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Building a Cross-Generational Workplace - A Panel Discussion
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Building a Cross-Generational Workplace - A Panel Discussion



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  • 1. Dennis Griess – Senior Managing Consultant28 September 2011Building a Cross-GenerationalWorkplace, a panel discussion © 2011 IBM Corporation
  • 2. A workforce in transition provides challenges and opportunities A multi-generational workforce has different workplace behaviors Older workers Mid-career workers New generation (Age 50 +) (Age 35 – 50) (born after 1980)Growing as % of workforce Shrinking as % of workforce Growing as % of workforceHold the wisdom and intellectual Essential source of professionals Critical to long-term viability andcapital of the organization and middle managers innovationTraditional approach to Tech savvy but not “native Technology is 2nd nature; moretechnology, collaboration, speakers”; mixed approach to interested in peer / interest groupsorganizational loyalty, and collaboration, loyalty, and rewards than organizational identity; thinkrewards work should be fun and fulfilling DOCUMENT-CENTRIC E-MAIL-CENTRIC WEB-CENTRIC Capture their knowledge Relieve their stress and Attract and retain; harness before they retire increase their their collaborative style effectiveness2 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 3. Think of a number, how do you reach it?3 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 4. Think of a number, how do you reach it? Why does Mr. Smiley look confused?4 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 5. Seem familiar?5 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 6. One executive’s back of the napkin view of the knowledge sharing gap There are people who want to be coached and people who are willing to coach. The challenge: How to match them up?6 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 7. Each generation in the workplace comes with its own sets of experiencesand expectations that can occasionally come in conflict with one another Traditionalist Boomer Gen X Gen Y Too much and I’ll Training The hard way Required to keep me Continuous & expected leave Collaborative & Learning style Classroom Facilitated Independent networked Communication style Top down Guarded Hub & spoke Collaborative Problem-solving Hierarchical Horizontal Independent Collaborative Decision-making Seeks approval Team informed Independent Team decided Leadership style Command & control Get out of the way Coach Partner No news is good Feedback Once per year Weekly/daily On demand news Unfathomable if not Technology use Uncomfortable Unsure Unable to work without it provided Job changing Unwise Sets me back Necessary Part of my daily routine Source: Lancaster, L.C. and Stillman, D. When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work. Wheaton, IL. Harper Business, 2003.7 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 8. What are the caricatures?8 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 9. Contrarian view Millennials: Study Says Maybe They’re Really Not So Different After All (http://www.tlnt.com/2011/08/11/millennials-study-says-maybe-theyre-really-not-so-different- after-all/) – “The data refutes the „millennial malcontent‟ stereotype,” write authors Brenda Kowske and Rena Rasch. As part of Kenexa‟s WorkTrends survey of some 30,000 workers in 28 countries, they asked a series of attitude questions, finding that 60 percent of Millennials are “extremely satisfied” with where they work. That‟s well above the 54 percent of Boomers and Gen Xers who said that. – Millennials were also more satisfied with the recognition they receive, more satisfied with their opportunities for growth and development, and as excited about their work and their pay as Boomers and Gen Yers.9 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 10. Seven challenges to manage Predicting future labor supply and demand Utilizing social networks to increase Understanding the the visibility and application demographics and capabilities of knowledge across of the workforce the organization Core Evaluating employee Capabilities Enabling individuals performance and to perform work providing appropriate regardless of location feedback Driving the rapid development Facilitating collaboration across of skills and capabilities to meet traditional organizational boundaries changing business conditions10 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 11. What strategies are you employing… What are the most challenging aspects of your  Connecting your experienced professionals with workforce demographic? Do any of these your younger staff… statements fit?  Are there some areas or functions that seem to – Your customers cant relate to younger sales be more challenging than others? people. – Sales – Your younger buyers find your ways of – Finance working outdated or unresponsive. – Engineering – Finding new talent – Avoiding the “catch-train-release” cycle  What efforts have you tried to: – Bridge gaps Does your company have a knowledge gap or a – Recruit differently knowledge sharing gap? – Change culture – How are you addressing it – Grow your next generation leadership How do you treat the new (sometimes called  What are you doing differently to meet the “social”) media? information needs of your changing marketplace? – Facebook – Twitter  With the changes in the workforce, new – LinkedIn opportunities arise for voices from different – Google+ experiences, how do you handle diversity?11 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 12. Remember, things are always changing… …but we can find ways to connect that we all understand12 © 20011 IBM Corporation
  • 13. Building a Cross-Generational WorkplaceInteresting ReadingBooks: Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap by Rob Salkowitz Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore True Change: How Outsiders on the Inside Get Things Done in Organizations by Janice Anne Klein Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don TapscottBlogs: Can Millennials Really Change the Work Place, Tom Davenport http://blogs.hbr.org/davenport/2008/12/can_millennials_really_change.html The millennial organisation, Mark Gould http://blog.tarn.org/2008/12/17/the-millennial-organisation/Source: If applicable, describe source origin13 © 20011 IBM Corporation