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  • Slide 1) Introduce yourself and welcome the participants. Have participants introduce themselves and tell the group why they are attending this session. Ask them also if they can identify the particular generation they represent (e.g. Builders, Silents, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials). Give them a little prize if they can at least name a generation. You can begin the presentation by asking them if they have noticed that the media has taken a great interest in generational issues. A number of books, articles and TV programs have been produced on the topic. Ask them why they think that has happened. After they share their thoughts, inform them that in today’s work place, finding four generations - members of the Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials - working side by side is not unusual. This is a phenomena was not present 100 years ago. Why? Because in 1900, life expectancy in the United States was only 47 years – today it’s 77. Finally, mention that much of the material they are about to see comes from business marketing and faith-based university research.
  • Slide 2) Our value and belief systems shape who we are as individuals. The era in which we were born, along with the influences on our lives of our family, friends and community, significantly impact who we are as individuals. People who are similarly aged experienced similar events as children and were raised by parents with similar views on parenting. Therefore, someone who grew up during the Great Depression with few jobs, little money and little to eat is likely to have different values than someone growing up and coming of age in the 1990s, when the economy was strong and most families were middle class.
  • Slide 6) The era of our coming of age (generally speaking ages 15-25) refers to the common events that shape the lives of individuals while in their formative years. Note, we are not only affected by the era, but also by personal, cultural, social, political and familial influences.
  • Slide 3) A generation is said to span approximately 20 years. This slide provides a general listing of generations during the past 100 years or so. There is nothing magical in the dates indicated, but they provide us with a guide for the generations we are about to discuss. The Builder generation often is considered to be those born during the first part of the last century. They often are referred to as the “Greatest Generation” because of the hardships they endured during the Depression and war years. The Silents grew up during the Depression and mostly were too young to serve in World War II. Combined, these first two groups represent about 75 million of our country’s 300 million population. The Baby Boomers are the largest singe group at 80 million. Generation X is the smallest at approximately 45 million. The Millennial generation nearly matches in size the Boomers at 76 million. The Post-millennial group is rounding things out at about 24 million – and growing, of course.
  • Slide 4) Some individuals feel stuck between two generations. These individuals are considered to be “cuspers.” Because they have a foot in both generations, they can be excellent liaisons between the two generations to which they relate.
  • Slide 11) Defining moments for the Silent generation can be said to be the fascist consolidation of power in Europe during the 1930s and the rise of communism in Russia and later in China. From an economic standpoint, the Great Depression had a profound effect on this generation’s family life even though many of them were small children. Some were old enough to see military service during World War II, but all certainly were impacted by it as they watched family and friends be sent overseas to fight. World War II, at its conclusion, was literally the beginning of the atomic age and with this, the nation was changed forever. Gone was the naiveté of past generations who thought the United States was too far removed (in terms of distance) from the rest of the world to worry about what was happening in foreign lands. The worldview of global interconnection was born.
  • Slide 13) Characteristics of this generation are said to include being successful because of the war and its aftermath, which created millions of jobs and a booming economy. War-torn Europe was economically devastated in 1945 and the demand for U.S. goods and services skyrocketed. The war created, in this generation, a more inclusive mindset as the races were drawn together to face a common enemy. This generation is said to be very hands-on and task-focused, willing to mentor others in a quiet, industrious way. Having lived through the Depression and World War II, they tend to be cautious in their relationships with others. They often feel underestimated and overlooked – sandwiched between the “Greatest Generation” and the behemoth “Baby Boomers.”
  • Slide 14) Remembering the era in which they came of age (Great Depression and World War II), you can understand why these Silents are said to value self-reliance, thriftiness and hard work. This is the last generation where company loyalty was valued in a major way. Working 30 years for the same company and then retiring with the proverbial “gold watch” changed with the Baby Boomer generation. We must remember that this generation, along with its preceding generation (a combined 75 million mostly retired individuals), offers us an enormous pool of experience-rich individuals looking to develop the right volunteer relationships.
  • Slide 15) Baby Boomers – The largest generation in terms of numbers at more than 80 million strong came of age during the 1950s and 1960s. Baby Boomers grew up with the threat of nuclear war, a time of “duck and cover drills” in schools and building “fallout shelters” in your basement at home. The Korean War was closely followed by the Cold War, which pitted the U.S. and USSR against each other in a space race as well as an arms race. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. The perceived communist threat was not limited to Cuba and the Soviet Union; it was from Asia as well. Our government felt its obligation to stem the “domino effect” in Southeast Asia by expanding our involvement in Vietnam. Back home, the civil rights movement was changing the way we thought about race in this country. Further chaos was brought about by the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes referred to as the “Woodstock” generation, it was the Baby Boomers’ defiance of keeping the status quo that helped launch the women’s liberation movement. *Note: If you have Millennials in your audience, explain what women’s lib is. This generation has little knowledge of this movement.
  • Slide 17) The Boomers grew up in a time of relative prosperity with the economic boom after World War II. Whereas the radio had a major influence in preceding generations, television proliferated during the Baby Boomer years. TV shows such as “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Mickey Mouse Club” and the “Howdy Doody Show” took us back to a simpler time. Baby Boomers were the first generation to experience life in the suburbs as their parents flocked to the residential districts on the outskirts of cities in droves. This was the beginning of urban sprawl as the interstate highway system made America a much more mobile society than ever before. Everyone was glued to his/her TV when Neil Armstrong took the “giant leap for mankind” and walked the surface of the moon. Baby Boomers claim Gandhi, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris as their heroes.
  • Slide 18) General characteristics of Boomers indicate they are an educated group, taking part in post-secondary education like no generation before. They are independent and interested in quality – Ford truck commercials focusing on the Boomer consumer make the claim that, for Ford, quality is Job 1. They are a generation of cause- oriented individuals. This is evident through their involvement in the peace movement during the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, women’s liberation and President Kennedy’s call to them to take part in spreading world peace through the Peace Corps. Baby Boomers tend to be fitness conscious and in many ways still are trying to hang on to their youth. “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was a maxim heard from individual Boomers – primarily until the speaker himself/herself reached that age. Unlike the preceding two generations who seemed to respect and bow to authority, Boomers rebelled against it. They wanted to “do their own thing” and experiment with life, all of which was manifested in the music and drug culture of the time.
  • Slide 18) General characteristics of Boomers indicate they are an educated group, taking part in post-secondary education like no generation before. They are independent and interested in quality – Ford truck commercials focusing on the Boomer consumer make the claim that, for Ford, quality is Job 1. They are a generation of cause- oriented individuals. This is evident through their involvement in the peace movement during the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, women’s liberation and President Kennedy’s call to them to take part in spreading world peace through the Peace Corps. Baby Boomers tend to be fitness conscious and in many ways still are trying to hang on to their youth. “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was a maxim heard from individual Boomers – primarily until the speaker himself/herself reached that age. Unlike the preceding two generations who seemed to respect and bow to authority, Boomers rebelled against it. They wanted to “do their own thing” and experiment with life, all of which was manifested in the music and drug culture of the time.
  • Slide 19) Baby Boomers were brought up to look at life through an optimistic lens. They were a generation of a new era, one with promise and hope for the future. Although they were well-educated, they also were self-focused and often were referred to as the “Me Generation” (WIFM=What’s in it for me?) Health conscious, with a focus on staying young, this generation has no qualms about using plastic surgery to enhance one’s appearance. As indicated previously, the Boomers were “rebels with a cause” who got involved in many different organizations and movements. One could say that Boomers are a generation of joiners who saw the opportunities in banding together not only for the causes they believed in, but also for the networking interests that went with this. Because of their shear size (80 million strong) Baby Boomers found themselves in constant competition with one another in such important arenas as college entrance and the job market.
  • Slide 20) Sometimes referred to as the echo that followed the Baby Boom, Generation X is much smaller in terms of numbers at 45 million. Part of this drop in numbers can be attributed to the “sexual revolution” that began in the early 60s on the heels of the then newly developed birth control pill. Although young at the time, the social “fallout” from Watergate and the Vietnam War left its mark on Generation X. Who can you trust if you cannot trust the president of the United States to be honest and straight with the public? President Carter’s efforts at establishing peace in the Middle East were drastically overshadowed by the Iran hostage crisis, which did great harm in his attempt to gain a second term in the White House. Many Xers remember where they were when President Reagan was shot and when they heard about the tragedy of the Challenger explosion. Probably the most monumental world event during their “coming of age” years was the end of communism in the USSR, symbolized by the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Finally, many were hit by the reality of war as their friends and family members who served in the military were called to serve in Operation Desert Storm.
  • Slide 22) American values began to shift after World War II and, by the 1960s, the United States was experiencing higher divorce rates. Moms, who before the war stayed home to raise the children, now were going to work in great numbers. The ramifications of this were that many children of this era came home after school to empty houses, giving them the name “latchkey kids.” After-school programs were not in existence during this generation’s school-aged years. Television became the primary source of news and entertainment with the advent of 24-hour cable. Generation X spawned the X-games and became the first technologically savvy generation. At the same time, this group witnessed the scourge of HIV/AIDS, which contributed to a feeling of hopelessness around the world. Unlike preceding generations, Generation X is said to not possess heroes who are shared as a group. Anyone this generation began to admire soon was discredited by the media or other sources.
  • Slide 23) As “latchkey kids,” Xers were at times neglected by their parents and forced to become self-reliant, survivors at a young age. For this reason, many Xers relied on friends for support. Therefore, they tend to be a very relationship-oriented group. Informality is important to them. This generation initiated casual Fridays in the workplace. As they grew up, Xers talked about being stressed out due to their parents’ insistence that they take part in many extracurricular activities. Coming of age during the Watergate years and an era of corporate downsizing, when many Xers saw their parents get laid off jobs, caused this generation to be a skeptical lot. Most members of this group don’t buy the idea of company loyalty. Moving up the career ladder means job hopping to gain experience that leads to pay increases. Lastly, Xers are said to be spiritual, but this does not necessarily translate into being religious because, again, they are skeptical of institutional involvement.
  • Slide 24) Generation Xers have witnessed major social and cultural transformations during their lifetime. The ethnic makeup of the inhabitants of the United States has changed from the “melting pot” of assimilating white Europeans to a much more “tossed salad” state of diverse immigrant groups. Xers value diversity and don’t tolerate prejudice well. Due to their upbringing by yuppie parents, they tend to value and focus on having a better balance between work life and family life. Family and friendships are key. Recreation and living for the weekends are important to this group. Working smarter, not harder, is a mantra for Xers. This generation doesn’t take coffee breaks. Xers would prefer to work straight through, drink their latte or cappuccino at their desk and leave work earlier.
  • Slide 25) Millennials are the second largest generation group at 75 million strong, with some studies suggesting that they will surpass the Boomers if current immigration trends continue. Defining events in their lives include the death of Princess Diana, the Monica Lewinsky affair, the rise of school violence, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the war on terror.
  • Slide 27) This is the first generation to use computers from an early age. The Internet, e-mail, cell phones, My Space, Facebook and countless other technological innovations always seem to have been a part of their lives. In fact, the ubiquitous utilization of instant messaging by Millennials has some researchers referring to this group as Generation Text. Along with technological advances, interactive television and a greater acceptance of individual differences and cultural diversity have helped define who this generation is and who Millennials will become. Common heroes include, first and foremost, their parents. Millennials’ connection with their parents goes well beyond the experience of previous generations. Other common heroes include Michael Jordan, Princess Diana, Tiger Woods, Mother Teresa and Oprah.
  • Slide 28) Generally speaking, Millennials are said to be a very active optimistic/idealistic group with great multitasking abilities. Millennials have money and they like to spend it. They are ambitious with an entrepreneurial spirit, and all they lack to be successful at this point is the requisite life experience. They respect and admire those older than them and work well in teams, especially if their other team members are from the Builder or Silent generations.
  • Slide 29) Although Millennials sometimes are accused of being self-centered, they possess a strong sense of civic responsibility. They understand the many problems of this world (such as global warming, HIV/AIDS, international terrorism) and feel the responsibility to do something about them will fall on their generation. They value education and the confidence it instills. They recognize the importance of personal achievement. The changing demographics in the United States brought on by shifting immigration patterns from European peoples to those from Africa, Mexico, Central America and the Middle East has led this generation to be more open to diversity issues.
  • Slide 5) Let’s stop here for a couple of minutes and take a little quiz that will help you identify your prowess as a generations expert. While you are taking it, think about where you, your parents, grandparents, children, significant other and siblings fit. ( Hand out Generations Quiz ) Give the group about three to five minutes to fill out the quiz. When everyone is done, instruct the group you will come back to the quiz and provide the correct answers at the end of the presentation.
  • Slide 32)
  • Slide 39
  • Transcript

    • 1. Generations in the Workplace 1 Rachelle Vettern & Dean Aakre NDSU Center for 4-H Youth Development
    • 2. Program Objectives 2 Build awareness of your characteristics based on your generation Build awareness of characteristics of others based on their generation Encourage understanding of generational similarities and differences to enhance the environments you work and live in where age-related diversities exist
    • 3. Ideology 3 Your value system was  Similarly aged people shaped in your first 10 experienced similar years by family, friends, events as children & community, significant were raised by events, general “era” parents with similar when you were born parenting views During 20th century,  You will likely have children experienced similar value systems similar things because of to this day increasing globalization
    • 4. Era of Our Coming of Age 4  Ages 15-25  Significant events  Personally  Culturally  Socially  Politically  FamilyNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 5. Age-related Cohorts 5  Builders: 1900-1922  Silents: 1923-1944  Boomers: 1945-1963  Xers: 1964-1980  Millennials (Gen Y): 1981-2000  Post-millennials (Gen Z): 2001-2020NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 6. Cusper, the Friendly Ghost 6Cusper – a person positioned betweentwo generations.Types of cuspersTraditionalist/Baby Boomer (born 1940-1945)Baby Boomer/Generation Xer (born 1960-1965)Generation Xer/Millennial (born 1975-1980)“Because cuspers stand in the gap between the twosides, they become naturals at mediating,translating and mentoring.” Lancaster and Stillman, 2002
    • 7. My Generation’s Profile? 7 Divide into groups according to your generation: Boomers: 1945-1963 Xers: 1964-1980 Millennials (Gen Y): 1981-2000 On the flipchart pages around the room, write your Influences (icons, celebrities, big events), Slogans or mantras, Distinguishing characteristics, Myths.
    • 8. Silent Generation Born 1923-1944 8 Defining Events  Hitler and Mussolini consolidate power (1930s)  Rise of communism (1920s and 1930s)  Great Depression (1930s)  Pearl Harbor – World War II (1940s)  Atomic bomb (1945) Heroes  Churchill  Mandela  Gandhi  Jack Nicklaus  ElvisNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 9. Characteristics of Silents 9  Successful  Inclusive  Pragmatic  Mentors  Quiet, but industrious  Cautious  Sandwiched – underestimated/overlooked  “Hip,” friendly style allows them to connect with young peopleNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 10. Core Values of Silents 10  Self-reliance  Thriftiness  Hard work  Loyalty  Experience  RelationshipsNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 11. Baby Boom Generation Born 1945-1963 11 Defining Events  Threat of nuclear war  Cold War – Iron Curtain  Space/arms race  Cuban missile crisis  Vietnam  Civil rights movement  Assassinations (JFK,MLK,RFK)  “Woodstock generation”  Women’s liberationNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 12. Baby Boomers Born 1945-1963 12 Trends and events  Prosperity  Television  Suburbia  Interstate highway system  Moon landing Heroes  Gandhi, JFK, MLK,  John Glenn, Neil Armstrong  Mickey Mantle, Roger MarisNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 13. “The rap” on Baby Boomers 13  They tend to be…  Workaholics  PoliticallySensitive (to a fault)  Idealistic  No balance between life & work Geez get a life!!NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 14. Characteristics of Boomers 14  Educated  Independent  Desire quality  Cause-oriented  Fitness conscious  Question authority  Groomed to explore inner worldNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 15. Core Values of Boomers 15  Optimism  Personal gratification  Focus on the self (WIIFM)  Health and wellness/youth  Personal growth  Involvement  Competitive  WorkNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 16. Generation X Born 1964-1980 16 Defining Events  Iranian hostage crisis (1979)  President Reagan and Pope John Paul II shot (1981)  Challenger disaster (1986)  Chernobyl nuclear accident in USSR (1986)  Iran-Contra scandal (1987)  Black Monday on Oct. 19 (Dow drops 508 points) (1987)  Berlin Wall comes down/Cold War ends (1989)  Operation Desert Storm (1990)NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 17. Xer Trends 17  Latchkey kids  Single-parent homes  Females increasingly seen in nontraditional careers  HIV/AIDS  MTV and 24-hour TV  X-games  Home computers  Fax machines  Walkmans and DVDs  Microwave ovens  No heroesNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 18. Characteristics of Gen X 18  Neglected by parents  Self-reliant  Survivors  Serious about life  Stressed out  Loyal to relationships  Skeptical  Highly spiritualNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 19. Core Values of Xers 19  Diversity  Thinking globally  Balance  Techno-literacy  Fun  Informality  Self-reliance  PragmatismNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 20. Millennials Born 1981-2000 20 Defining Events  Oklahoma City bombing (1995)  Princess Diana dies in Paris (1997)  Monica Lewinsky affair (1998)  Columbine massacre/ schoolroom violence (1999)  9/11  Iraq War/war on terrorNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 21. Millennial Trends 21  Technology/Internet  Instant messaging  Facebook/Twitter  YouTube  TV reality shows  Multiculturalism  Body art Heroes  Their parents (helicopter)  Older Millennials: Michael Jordan, Princess Diana, Oprah, Mother Teresa  Others???NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 22. Characteristics of Millennials 22  Optimistic/idealistic  Individualistic yet group-oriented  Short (very short) attention span  Busy spending their $  Overscheduled  Entrepreneurial  Ambitious yet inexperienced  Acknowledge and admire some authorities  Think Silents are cool Parents, tooNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 23. Core Values of Millennials 23  Civic duty  Education  Confidence  Street smarts  Achievement  Morality  DiversityNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 24. Attitude Toward Authority 24 Builders/Silents: Endure, Honor & Respect Boomers: Replace them, Challenge leaders Xers: Ignore Leaders Millennials: Test but Search Generation Z: Collaborate
    • 25. Schedules 25 Builders: Mellow Silents: Planned Boomers: Frantic Xers: Stressful Millennials: Overscheduled Generation Z: On the Move- (parents trying for more balance)
    • 26. Work is... 26 Builders/Silents: ...an inevitable obligation Boomers: …an exciting adventure Xers: …what you do to support your lifestyle Millennials: …something you have to do
    • 27. Collaboration and Conflict 27 What examples do you have ofcollaboration or conflict when working with different generations in the workplace?
    • 28. Working with Silents 28  Courtesy counts  Be a good steward  Involve them for their knowledge  Show appreciationNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 29. Working with Boomers 29  Ask for input  Think encore, not retirement  Don’t dismiss, don’t assume  Work for the good of the wholeNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 30. Working with Xers 30  Provide full disclosure  Use logic and reason, rather than authority  Provide autonomy  Get to the pointNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 31. Working with Millennials 31  Get on the technology wave  Accept their life of “weisure”  Provide meaningful work  TransparencyNDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 32. Do You Know Your Generations? 32  Take the quiz.  While you are taking it, think about where you, your parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and siblings fit.NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 33. 33 Generations Quiz How did you do?NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 34. Commitment 34 Write down 2 ways you can use this information related to Generations.
    • 35. Thank You! 35NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University
    • 36. Contact Information: 36Rachelle Vettern & Dean AakreCenter for 4-H Youth Development219 FLC, Dept. 7280P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050Phone: R:(701) 231-7541 D:(701) 231-8595rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu dean.aakre@ndsu.eduFax: (701) 231-8568
    • 37. REFERENCES 37Corporation for National and Community Service (2006). Choosing appropriate outreach techniques for different generations. Retrieved November 2, 2006, from, http://nationalserviceresources.org/epicenter/practices/index.php ?ep_action=view&ep_id=1057Raines, C. (2003). Connecting generations: The sourcebook for a new workplace. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications.Raines, C., & Hunt, J. (2000). The Xers and the boomers: From adversaries to allies. Berkeley, CA: Crisp PublicationsRock, M.E. (1999). The Corporate learning journey. www. canadaone.com.Thorstenson, R. (2012). Generation in the Workplace presentationZemke, R., Raines, C., Filipczak, B. (2000). Generations at work. New York: AMACOM.