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Generational Differences: How can we work with old people and not want to smack them? Karlene Belyea, MBA Chief Executive Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "Generational Differences: How can we work with old people and not want to smack them? Karlene Belyea, MBA Chief Executive Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Generational Differences: How can we work with old people and not want to smack them? Karlene Belyea, MBA Chief Executive Officer

2 Generations in the Workplace–A Video Example for-worlds-problems-caused-by-previous- generations-in-viral-video#tscptmf

3 Definition of a Generation A generation is a group of people within a particular society defined by age boundaries—those who were born during a certain time period. People in a generation share similar experiences growing up, and their values and attitudes, particularly about work-related topics, tend to be similar, based on those shared experiences during their formative years.

4 The Silent Generation (Matures) 1925-1945 Duty, honor, country, dedication and sacrifice, unity, national pride Age = respect

5 In the News…

6 Popular Culture & Entertainment

7 Things in our Lives…

8 Important things to remember about Matures Dedicated to a job once they take it. Respectful of authority, even if it sometimes frustrates them. Place duty before pleasure. Patience is a virtue and are willing to wait for the delayed reward. Honor and integrity are critical parts of their being. Resistant to change and will tend to avoid it. Reluctant to challenge the system.

9 Boomers (1946-1964) Work ethic, live to work, optimistic, defined by their job, competitive, all about status

10 In the News…

11 Popular Culture & Entertainment

12 Thing in our lives…

13 Important things to remember about boomers Live to work. Have a general sense of optimism regardless of what happens. The size of their generation has allowed them unprecedented influence on government policy and consumer products. Have always been willing to go into debt, betting on future income. Tend to be team and process oriented, sometimes to the detriment of results. Very nostalgic about their youth and seek to preserve it. Strive for convenience and personal gratification.

14 Gen X (1980-1965) Self reliant, work to live NOT live to work, ease in technology, loyal to boss not the company Mentor – “Give me the project and let me do it.”

15 In the news…

16 Popular Culture & Entertainment

17 Things in our lives…

18 Important things to remember about Generation X Work to live. Jobs are viewed within the context of a contract. Clear and consistent expectations are essential. Providing the opportunity to grow will lengthen tenure. A sense of contribution while having fun will keep an X-er productive. Earning money is only one part of a larger equation which includes contribution to the whole. Versatility of skills and experiences ensures employability. Very, very, very independent.

19 Millennials (1980-2000) Multi-taskers, want to be “famous”, instant gratification, a product of the failed self-esteem movement, at home in a diverse, technologically sophisticated world, raised by “helicopter parents” Mentor – “Do the project with me and then turn me loose.”

20 In the news…

21 Popular Culture & Entertainment

22 Things in our lives…

23 Important things to remember about Millennials Conditioned to live in the moment. Used to the immediacy of technology and expect everything with it. Clear and consistent expectations are essential to ensure productivity. Earn money for the purpose of immediate consumption. Will demonstrate respect only after they have been treated with respect. Have grown up learning to question everything. As a generation, they are astoundingly diverse demographically.

24 Communications Challenges

25 Each generation makes assumptions about the younger generations… Younger generations will define “success” the same way we have. Younger workers should follow the same path we did to achieve that success. Younger workers need to “pay their dues”

26 Common Strategies for the Older Generations Villainize: “Young associates just aren’t what they used to be.” Tolerate: “We have no choice. We have to let them work here.”

27 Common Strategies for the Younger Generations Villainize: “Old people are so out of it. They don’t get anything, especially technology or having a life.” Tolerate: “We just have to be patient. Change will happen one funeral at a time.”

28 Generation Gap If you think about it as a GENERATION GAP it leads to an “Us versus Them” Mentality.

29 Instead, think of it as a Generation Opportunity to ENGAGE! Experienced individuals can benefit from the contribution the next generation will make. Young people can learn from the wisdom and experience already available.

30 Exceptional Veterinary Team One where practice owners, associates, staff, and students can learn, thrive and make a difference for their profession. Take advantage of the opportunity instead of increasing the gap.

31 Strategy for Success Recognize and suspend the bias of your own experience. Learn how to speak their language. Build relationships. “Everybody thinks of changing humanity (associates/colleagues/staff) and nobody thinks of changing himself.” -Leo Tolstoy

32 “What is it about the older/younger generation that pushes my buttons?” Why am I so bothered by the fact that my associates feel differently than I do about work-life balance? What threats do Matures, Millennials, Boomers, & Generation X values represent? What role do I play in causing tension between us? How will I need to change in order to take advantage of the generation opportunity?

33 Build Relationships Think of someone in your practice. How can you build a relationship with that person? Tacit knowledge, the knowledge captured within the experience of people who have spent a career acquiring it, can only be transferred through relationships.

34 Implementation Example for Discussion

35 Dr. Boomer can… Assume the generational stereotype about Dr. Millennial (she is being disrespectful) and tell her to do what she is told, or Try to understand what caused Dr. Millennial’s frustration and attempt to brainstorm an effective approach to training.

36 Dr. Millennial could have… Worded her concern differently – “I see you are keeping me focused on the basics. What is your thinking behind this?” Given him an opportunity to explain his rationale, opening up the lines of communication in a constructive way.

37 Generational Tips Each generation is shaped by the era in which they grew up. Don’t make assumptions based on generational stereotypes. Every team member brings multiple skills and talents. Learn to ask questions that will get you to the root of the issue. The key is first listening. Focus on effectively communicating about issues underlying a conflict to enhance teamwork.

38 Generational Tips Remind yourself of what you stand to gain by taking advantage of the generational opportunity. Older generations bring wisdom and experience; younger generations bring enthusiasm and a new way of doing things. The combination of these varied approaches leads to synergy and innovation!

39 Just to recap…

40 MVMA thanks Dr. Betsy Charles for sharing her work and articles on generational strategies.

41 If you have questions, the MVMA staff has resources to assist you! Contact MVMA at (517) 347-4710 or Visit our website at

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