Say What? Communicating Effectively in a Multigenerational Workplace


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Say What? Communicating Effectively in a Multigenerational Workplace

  1. 1. Say What?!? <br />Communicating Effectively in a Multigenerational Workplace <br />By Emily Bennington<br />Professional Studio 365<br />
  2. 2. They say people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents. <br />
  3. 3. For the record, <br />I have no idea what they’re talking about. <br />
  4. 4. The theory goes that if you were in your “formative years” - i.e. between 17–23(ish) - when this happened…<br />December 7, 1941<br />
  5. 5. or this…<br />
  6. 6. …or if you distinctly remember these ads…<br />
  7. 7. …or were in high school / college for this…<br />
  8. 8. …or this...<br />
  9. 9. …your perspective on this has been shaped substantially. <br />
  10. 10. Why does <br />this matter? <br />
  11. 11. For the first time in history, there are FOUR generations in the workforce.<br />Traditionalists (born 1945 and before) <br />Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) <br />Gen X (born 1965 – 1980)<br />Gen Y / Millennials (born 1980 – 2000) <br />Each with its own unique characteristics and background…<br />(You know who you are.) <br />
  12. 12. Traditionalists (born 1945 and before) <br />Sometimes called “The Greatest Generation,” this cohort built the infrastructure of modern America. Traditionalists grew up in the wake of crippling economic depression and were heavily shaped by war. <br />
  13. 13. Boomers (born 1946 - 1964) <br />Raised under the collaborative influence of Dr. Spock, Boomers fought for change, demanded a voice, and learned work ethic through the struggles of their parents. <br />
  14. 14. Why I Heart Bob Simpson <br />“Hey, do you have a minute?” <br />In a workplace that ZIGS with e-communication, Bob ZAGS by valuing face-to-face interactions. <br />
  15. 15. Gen X (born 1965 - 1980) <br />Gen X are children of divorce and working moms. Sometimes called “latchkey kids,” they are independent, self-reliant and – perhaps because they were forced to thrive amid change – crave structured work environments. <br />
  16. 16. Like millions of others around the world, I was home alone watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana marry on July 29, 1981… <br />…I was FIVE YEARS OLD!<br />
  17. 17. Gen Y (born 1980 - 2000) <br />Gen Y have never known a world without computers and – for the most part – Internet access. They are savvy, smart, socially concerned, and inherited the “be anything” ideals of their Boomer parents. <br />
  18. 18. The Workforce Today<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics <br />
  19. 19. You NEED a multigenerational workforce because it takes a range of perspectives to make smart business decisions. <br />
  20. 20. Lack of awareness / understanding about generational differences can lead to unnecessary frustration, low morale, and high turnover. <br />
  21. 21. The missing piece. <br />Educating employees on generational issues boosts understanding, respect, and productivity. <br />
  22. 22. Traditionalists<br />Be more formal and respectful. No slang or profanity. <br />Boomers<br />Be more relational and collaborative, focused on success of the team as a whole. <br />When speaking to…<br />Gen X<br />Be more direct and straightforward. Get to the point quickly, stating what you need and when you need it. <br />Gen Y<br />Be honest and positive, connectingyour message to their personal goals. Avoid judgment and condescending “when I was your age” language. <br />
  23. 23. SPEED ROUND:<br />Three Rules for Outstanding Multigenerational Communication <br />
  24. 24. #1.) Cohorts tend to value most what they lacked in formative years.<br />
  25. 25. #2.) The web has killed traditional hierarchies.<br />
  26. 26. Example <br />Who needs gatekeepers?<br />When you can connect with anyone, anytime?<br />
  27. 27. #3.) The “Golden Rule” doesn’t apply.<br />
  28. 28. What’s wrong with kids today?<br />
  29. 29. Ok, so maybe Gen Y is impatient…<br /> would be too if you never had to use this ORthese!<br />
  30. 30. Ok, so maybe Gen Y wants success too fast…<br />…but it’s not helping that THIS guy was born in 1984 and THESE guys in 1973.<br />
  31. 31. Stop blaming Gen Y. <br />Really, it’s not their fault... <br />
  32. 32. IT’S OURS!<br />
  33. 33. Still, signs of real trouble include…<br /> Years of e-communication have resulted in digital natives losing the ability to recognize facial cues. <br /> “Growing up Google” is creating a nation of searchers. We are losing idea generators. <br />
  34. 34. Getting Along: Best Practices<br />Study the generational composition of your workforce - and use the info to guide your HR strategies. <br />Offer training on intergenerational communication. <br />Hold your managers accountable for the retention rates of their staff.<br />Develop ways to capture “legacy knowledge” through formal mentoring programs, databases, and phased retirement. <br />Be flexible. <br />
  35. 35. “Age is a thing of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” <br />- Mark Twain <br />
  36. 36.<br />Emily Bennington<br /><br />@EmilyBennington<br /><br />
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