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Managing Multiple Generations at Work Jeff Davis Leadership Development Consultant UMASS Donahue Institute Organization Renewal Associates August 14, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Multiple Generations at Work Jeff Davis Leadership Development Consultant UMASS Donahue Institute Organization Renewal Associates August 14, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Multiple Generations at Work Jeff Davis Leadership Development Consultant UMASS Donahue Institute Organization Renewal Associates August 14, 2007

2 2 OBJECTIVES Better understand the different generations at work Learn why there is inter-generational conflict between employees at work Gain insight into how to manage employees more effectively no matter what generation they represent

3 3 WHO IS IN THE WORKFORCE TODAY? Leaders must deal with the fact that there are many different groups in the workforce

4 4 FOUR GENERATIONS AT WORK Silents: born before 1946 (ages 62-83) Baby Boomers : born 1946 – 1964 (ages 43-61) Generation X : born 1965 – 1977 (ages 30-42) Generation Y : born 1978 – 1986 (ages 21-29)

5 5 COMPOSITION OF WORKFORCE Silent Generation : 10% and decreasing fast Baby Boomers :45% and decreasing slowly Gen Xers : 30% and increasing slowly Gen Yers : 15% and increasing fast

6 Silents Recognize These 6

7 Events that Shaped Silents WW II The Great Depression 7

8 8 SILENT GENERATION (born before 1946 [ages 62-83]) Silents rely on the tried, true and tested ways of doing things. Like hierarchy and order Comfortable with very directive leadership Willing to climb the ladder patiently Difficulty adjusting to change

9 Baby Boomers Recognize These 9

10 Events that Shaped Boomers Vietnam War Watergate Topples Presidency Civil Rights Struggle Watergate Scandal 10

11 11 BABY-BOOMERS (born 1946 – 1964 [ages 43-61]) Boomers paid their dues and climbed the ladder under the old rules. Pride themselves on survival skills Feel betrayed by downsizing, reengineering and restructuring Believe in value of hard work; competitive Idealistic and value democratic work environment View work groups as social groups Seek to change institutions

12 Generation X Recognizes These 12

13 Events that Shaped Generation X Corporate Downsizing Technology Becomes Fun Communism Collapses The 1980s 13

14 14 GENERATION X (born 1965 – 1977 [ages 30-42]) Xers formed the vanguard of the free-agent workforce. Very resourceful Want to stay on the cutting edge Suspicious of institutions Willing to break the rules Very adaptive to change and new technology

15 Generation Y Recognizes These 15

16 Events Thats Shaped Generation Y Internet / www. Globalization Unprecedented Level of Affluence Global War on Terror Reality TV 16

17 17 GENERATION Y born 1978 – 1986 (ages 21-29) GenYers are the children of Baby Boomers and the optimistic, upbeat younger siblings of Generation X. Global citizens and environmentally conscious Volunteer-minded and socially conscious Realistic and pragmatic Cyber literate & media savvy Concerned about personal safety Institutions judged by their own merit Do everything fast – even instant

18 18 CUSPERS Sometimes called Tweeners – those born within three years of the end of a generation – beginning or end. Tweeners often resemble the previous or next generation, not the one that they are in, due to individual or local factors. This fact reminds us not to categorize outright, but observe individuals behaviors and attitudes.

19 19 WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND? Think about the challenges you have faced leading workers who are of a different generation. what do you appreciate about other generations? what confuses you about other generations?

20 INTER-GENERATIONAL CONFLICT 23 Most inter-generational conflicts share a common point of origin: the issue of CLOUT – who has it, and who wants it. Dr. Jennifer Deal, author, Retiring the Generation Gap

21 25 THE GENERATIONS: DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS GenerationWork/Life BalanceWork Environment/Ethics Baby Boomers In the past, worked until the job was completed but over the last few years, value work/life balance more (in order to care for family and aging parents) Favor collaborative learning and working in teams Expect hard work to be appreciated by management Generation X Flexible work time, alternative work arrangements and vacation time are highly valued Knowledge is power Dont care what others think Prefer to work alone Laid back/fun Generation Y Expect balance – more family- centric Employers are expected to work around their various activities Globally concerned Expect diversity #1 workplace issue = personal safety High value on honesty and integrity

22 All Generations Want to be Valued and Respected They Just Define These Terms Quite Differently; Quite Generationally

23 Defining Work Values Silents Work hard because its the right thing to do Baby Boomers Work hard because it defines you, and you can make a difference Generation X Work hard so then you can play hard Generation Y Work hard at work that has meaning

24 R-E-S-P-E-C-T…….. Find Out what it Means to…. THEM!!!

25 27 SHOWING RESPECT: A GENERATIONAL CHECKLIST Silent ____clarify how things are done so they know the rules ____let them know you value their experience, not necessarily their seniority ____help them understand how new processes and systems are sound/trustworthy ____offer feedback and recognition to praise them for hard work and dedication Boomers ____reward work ethic and long hours ____give lots of public recognition & opportunities for networking ____provide tasks and responsibilities for them to prove themselves ____link strategic work to personal and organizational goals and the big picture ____clearly define work responsibilities

26 28 Gen Xers ____include them in decisions and allow them to have input, including access to decision-makers ____make sure environment is emotionally safe ____provide opportunities to increase their knowledge and skill set ____help with work/life balance ____ encourage fun in the workplace ____help them build transferable skills ____listen to their ideas and suggestions ____have an open door policy ____encourage mentoring relationships SHOWING RESPECT: A GENERATIONAL CHECKLIST

27 29 Gen Yers ____discuss why they and their work is important ____encourage their collaboration and teaming tendencies ____make sure each person knows how he/she is making a difference ____provide non-monetary rewards ____provide growth opportunities ____discuss which rules are important and which are optional ____provide F.A.S.T. (Frequent, Actionable, Specific and Timely) feedback ____discuss whats in it for me ____help them build their resume SHOWING RESPECT: A GENERATIONAL CHECKLIST

28 Showing Employees They Are Valued and Respected It is THE Key to Unlocking the Secret to Working with Multiple Generations!

29 Additional Resources Geeks and Geezers, by Warren Bennis & Robert J Thomas, c. 2002, Harvard Business School Press Loyalty Rules! How Todays Leaders Build Lasting Relationships, c. 2001, F.F. Reicheld, Harvard Business School Press Labor Force Projections to 2014: Retiring Boomers, c. 2005, M. Toosi, Monthly Labor Review (128 (12) pp Retiring the Generation Gap, c. 2007, Dr. Jennifer J. Deal, Jossey-Bass, Publishers The Cane Mutiny – Managing a Graying Workforce, c. 2005, C. Geissler, et. al., Harvard Business Review, 83 (10), pp Managing Middlescence, c. 2006, R. Morrison, et. al., Harvard Business Review 84 (3) pp

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