquire management skills  Leadership training  Strategic planning training  Project management training  As GenX and GenY lawyers transition into leadership positions, they must acknowledge that senior (Boomer) lawyers need to acquire alternative skill sets and assume new roles in the law office.  Smart leaders don’t throw away experience  Marketing, Mentoring, “Second Chair,” Standardizing work product, Conflict avoidance management, Ethics counsel, Records information management (duty to preserve issues)

13 THE FOUR GENERATIONS AT WORK IN TODAY’S LAW OFFICE Q & A You have questions? LOMAS has answers!

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