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Mixing and Managing Generations in the Workforce.

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Presentation on theme: "Mixing and Managing Generations in the Workforce."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mixing and Managing Generations in the Workforce

2 Who are these Generational Groups Shared life experiences Shared Beliefs / characteristics Why should this matter to you as managers? Communication Team Building Leadership

3 The Veterans Born prior to 1945 The Baby Boomers Born 1945-1964 Generation X Born 1965-1980 Generation Y/(Millenials) Born 1981-1993 Generation Z (entering) Born 1994-2004

4 Percentage in the workforce 12.8% Veterans 25.7% Boomers 20.4% Gen X 27.6% Gen Y


6 Dedicated to job once they take it Respectful of authority, even when frustrated Duty before pleasure Patience is a virtue Honor and integrity critical Reluctant to challenge the system Give maximum effort

7 Appreciate formality and order Reluctant to challenge how things are done Expect them to be honest and straightforward, but tactful Comfortable with top-down, command and control systems with leadership clearly defined Bound by duty, tradition and loyalty

8 Live to work – give maximum effort Results driven Plan to stay with organization over the long term Retain what they learn General sense of optimism Unprecedented influence Willing to go into debt Tend to be team and process oriented Strive for convenience & personal gratification Individuality, tolerance and sometimes self-absorption

9 Positive, confident Like being the star of the show Like to build consensus around their plan “Thank God it’s Monday” Watch their response to face-to-face updates Like loose structures that have temporary teams and task forces and informal power centers Long hours and hard work is honorable

10 Technology savvy Like informality Learn quickly Seek work/life balance Embrace diversity Jobs viewed w/in context of contract Sense of contribution while having fun Versatility provides security Don’t trust institutions “Marriage is forever, but my parents got divorced.” “If you work hard, you’ll always have a job. But my parents were laid off.”

11 Work to live, but expect work to be fun and help them grow Not loyal to the employer, but will stay longer if development opportunities exist Value and expect a certain degree of autonomy A job is more than a way to make money Like diversity Self-reliant Appreciates directness Aren’t into teams or meetings, unless they call them Equate structure with bureaucracy Like flexibility of work hours May want to leave the office at 3:00 to attend an event for kids, but they will login after the kids are in bed

12 Pick up on new technology very quickly Drawn to authenticity, consistent expectations, autonomy Like informality Embrace diversity Demonstrate respect only after treated with respect Learn quickly Conditioned to live in the moment Like things NOW Earn money for immediate consumption Question everything

13 Expect a desire for coaching / mentoring Want fast upward mobility Not worried about organizational hierarchy Will work hard if you give them a reason to work hard Interested in work results more than work hours Want flexibility, want to work hard, get the job done and then go home Want to be involved in decisions/ direction Meaningful work very important

14 Limited research so far on this generation on the brink of being a part of the workforce Growing up on the web, fully expects instant gratification. They thrive on acceleration and next, next, next. To Gen Z, dial-up is as ancient as the dinosaurs. Grown up with social communities, such as Facebook. They value the ability to spread messages to vast sums of internet users. Find little value in privacy; personal information is only sensitive when it comes to money and everything else is fair game. (Consider the issue of privacy as it cascades through Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. Privacy is less of a concern with the more tech- savvy generations.)

15 Understanding these differences can help us: Communicate more effectively Improve Customer Service Train more effectively Understanding what motivates each Generational Group Recruit and Retain employees Engage employees Lead more effectively

16 Veterans Face-to-face communication Baby Boomers Face-to-face communication Generation X Uses most efficient type of communication style Generation Y/Z Instant message, text message, and social networks

17 Recognize subtle differences and tailor communications Delegate work in a way that involves the strengths of each group Hold fewer and shorter meetings for Generations X and Y Customize educational programs to meet individual employee’s preferences

18 Veterans and Baby Boomers prefer classroom training Gen X may take online training course to do at home (after the kids are in bed) Gen Y and Gen Z uploads podcasts into their iPod to listen to while driving home at night

19 Veterans Don’t give feedback unless necessary Consider that no news is good news Cautious with feedback Baby Boomers Give feedback in a structured way Annual performance reviews Generation X Give/want candid, direct, timely and honest feedback Generation Y Candid and continuous Comfortable with upward feedback (regardless of status in the organization)

20 Comparisons of events and themes throughout the years.

21 Create positive working relationships by gaining trust and respecting their experience without being intimidated by it Ask for and listen to their experiences – they have valuable knowledge to share Gain their confidence by demonstrating compassion and understanding

22 Show appreciation for their energy and hard work Approach them with respect for their achievements Involve them in participating in the organization’s direction and implementation of change initiatives Challenge them to contributing as part of a team to solve organizational problems Offer opportunities to serve as a coach as part of the change process Support work/life balance Later years

23 Respect the experiences that have shaped their beliefs and thinking Tell them the truth Clearly identify boundaries Honor sense of work/life balance Offer mentoring programs Clearly communication that repetitive tasks and quality checks are part of the job Offer learning opportunities

24 Take time to orient them with respect to the organization’s culture Provide structure and strong leadership Be clear about expectations and long-term goals Set them up with a mentor right away Give them challenging projects to work on Listen when they challenge the status quo

25 Not everyone has all the characteristics of their generation Don’t assume everyone has the same needs/ preferences All generalizations are dangerous, even this one…. Alexandre Dumas, 1824-1895 Good guidelines to help build understanding

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