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Managing Across Generations
 

Managing Across Generations

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This is a unique time in the workplace where there can exist four generations in the same office and even the same working team. Managing across generations is essential.

This is a unique time in the workplace where there can exist four generations in the same office and even the same working team. Managing across generations is essential.

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    Managing Across Generations Managing Across Generations Document Transcript

    •               Art  of  the  W ingman  for  Business  is  dedicated  to  the  businesswomen  and  businessmen  who  seek  greatness  beyond  their  own   and  find  their  successes  through  helping  others  succeed.  The  Business  Wingman  follows  the  path  of  the  selfless  person.     Managing  Across  Generations     Key  Points   • Lead  by  example,  respect  everyone’s  diversity   • Do  your  research,  every  generation  lives  by  a  different  code   • Unify  the  team  with  common  goals  and  expectations       We  are  in  a  unique  time  in  the  workplace,  where  there  can  exist  four  different   generations  in  the  same  office  and  even  the  same  working  team.  If  this  resembles   your  team,  then  I’m  sure  you  have  experienced  the  vast  differences  in  how  each  of   those  team  members  both  approach  problems  and  work  together  with  others  in  the   workplace.    These  varying  differences  typically  can  cause  trust  issues  and  discipline   problems  within  teams  especially  when  a  30-­‐year  veteran  of  the  workplace  learns   one  day  that  his  new  manager  is  a  young  female  in  her  late  20’s  with  less  than  10   years  of  experience  but  with  multiple  degrees.  This  situation  requires  the  morale   and  leadership  of  a  Business  Wingman  to  help  minimize  any  issues  that  may  come   up.  Managing  across  generations  is  essential  to  the  success  of  the  team.      
    • 1) Lead  by  example,  respect  everyone’s  diversity   In  every  office  and  in  every  team,  there  is  going  to  be  a  time  when  rumors  start  and   someone  says  something  that  is  taken  out  context.  It’s  typically  a  he  said/she  said   situation  where  someone  makes  a  big  assumption  based  on  stereotypes.  And  now   you  have  a  situation  where  tempers  can  rise  and  productivity  can  fall.     This  may  be  a  time  where  a  team  member  from  the  Baby  Boomer  generation  (Ted   for  example)  sees  a  much  younger  team  member  from  the  Millennial  Generation   (John  for  example)  watching  shows  on  Hulu.com  for  lunch  and  simply  assumes  that   John  is  lazy  and  wasting  time  at  work.  John  is  a  proven  hard  worker  with  a  strong   work  ethic  but  has  decided  that  since  he  is  on  lunch  and  in  not  required  to  work   during  lunch,  that  he  can  spend  his  lunch  any  way  he  wants.  Ted  on  the  other  hand   comes  from  generation  where  work  is  taken  seriously  throughout  the  day  and  there   is  no  time  for  being  lazy.     As  a  Business  Wingman,  it  is  your  responsibility  to  help  diminish  the  situation  and   set  a  new  tone  for  the  team  and  squash  the  problem.  Lead  by  example  and  show   how  the  team  should  respect  everyone’s  diversity.  Help  explain  to  Ted  that  this  is   not  a  problem  and  reinforce  to  Ted  that  you  also  think  it’s  ok  and  that  John  is  still  a   valued  hard-­‐working  member  of  the  team.  It’s  the  little  things  that  matter.     2) Do  your  research,  every  generation  lives  by  a  different  code   Although  we  are  referring  to  4  different  working  generations,  I  am  going  to  remove   the  Traditional  Generation  (also  known  as  the  Greatest  Generation)  from  the   example  and  focus  on  Baby  Boomers,  Generation  X  and  Millennials.  There  is  a  great   article  from  Workforce  Central  Florida  that  explains  the  working  characteristics  of   the  generations  of  working  Americans,  and  we  will  be  taking  some  references  from   them.     Working  Characteristics  of  Baby  Boomers   Since  Baby  Boomers  grew  up  during  a  time  of  war  and  constantly  battled  authority   and  lived  to  fight  for  their  rights,  they  tend  to  disagree  with  strong  authoritative   management  and  are  the  first  to  speak  out  in  disagreement.     Boomers  don’t  quickly  take  to  technology  when  it  comes  to  having  meetings.  They   prefer  to  communicate  one-­‐on-­‐one  and  like  to  look  someone  in  the  eyes  when   asking  questions.  Boomers  are  not  found  of  flexible  or  relaxed  work  schedules.     Boomers  are  proud  of  their  professional  career  and  accomplishments  (rewards  and   recognitions).  They  prefer  a  competitive  working  environment,  quality  of  work  and   being  personally  involved.  When  rewarding  Boomers,  do  it  in  the  form  of  money  or   title  recognition.          
    • Working  Characteristics  of  Generation  X   Generation  X  (also  known  as  Gen  X)  grew  up  in  the  shadows  of  Baby  Boomers  and   recognized  their  extreme  work  ethic.  Because  of  this,  Gen  Xers  work  hard  but  prefer   to  work  in  companies  that  offer  a  strong  work/life  balance.       Gen  Xers  are  naturally  independent  and  entrepreneurs  at  heart.  They  are  constantly   looking  to  re-­‐evaluate  their  career  path  and  because  of  that,  they  focus  on  the  skills   and  experience  of  the  job  rather  than  the  relationships  that  can  be  built.  Changing   jobs  every  3  to  4  years  is  not  uncommon.  Gen  Xers  are  tech  friendly  and  would   rather  communicate  through  IM  or  email  than  have  in-­‐person  meetings  so  that  they   can  multi-­‐task.       Working  Characteristics  of  Millennial  Generation   The  Millennials  (Generation  Y)  are  also  known  as  the  Internet  Generation  and  the   Echo  Boomers,  are  the  youngest  in  the  workforce.  This  generation  grew  up  in  a   world  already  inundated  with  technology  and  multitasking,  which  translates  to   being  flighty,  non-­‐committal,  and  with  low  attention  spans.       Millennials  have  also  been  known  to  be  the  entitled  working  generation  where  they   feel  that  because  they  choose  to  work,  they  are  entitled  to  flexible  work  schedules,   instant  feedback,  recognition,  and  high  expectations  from  their  employer.     Millennials  are  extremely  comfortable  with  technology  and  prefer  to  use  it  to   communicate  rather  than  meet  in  person.  Millennials  also  seek  work-­‐life  balance   and  lack  loyalty  to  a  workplace  and  it’s  employees;  it’s  all  about  the  experience  of   the  position.  They  tend  to  be  entrepreneurial  and  goal  oriented,  but  work  is  a  means   to  an  end.       3) Unify  the  team  with  common  goals  and  expectations   After  reading  about  the  vast  differences  among  the  generations  in  the  workplace,  it’s   easy  to  see  that  there  can  clearly  arise  differences  and  arguments  among  the  team.   Your  role  as  the  Business  Wingman  is  to  identify  these  misunderstanding  and   mitigate  the  risk  before  anything  happens.  I’m  not  saying  that  you  should  become   the  team  babysitter  and  listen  to  gossip  all  day.  I  am  saying  that  this  effort  is  a  part   of  your  everyday  management  and  leadership  among  the  team.     For  example,  rather  than  encouraging  others  to  hold  their  opinions  to  themselves   and  letting  pent  up  anger  and  frustration  build,  it’s  imperative  that  you  notate  that   there  are  differences  in  how  we  approach  each  situation.  Reinforce  to  the  team  that   everyone  is  diverse,  unique  in  their  experience  and  wisdom,  but  each  person  is  here   because  they  bring  a  certain  element  to  the  table  and  together  they  can  make   something  great.  Then  by  identifying  a  common  goal  to  reach  for  and  an  understood   set  of  expectations,  you  can  start  to  see  the  team  unite  to  help  each  other  solve   problems  and  approach  the  situation  differently.     Visit  our  blog  at  http://www.artofthewingman.com.