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Understanding a Multi- Generational Workforce Willow Jacobson School of Government, UNC-CH State Budget and Managements Annual Conference October 15, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding a Multi- Generational Workforce Willow Jacobson School of Government, UNC-CH State Budget and Managements Annual Conference October 15, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding a Multi- Generational Workforce Willow Jacobson School of Government, UNC-CH State Budget and Managements Annual Conference October 15, 2008

2 Agenda Demographic and diversity changes in the workforce Managing an intergenerational workforce Changing expectations and values at work

3 The US Population Today

4 Generations in the US Workforce

5 NC State Agencies

6 Juvenile Justice

7 Governors Office

8 Secretary of State

9 Auditor

10 Treasurer

11 Public Instruction

12 Justice

13 Agriculture

14 Labor

15 Insurance

16 OSP

17 Administration

18 Transportation

19 Environment and Natural Resources

20 Wildlife Resources

21 Health and Human Services

22 Correction

23 Commerce

24 ESC

25 Revenue

26 Crime Control and Public Safety

27 Controller

28 ITS

29 Community College

30 Board of Elections

31 UNC Chapel Hill

32 NC State

33 Culture Resources

34 Important to Consider For every two experienced workers leaving the workforce, one will enter Matures and Boomers embody the culture of most organizations today In 2006 everyday 7,918 Boomers turned 60 One in six workers will be over 55 years in 2008

35 Exercise

36 Matures


38 Matures Formative Events The Great Depression Pearl Harbor WW II Hiroshima The New Deal

39 Matures Values Duty, honor, dedication, sacrifice Conformity, unity – We First Hard times then prosperity Patience Importance of a job well done Law and order; respect for authority Adherence to rules Age = Seniority

40 Matures in the Workplace Are loyal to their employer and expect the same in return Believe promotions, raises, and recognition should come from job tenure Measure a work ethic on efficiency

41 On the Job Assets –Stable and Thorough –Detailed oriented –Loyal and Hard working Liabilities –Challenged by ambiguity and change –Reluctant to buck the system –Uncomfortable with conflict –Reticent when they disagree

42 Matures in the Market Faith in the nations institutions and the government Demand quality Are loyal customers but arent afraid to shop around Follow the rules that have been established Believe standard options are just fine

43 Messages that Motivate Your experience is respected here Its valuable to the rest of us to hear what has –and hasntworked in the past Your perseverance is valued and will be rewarded Motivated by symbols

44 Baby Boomers


46 Baby Boomers Formative Events The Civil Rights movement Martin Luther King John F. Kennedy Vietnam War Woodstock The Cold War Roe vs. Wade

47 Baby Boomers Values Stability Workaholic Competitive Balancing family and work Desire for respect Success is largely visible Personal development Optimistic

48 Baby Boomers in the Workforce Evaluate themselves and others based on their work ethic Work ethic measured in hours worked Teamwork is critical to success Relationship building is very important Expect loyalty

49 On the Job Assets –Service oriented –Driven –Good at relationship –Team players Liabilities –Not naturally budget minded –Uncomfortable with conflict –May put process ahead of result –Overly sensitive to feedback

50 Baby Boomers in the Market Are interested in products and services that will allow them to regain control of their time Believe technology brings with it as many problems as it provides solutions Want products and services that have been customized for them, the individual Believe rules should be obeyed unless they are contrary to what they want; then theyre to be broken Want products and services that will indicate to their peers that theyre successful

51 Messages that motivate Youre important to our success Youre valued here Your contribution is unique and important We need you I approve of you

52 Gen Xers


54 Gen Xers Formative Events Post-Watergate Fall of the Berlin Wall Challenger explosion The Gulf War The PC boom Parental divorce rates Latchkey kids MTV AIDS

55 Generation X Values Parents began raising them as friends No common heroes Work-Life balance Independent Cynical and pessimistic Seek career opportunities Thinking globally Technoliterate Informal

56 Gen X in the Workplace Eschew the hard-core, motivated, Boomer work ethic Want open communication regardless of position Respect production over tenure Value control of their time Look for a person to whom they can invest loyalty

57 On the Job Assets –Adaptable –Technoliterate –Independent –Un-intimidated by authority –Creative Liabilities –Impatient –Poor people skills –Inexperienced –Cynical

58 Gen X in the Market Can spot a phony a mile away Rely on peer-to-peer referrals Want options; plans B, C, and D Embrace technology Want to be in control of the sale

59 Messages that motivate Do it your way Weve got the newest hardware and software There arent a lot of rules here Were not very corporate

60 Millennial


62 Millennial Formative Events Oklahoma City bombing 9/11 terrorist attack Columbine High School The Internet boom Child focus Technology

63 Millenials Value Optimistic and Confident Individual key, yet group oriented Difficulty focusing on non stimulating stuff Often raised as friends Search out authorities Ambitious yet aimless Civic duty Diversity

64 Millenials in the Workplace Search for the individual who will help them achieve their goal Want open, constant communication and positive reinforcement from their boss Find working with someone of the Mature generation easy to do Search for a job that provides great, personal fulfillment Are searching for ways to shed the stress in their lives

65 On the Job Assets –Collective action –Optimism –Tenacity –Heroic spirit –Multitasking capabilities –Technological savvy Liabilities –Need for supervision and structure –Inexperience, particularly with handling difficulty people issues

66 Millenials in the Market Want to be like their peers but with a unique twist Dont want to be hurried Consider a companys products if the company is known for their altruistic attitude Are loyal consumers Search for the unique items

67 Messages that Motivate Youll be working with other bright, creative people Your boss is in his (or her) sixties You and your coworkers can help turn this company around You can be a hero here

68 Important Distinctions and Strategies

69 Respect for Authority Matures: Boomers: Gen X: Gen Y: Seniority and tenure Similar values Matures; theyve earned it Authority figures deserve skepticism & testing Test but search

70 Time on the Job Matures: Boomers: Gen X: Gen Y: Work ethic defined by the punch clock Visibility was/is the key What does it matter when I work, as long as I get the job done It is five oclock – I have another life to get to.

71 Work-Life Balance Matures: Interested in flexible hours Boomers: Was/Is this workaholic lifestyle worth it? Are the rewards worth the cost? Gen X: Balance is very important. Willing to sacrifice it occasionally Gen Y: Lifestyle vs. promotion

72 Bottom Line Differences Matures and Boomers: Gen X and Y: Time was something that could be invested with the hope for some sort of return in the future Defined by their job and association membership To them, there is no promise that invested time pays a dividend Theyll have multiple CAREERS, so the job is probably a temporary thing

73 Workplace Strategies Baby Boomer –Sabbatical optionslongevity leave –Increased vacation –Retirement packages –Fitness benefits –Consulting options

74 Workplace Strategies Generation X/Y –Leadership development –Mentoring –Recognition/incentive –Vacation –Cafeteria benefits plan –Cross training –Education

75 Workplace Strategies All Generations –Alternative work schedules –Telecommuting –Employee assistance –Floating holidays

76 Workplace Strategies When possible combine function-based work with project-based work Team vs. Independent? Consider communication strategies Avoid stereotyping

77 Thank You

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