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Generational diversity in the workplace may 2010
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Generational diversity in the workplace may 2010


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  • 1. Generational Diversity in the Workplace – it works!
  • 2. Generational Diversity in the Workplace – it works! Welcome! Aisha Ghori Director Career Services 312.467.2309
  • 3. Who am I? Career Services/Student Affairs professional Master of Arts, Sociology DePaul University Find me on Committed to helping students and employers build meaningful employment related connections
  • 4. Agenda Generations in the workplace – Review – Cross-generational opportunities – Making it work!
  • 5. Generational Diversity in the Workplace – it works! a little context:
  • 6. Tools … for all aspects of life Linked In Facebook Skype YouTube Flickr Wikipedia And so much more … Everything is shared … everything can be found and changed!
  • 7. Who are we? Review of generations: – Pre-Boomers/Matures: Before 1946; 17% (35 M) Hard-work, patriotic, savers, loyal, dependable – Baby Boomers: 1946 – 1964; 23% (77.2 M) Largest population and numbers in workforce; in positions of power; quality focused, work long hours, productive, status is important, question authority – Gen X – Baby Bust: 1965 – 1976; 15% (44.9 M) Most educated, stressed out, want balance with life and work, self reliant, value diversity, technology and practicality (fun) – Net Gen/Gen Y/Millennials: 1977 – 97; 27% (81.1M) Born into technology; “technology natives:; coddled since birth; optimistic and extreme fun, multi-task/short attention span; confident; education focused; value instant information, constant communication and quick decisions; value connection with mature generation – Generation Next: 1998 – Present; 13.4% (40.1 M) “Screenagers” – highly interactive, social and fully digital Sources: Don Tapscott, Grown up Digital, Decoding Generational Differences and Generations in the Workplace
  • 8. Some facts … times have changed In 1983, 7% of homes had computers In 2004, 44% of homes had computers In 2009, 76% of homes had computers
  • 9. Employment – The opportunities … "The first challenge for the companies that want to hire the best young workers is getting them in the door. They are in high demand--the baby boomers are retiring, and many Gen X workers are opting out of long hours--and they have high expectations for personal growth, even in entry-level jobs." Trunk, P. (2007, July 05). What gen y really wants. Time, Retrieved from,9171,1640395,00.htm
  • 10. Employment … The opportunities From the trenches … March 26, 2010, Work Guest Post: Generation Y in the Workplace by Lori Dye “In my Lifespan Psychology course we learned about post formal thought. This advanced thinking, which follows Piaget's traditional 4 stages, is marked by intellectual skills that are "harnessed to real educational, occupational, and interpersonal concerns. [With postformal thought] conclusions and consequences matter much more" (Berger, 2008, 472). I believe that young adults in Generation Y weigh our options much more carefully than any generation before us. We understand that settling for what is in front of us may not lead to the lifestyle we want. As the Time article mentions, many recent graduates move back in with their parents and search for their career path from there so that way they don't fall into the trap of financial hardship and taking any job that comes to them. I feel that my generation is the generation to learn from. We may have our flaws due to our inability to step away from social networking, updating our friends with every aspect of our lives via status updates, and the constant need to have a cell phone/blackberry attached to us at all times, but I think the calculated decisions the majority of us make are a nod in the right direction.” Berger, K. S. (2008). The Developing person. New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Trunk, P. (2007, July 05). What gen y really wants. Time, Retrieved from,9171,1640395,00.htm
  • 11. Making it work … it’s intergenerational! What employers get or need to get from millennials and the next generation Community service focus Increased technology interest and awareness Flexibility Interest and involvement with social networking Seeking longer relationship with the right employer They ask why … they’re used to an answer too! They want to know how they’re doing -Decoding Generational Differences, Smith, 2008
  • 12. Millennials
  • 13. Making it work - what millennials get Work with top talent in a collaborative work setting Learn from experts who have had great experience and exposure in field Flexible options to create a career of choice
  • 14. What’s Next? Generation Next Distribute and actively participate in technology and entertainment Learn differently and are fine living at home after graduation Very tolerant, learn quickly and absorb information well (SMART!) Approach work without hierarchies and look to collaborate “Prosumer” – as a consumer, they want to produce the next product with the company/designer Not just a network – but a NETWORLD! Don Tapscott, Grown Up Digital (McGraw Hill)
  • 15. Who is the Knowledge Worker 2.0? Breaking the generational mold Times have changed from making things to creating content and ideas Broad skill set with many tools Work across organization and can be any age Share & distribute knowledge freely Not bound to one place Knowledgeable, interested, engaged, contributing – hey check this out! Synthesizer and interested in context Sympathetic High Emotional Intelligence Bursty workers (vs. Busy) = Creative, Innovators Continuous Partial Attention Share and Care Authority from knowledge not power (SME at any level!) Stephen Collins, AcidLabs
  • 16. How we all benefit Maximize qualities and strengths of each generation Younger generations can help leverage technology in new ways; efficiencies and process improvements Diverse workforce talent provides more information exchange; don’t segregate the workforce! Show younger generations how to maximize professional skills in the workplace; mentoring and reverse mentoring Provide opportunities for older and younger generations to interact; this will eliminate the threats each generation fears Create collaboration – provide flexible work options (telecommuting, working off-site); show how this helps all employees (those with children, aging parents) SIMMA LIEBERMAN "THE INCLUSIONIST“, Feb 2, 2010
  • 17. Sources: Smith, W. Stanton, Decoding Generational Differences: Fact, Fiction … or should we just get back to work Tapscott, Dan, Grown up Digital ( are-transforming-our-culture) Lonn Boyer, M.B.A. S.P.H.R., Generations in the Workplace SIMMA LIEBERMAN "THE INCLUSIONIST“, Feb 2, 2010 Berger, K. S. (2008). The Developing person. New York, NY: Worth Publishers. Trunk, P. (2007, July 05). What gen y really wants. Time, Retrieved from,9171,1640395,00.htm =EML_anet_qa_ttle-0Ut79xs2RVr6JBpnsJt7dBpSBA
  • 18. Questions? I look forward to working together! Thanks for attending
  • 19. Aisha Ghori, M.A. Director of Career Services 312.467.2309