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Generational Differences Anna Abbey & Sharon Ridings OGC Diversity Dialogue Initiative March 24, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Generational Differences Anna Abbey & Sharon Ridings OGC Diversity Dialogue Initiative March 24, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Generational Differences Anna Abbey & Sharon Ridings OGC Diversity Dialogue Initiative March 24, 2011

2 What are the four generations in the workplace and why should we care?

3 Welcome There are four flip charts around the room. Each flip chart has a generational label written at the top:  Traditionalists  Baby Boomers  Generation X  Millennials Write down one or two ways you’ve heard this generation described.

4 The breakdown Traditionalists ▫ ▫End of WWII ▫Approximately 75 Million Baby Boomers ▫ ▫Largest population ever born in the US. ▫Approximately 80 Million Gen-Xers ▫ ▫Smaller but influential ▫Approximately 46 Million Millennials ▫ ▫Approximately 76 Million

5 Traditionalist Born: 1937 Boomer Born: 1949 Gen X Born: 1970 Millennial Born: 1981

6 Generational Diversity Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival. ~ Rene Dubos Objectives ▫Gain a clearer understanding of generational differences ▫Understand the benefits of generational diversity ▫Appreciate the need to communicate with respect ▫Learn to tap into experiences and talents of others

7 Why look at generational differences? 60+% of employers: experience tension between generations 70+% of older employees: dismissive of younger workers abilities 50+% of younger employees: dismissive of older workers abilities * * Managing the Millennials, 2010

8 Why look at generational differences? Benefits: ▫Increased teamwork and productivity ▫Full engagement ▫Less frustration in the workplace ▫More effective communication ▫More effective motivational efforts ▫Appreciation for similarities

9 How do you define a generation? Generation: The entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time. What makes each generation unique?

10 What Creates a Generation? Life cycle effects ▫We change as we age Period effects ▫We are affected by the major events in our lives Cohort effects ▫We are affected most as young adults * Pew study, 2010

11 Generational Values What do you value most ▫Helping others in need? ▫Living a very religious life? ▫Owning a home? ▫Having a successful marriage? ▫Having lots of free time? ▫Becoming famous? ▫Being a good parent? ▫Having a high paying career? ▫Other?

12 Generational Values * Pew study, 2010

13 Discussion Identify the societal, cultural, personalities and\or events that “define” your generation on post it notes. Group according to your generation  Traditionalists  Baby Boomers  Generation X  Millennials Discuss, and record results on the flip chart and have someone brief the class.

14 How does each generation approach work?

15 Discussion Go stand under the label that best fits the generation you represent. Discuss with your group and record on your flip chart what you see as some of the differences between your generation and the other generations. Choose a spokesperson to share your comments.

16 Examples of Differences

17 “Job Changing” * When Generations Collide, 2005; Pew study, 2010 Job changing…Likely to stay in their current job for the rest of their working life TraditionalistsCarries a stigma - Baby BoomersPuts you behind84% Gen XIs necessary62% MillennialsPart of my routine42%

18 Motivators Traditionalists Allow time to “complete their duty”; invoke the face to face approach (The satisfaction of a job well done) Baby Boomers Allow opportunities to build consensus amidst co-workers and demonstrate their levels of expertise (Money, title, recognition, the corner office) Gen Xers Allow them to prioritize projects as they see fit (Freedom) Millennials Offer training and challenging assignments at a fast pace (Work that has meaning)

19 Technology * Pew study, 2010

20 Traditionalist Born: 1928 Boomer Born: 1955 Gen X Born: 1973 Millennial Born: 1984

21 Technology * Pew study, 2010

22 Technology * Pew study, 2010

23 The solution to all of our problems

24 Communication Understand how we communicate Ask good questions Listen effectively Share expectations Written communication Be open to differences!

25 Asking good questions Prevents you from relying on assumptions Improves your understanding Helps you make better decisions Builds relationships and trust Such as: ▫What is your preferred form of communication? ▫What sort of feedback would you prefer? ▫What are your expectations?

26 Listen effectively Listen without thinking about your own responses or judgments Pay attention to tone, body language, etc. Restate to make sure you understood correctly Ask both clarifying and probing questions Use the three channels

27 Share expectations Reflect on what you expect from coworkers and managers Find an appropriate time to discuss Share your expectations as appropriate, ask for theirs

28 Written communication Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation Mind your P’s and Q’s Review your writing NEVER USE ALL CAPS Be clear when conveying emotion Beware of sarcasm Use humor appropriately Avoid emoticons in professional settings ;)

29 ? ? ? ?

30 Sources Espinoza, Chip. Managing the Millennials. Wiley Lancaster, Lynne. The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace. Harper Lancaster, Lynne. When Generations Collide. Collins Publishing MDA Learning Center. Generational Differences Presentation. Pew Research Center. The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. Feb Sujansky, Joanne. Keeping the Millennials. Wiley Zemke, Ron. Generations at Work. AMA Publications


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