Matures (Born before 1946):Typical characteristics of this age group include: disciplined, loyal, team players, rule followers and putting work before fun. They respect authority and rarely question instructions from their managers. Matures prefer formal and personal communication, such as memos and one-on-one meetings, when interacting with colleagues. They tend to struggle with new technology, but they are valuable resources for company knowledge. Matures are also extremely loyal to their organizations.Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 -1964):Typical characteristics of this generation include: workaholics, inquisitive to authority, focus on personal accomplishments and competitive. Baby Boomers are hard workers that will do whatever it takes to finish an assignment, including working nights and weekends and missing family time. This group respects power and accomplishment and prefers public recognition and career advancement opportunities when being rewarded. When interacting with coworkers, they favor a combination of electronic and personal communications. Additionally, they remain loyal to their profession.Generation X (Born between 1965-1980):Typical characteristics of this group include: skeptical, self-reliant, efficient and desires structure and fun. Gen Xers choose to work at organizations that will help them attain useful and marketable experiences. They prefer efficiency rather than a set method for getting work done, and they require a strong work-life balance. Competitive pay and time off work make great rewards for them. Giving them greater responsibility makes Gen Xers feel successful. Unlike the generations before them, Gen Xers are loyal to their specific career goals.Millennials (Born between 1981-1999):Typical characteristics of this generation include: multitasker, entrepreneurial, goal oriented, tenacious and tolerant. Millennials prefer to work by deadlines and goals instead of a rigid schedule, and constant feedback keeps them satisfied. They like to be recognized both individually andpublicly, and are eager for opportunities that broaden their skill set. They enjoy combining personal life with work life, and they are highly proficient in technology. They become loyal to the people they work closely with.
It’s the new diversity challenge for all HR and business owners. Impoved healthcare and longer lives have changed the scene.
They have been the primary target as consumers. They had a role in trendsetting. Often that comes across in an interview where they act as though they are talking to their college advisor!—telling prospective employers what the job will do for them instead of what THEY bring to the organization!
The pyramid management structure will be replaced with a more fluid and responsive network design. A networked organizational design is the next evolutionary step for today’s “Matixed” organization.Work is organized into projects and projects are grouped into portfolios (node in the network) of like kind. Just in time workers are assigned to execute projects.Key knowledge workers assigned to portfolios to provide deep intimacy and subject matter expertise. This allows an organization to better leverage it’s SMEs across all it’s functions.
This type of operating model, one characterized by pulling in talent as needed an freeing it up when demand is lower, fits hand in glove with the matrix org. The use of the contractor talent is a key ingredient to establishing much needed agility required for success in the 21st century business environment
More sophisticated methods of “staying connected” requiredFree agents need to know an org’s operating policies, procedures & quality standards so they assimulate and deliver desired outcomes. Also more security required for intellectual property and minimized IP infringement.Ability to establish more remote locations staffed by on-demand free agents will be likely.Benefits like concierge services, childcare and eldercare are being offered to make their life easier. (hire.com)Millennial consumers want a voice in the way products and services are customized and delivered to them.Leadership needs to think differently about their structure and capabilities, using more emotional intelligence. Through openmindedness and a willingness to break the mold, some enterprises are already evolving towards the new models and structures needed in the year 2020/
Helicopter parents worried about safety as never before. They gave them a very scheduled life. Technology has hurt interpersonal skills (face to face). Spelling is of no concern as is cursive writing which is not taught anymore! They expect and demand FUN in all phases of their life, including work as it is an extension of their social life.Remember, their parents gave and gave at the office only to find themselves downsized or outsourced later in life. This group will not give loyalty away so easily
Tap into their tech knowledge by having them teach others. Social networking is like brushing their teeth. Embrace it.Gen Y is more willing to open up (vs. Gen X who hide true feelings in order to concentrate on the work at hand). Knowledge of a person’s ambitions allows a leader to tap in at a gut level, which greatly improves understanding. With understanding comes empathy and respect in both directions.Gen Y has less experience and are more easily shaped by positive reinforcement if specific and dincere. Gen X has heard it all before and may think it is manipulative.Gen Y likes to know they are on the right path, as opposed to Gen X who is more focused on tasks and independent. Tell them the reason WHY since they see life/work integrated. Comp time explanation with why it was setup helps them accept it vs. Gen X complying begrudgingly and try to “play the system” if possible.To keep them engaged, offer flexibility. Vacations after a year? Vs. the option to fit work more seamlessly into their lives and to be able to take advantage of interesting opportunities as they arise.Gen Y is usually less responsive to answering emails as they use text and social media. Yet email is well suited to the meeting-centered professional schedule. In meetings, they are keeping up with news in real time. Set the expectation that they will respond to important emails promptly.The use of email by seniors increaed by 28% between 2009-2010 while it decreased by 59% among teens. See where the future is going? Compromise!
A generation accustomed to accessability, they won’t be looking for lifetime employment. Being immersed in constant change, gen Y may lack excitement and inspiration regarding day-to-day assignments and desire to move on.They desire to operate with more flexability and less of a controlled environment. Think telecommuting and adjust the definition of working from 9-5.Most were students during the dot.com and they learned the impact of a financial crisis (even today’s unemployment). They’ve made financial decisions early on.Annual reviews won’t do. They have been surrounded with an educationa environment of focus groups and open dialogue. Where outspoken opinions could be expressed freely.
What makes you valuable to each customer? Every unmet need is an opportunity to add value. Deliver and go the extra mile; get it done early; add the bells and whistles and tie a bow on it!College promotes individual achievement, not teamwork. Students compete with each other so they don’t get being responsible for the success of the team.One manager said the initial phone call to set up an interview was made by their mother, as though she was making a play date!Mae West gave this message to the youth of America” GROW UP!”
Help them become more aware of their unique talents and emphasize a self discovery process focused on becoming more certain, significant and connected to their potential. Help them achieve and everyone wins!
Bridging The Generation Gap Corliss McGinty HR Momma Corliss@HRMomma.com 336-272-7940
Why Is This Happening? We are facing a new future in terms of demographics at work: we will soon have five generations in the workplace at once. In prior years, we have had three or four generations at a time with some but not vast differences in work behavior. People are living and working longer!
What Is The Key To Bridging The Gap? Explore the backgrounds and perspectives of the generations for a new understanding and acceptance in this area of diversity
Understand This Re: Diversity We’re communicating in generalities and stereotypes When ones says something like “Gen X individuals are typically frustrated and cynical and tend to be aloof in their management style”, that is a sweeping generalization and will not hold true for all individuals!
Composite Veterans <1946 are 6% of workforce Baby Boomers (1946-64) are 42% Gen X (1965-77) are 29% Gen Y (1977-94) are 23% Gen Z???
Conflict Boomers say Gen Xers lack respect for their authority & challenge every assignment. Gen X questions why the boss is so concerned where work is done as long as it gets done and when will they get to present their ideas on how to improve things here?! Managers say they don’t get they’ve moved from a buyer to a seller and also what it means to be part of a TEAM.
Exercise! Get into your generational groups Come up with 3 songs that you remember List 3 toys you played with Create 3 words that describes your parenting What were three big events you remember? What did you wear in your teens? Hair?
Shifts In The Workplace Boomers (46-65) hold the most powerful leadership positions (average age 57) By 2018, 60% will be gone Even this this environment, there is a talent crisis!
New Organizational Design From “command & control” to cooperative-based leadership models with greater autonomy and freedom in the way work is performed. Layers go and temporary, purpose-based worker groups emerge & flatten This provides the flexibility and scalability that businesses require to better manage costs and maintain quality
New Operating Model Future model needs to contemplate and weave the freelance and contract working arrangements preferred by Millennials Trade routine, predictable and secure to the freedom to choose where, when & how Fits with network design
Culture Implications Must create a culture to attract, develop & retain quality Gen Y Principles around ownership & profit sharing may force more employee-based ownership for retention Titles may be redefined or removed if they hinder teamwork or prevent required elasticity
Culture Implications cont. Thought must be given to harnessing the growing use of social networks Employment by multiple companies Physical location independence More tailorable & “lifestyle” benefits Customer participation Boomers need to be aware of trends Leadership challenges
In Four Years.. Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. Many had “helicopter parents” that shaped them Jeanne Meister and KarieWillyerd, The 2020 Workplace
How To Get Millennials to Drink The Kool-Aid Recognize their comfort level with technology Get to know them on a personal level Praise quickly with specifics Make expectations clear Be as flexible as possible Be patient with “email reluctance”
Kool Aid cont. Provide new challenges & opportunities Realistic financial mindsets & retirement Feedback. Once a day is what they want. Draw on the diversity of experiences, talents & interests of employees to challenge assumptions and reward new ideas. Support work/life balance pursuits Foster professional development & mentoring Share knowledge in “real time
Kool Aid cont. Help them to understand that every person you deal with is your customer. Help them understand team Understand many wait to be told what to do; many have no instinctive understanding of professionalism Remind them about appropriate behavior
Employers Have a Choice Analyze how to do more with less Engage workers in a discussion about adapting work roles to the talents/strengths in order to become more competitive and profitable Help them understand their natural talents, behaviors, values and strengths Have a role/talent review process
In Conclusion The younger generations want the same things their parents want. They will just go about doing it differently. They have a lower tolerance. Find the common ground!