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THRIVING IN A MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORLD - MILLENNIALS to BOOMERS

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Workforce trends and the existence of a multi-generational workforce pose unique challenges to today’s business environment. Understanding each generation is critical to optimizing an organization’s …

Workforce trends and the existence of a multi-generational workforce pose unique challenges to today’s business environment. Understanding each generation is critical to optimizing an organization’s culture.

Today’s workplace is made up of several different generations of employees. Two generations that can be radically different are the Baby Boomers and those just entering the work force, the Millennials.

This presentation provides an in-depth overview of the diversity in trends, education, beliefs and values in the workplace. When the groups e balanced, they bring value to an organization.

Published in: Business, Career

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  • ROLE PLAY – Fail!Boomer: So in conclusion,you’ve really done an excellent job over the past year and are on the right track. Keep doing what you are doing and you’ll do well here.Millennial: Well, that is great to here! I am so pleased that my work is on the right track. Speaking of career tracks, it seems like I have really maxed out on my current role and really don’t see the difference in what I am doing versus Carrie, who is two levels more senior. How can I move faster up the corporate track.Boomer: All it is is time Abbey. It really takes more time and experience. You just need to keep doing what you are doing. Millennial: Well, are there specific tasks I am not as good at? Or specific skills I need to grow?Boomer: In time you will learn those tasks and skills. It just takes time. Fail!
  • PopulationAs of May 1, 2012, U.S. total population: 313,465,023.25In 2010, the median age was 37.2. 26The approximate number of people by generation as of 2010: 27*?Mature/WWII Generation: 40,267,98428Baby Boomers: 81,489,44529Generation X: 61,032,70530Generation Y/Millennials: 85,405,38531
  • PopulationAs of May 1, 2012, U.S. total population: 313,465,023.25In 2010, the median age was 37.2. 26The approximate number of people by generation as of 2010: 27*?Mature/WWII Generation: 40,267,98428Baby Boomers: 81,489,44529Generation X: 61,032,70530Generation Y/Millennials: 85,405,38531
  • While Millennials are plagued by stereotypes like being tech-obsessed, entitled and apathetic, they are the rising class that will make up 36% of the workforce by 2014 and 46% by 2020, and they offer unique skills that are increasingly vital to a company’s future.
  • Social generations are cohorts of people who were born in the same date range and share similar cultural experiences.
  • TRADITIONALISTS The label "Silent Generation" was first coined in the November 5, 1951 cover story of Time to refer to the generation coming of age at the time, born during the Great Depression and World War II, including the bulk of those who fought during the Korean War. The article, (which defined the generation at the time as born from 1925 to 1945), found its characteristics as grave and fatalistic, conventional, possessing confused morals, expecting disappointment but desiring faith, and for women, desiring both a career and a family.[1] The article stated:Youth today is waiting for the hand of fate to fall on its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and saying almost nothing. The most startling fact about the younger generation is its silence. With some rare exceptions, youth is nowhere near the rostrum. By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers & mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame. It does not issue manifestos, make speeches or carry posters. It has been called the "Silent Generation."The phrase gained further currency after William Manchester's comment that members of this generation were "withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, indifferent, unadventurous and silent."[2]The name was used by Strauss and Howe in their book Generations as their designation for that generation in the United States of America born from 1925 to 1942.[3] The generation is also known as the Postwar Generation and the Seekers, when it is not neglected altogether and placed by marketers in the same category as the G.I. or "Greatest" Generation.They have also been called the "Lucky Few" by Professor Elwood D. Carlson in his 2008 book titled The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom.[4] Dr. Carlson is the Charles B. Nam Professor in Sociology of Population at Florida State University. He was the director of FSU's Center for Demography and Population Health from 2003 through 2007.[5]In England, they were named the "Air Raid Generation" as children growing up amidst the crossfire of World War II.[citation needed]
  • or Baby Boomers, events such as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the assassination of JFK led to soul searching on moral and ethical topics.Baby Boomers drove a rapid societal change that brought entirely new ways of thinking to America. They were the first to believe they controlled their own lives, rather than assuming they would follow in the footsteps of their parents. Change such as civil rights and women’s causes became the rallying cry for this group. In addition, Baby Boomers are driven to succeed which can cause issues between them and their Gen X children.
  • BABY BOOMERSThe phrase baby boom has been used since the late nineteenth century to refer to a noticeable temporary increase in the birth rate. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of "baby boomer" is from 1970 in an article in the Washington Post.[9]Various authors have delimited the baby boom period differently. The United States Census Bureau considers a baby boomer to be someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964.[10]Landon Jones, in his book Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation (1980), defined the span of the baby-boom generation as extending from 1943 through 1960, when annual births increased over 4,000,000. Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, well known for their generational theory, define the social generation of Boomers as the cohorts born from 1943 to 1960, who were too young to have any personal memory of World War II, but old enough to remember the postwar American High.[11]The generation can be segmented into two broadly defined cohorts. The Leading-Edge Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1955, those who came of age during the Vietnam War era. This group represents slightly more than half of the generation, or roughly 38,002,000 people of all races. The other half of the generation was born between 1956 and 1964. Called Late Boomers, or Trailing-Edge Boomers, this second cohort includes about 37,818,000 individuals, according to Live Births by Age and Mother and Race, 1933–98, published by the Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics.[12]An ongoing battle for "generational ownership" has motivated a handful of marketing mavens and cultural commentators to coin and/or promote their own terms for sub‑segments of the baby-boomer generation. These monikers include, but are not limited to, "golden boomers", "generation Jones", "alpha boomers", "yuppies", "zoomers", and "cuspers". Advocates of these "cultural segments" are often zealous and overstated in their attempts to redefine generational boundaries, often claiming wide adoption and sometimes advancing self-promotional agendas.In Ontario, Canada, one attempt to define the boom came from David Foot, author of Boom, Bust and Echo: Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the 21st entury, published in 1997 and 2000. He defines a Canadian boomer as someone born from 1947 to 1966, the years that more than 400,000 babies were born. However, he acknowledges that is a demographic definition, and that culturally it may not be as clear-cut.[13]Doug Owram argues that the Canadian boom took place from 1943 to 1960, but that culturally boomers (everywhere) were born between the late war years and about 1955 or 1956. He notes that those born in the years before the actual boom were often the most influential people among boomers; for example, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones [excluding Charlie Watts, who was born on June 2, 1941] to and writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who were considerably older than the boomer generation. Those born in the 1960s might feel disconnected from the cultural identifiers of the earlier boomers.[14]Bernard Salt places the Australian baby boom between 1943 and 1960.[15][16]Another definition for the Baby Boom is the decade after the Second World War, that is 1946 to 1955.
  • postpone marriage and family life for the corporate racetrack, While their society was much more diverse, due to the civil rights moments, it was also more violent. Drug wars and school shootings, unheard of prior to 1980, became lead stories on the nightly news, while absent parents and an unstable work world created uncertainty at home. As a result, this generation became self-sufficient, independent and skeptical.
  • GENERATION “X”The term "Generation X" was coined by the Magnum photographerRobert Capa in the early 1950s. He used it later as a title for a photo-essay about young men and women growing up immediately after the Second World War. The project first appeared in "Picture Post" (UK) and "Holiday" (US) in 1953. Describing his intention, Capa said 'We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realised that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with'.[12]The term was popularized by Canadian author Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, concerning young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles. While Coupland's book helped to popularize the phrase "Generation X," in a 1989 magazine article[13] he erroneously attributed the term to English musician Billy Idol. In fact, Idol had been a member of the punk band Generation X from 1976–1981, which was named after Deverson and Hamblett's 1965 sociology book Generation X[14]—a copy of which was owned by Idol's mother.[15]In the U.S., some called Generation Xers the "baby bust" generation because of the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom.[3] The drop in fertility rates in America began in the late 1950s. According to authors and demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe, there are approximately 88.5 million Gen Xers in the U.S. today.What are the legacies that Gen-Y inherited from Gen-X? Aren't Gen-X creations like YouTube and MySpace largely responsible for Gen-Y narcissism? Didn't punk rock begat Rock Band? Gordinier says in his book "We've created all these great websites that now Millennials waste their lives on."  In fact, one could argue that Gen-X actually created the Internet. The Internet then gave each person the ability to voice their own ideas and concerns, leading to new levels of group collaboration. Here are some additional characteristics often associated with Gen-X: Individualistic. Gen-X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy. Because they were the first “latch-key” children, Gen-X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. In the workplace, Gen-X values real responsibility and freedom.  Technologically adept. The shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy occurred during their watch. They were the first generation to grow up with PDAs, cellphones, e-mail, laptops, Blackberrys, and technology woven into their lives.  Flexible. Many Gen-X’ers lived through tough economic times in the 1980s and saw their workaholic parents lose hard-earned positions. Thus, Gen-X is less committed to one employer. They adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles.  Value work/life balance. Unlike previous generations, members of Gen-X work to live rather than live to work. They appreciate fun in the workplace and espouse a work hard/play hard mentality. Gen-X managers now sometimes incorporate games and humor into team work activities.  Gen-X is rife with entrepreneurs. In fact, they will likely make or break our country’s ability to transition to the new social Internet society. They have drive and independence. And they have a lot they can teach both the boomers and Gen-Y.In fact, they currently make up 42% of the American workforce, compared to 32% Boomers (because some have already retired) and 26% Gen-Y (the rest are still at home or in school). This generation felt the freedom to go into business for themselves, such as the many dot-com companies that emerged during the 90s. They were not as concerned with security, often returning to their parents' home after experiencing college and work for the first time. For at least the next few years, Gen-X will be the major facilitators of change. They are now or will be soon running your company. Indeed, in these times we really can’t afford to forget this particular group. Show your respect today. For example, while boomers usually view long hours as evidence of loyalty and hard work, Gen X and Y tend to try to have more work/life balance. They've seen their parents' lack of quality of life, and the lack of loyalty companies showed to these hard-working parents in the 1990s, and they're not impressed.  They want flexible hours, more vacation time, continuous training, and telecommuting options. They expect to leverage technology to work efficiently instead of staying late in the office to get it all done. Boomers have traditionally felt that you have to "pay your dues" to your company – and if you hate your job, that's just part of life. Generations X and Y typically don't accept this; they want rewarding, intellectually stimulating work – and they don't want someone watching them too closely to check on their progress. These new groups are independent, creative, and forward thinking. They celebrate cultural diversity, technology, and feedback, and they prefer more of a "lattice" or individualized approach to management (as opposed to the traditional "corporate ladder").  The new generations also tend to like teamwork. Studies have shown that colleague relationships rank very high on Gen X and Y's list of priorities. Things like salary and prestige can often rank lower than boomers might expect, or might want for themselves.  Women’s Liberation Movement ’70Watergate and the Energy Crisis ’73Tandy and Apple personal computers ’76Three Mile Island ’7966 American Hostages in Iran ’79John Lennon Shot and Reagan Inaugurated ’80-81MTV ‘81AIDS ’84Challenger Disaster ’86“Latch key kids”
  • Bush Senior, Clinton
  • Gen Y has been rewarded for just showing up and has been raised with the mantra that “there is no score, everyone is a winner.” They are extremely team-oriented, social and altruistic. At this point the defining moment for Gen Y is based in rapid increases in technology. They have never lived without a cell phone or computer, and are entirely comfortable communicating solely via text message or email.
  • MILLENNIALS They are actually a larger group than the boomers—92 million vs. 78 million.The phrase Generation Y first appeared in an August 1993 Ad Age editorial to describe teenagers of the day, which they defined as different from Generation X, and then aged 12 or younger (born after 1981), as well as the teenagers of the upcoming ten years.[1] Since then, the company has sometimes used 1982 as the starting birth year for this generation.[2] "Generation Y" alludes to a succession from "Generation X."Millennials are sometimes called Echo Boomers, due to the significant increase in birth rates during the 1980s and into the 1990s. In America, the birth rate of the Echo Boom peaked in 1990. [3] Millennials are mostly the children of baby boomers or Gen Xers.[4][5][6][7] The 20th century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued,[8][9] however, so the relative impact of the "baby boom echo" was generally less pronounced than the original boom.William Strauss and Neil Howe are influential in defining American generations in their book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (1991).[10][11]Their generational theory is frequently cited in books and articles on the subject. Howe and Strauss maintain that they use the term Millennials in place of Generation Y because they discovered that members of the generation preferred it. Almost a decade later, they followed their large study of the history of American demographics with a book devoted to the new generation, titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation (2000).[12][13]Millennial characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. It is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communication, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics; the effects of this environment are disputed.[14][15]The 2007–2012 global financial crisis has had a major impact on Millennials because it caused historically high levels of unemployment among young people. The problem is particularly acute in Europe, and led to speculation about possible long term economic and social damage. [16]Several alternative names have been proposed by various people: Generation We, Global Generation,[17][18]Generation Next,[19] and the Net Generation.[20] The name "Echo Boomers"[21] refers to the size of the generation and its relation to the Baby Boomer generation.[22]One author, Elwood Carlson, locates the American generation, which he calls "New Boomers," between 1983 and 2001, because of the upswing in births after 1983, finishing with the "political and social challenges" that occurred after the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, and the "persistent economic difficulties" of the time.[23] Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe make a distinction that each generation has unique characteristics. Millennials are more like the "civic-minded" G.I. generation than a repeat of their Baby Boomer or Gen X parents.In Australia, there is debate over Millennial birth dates. It is generally accepted, however, that the first "Gen Y" members were born in 1983. The Australian Bureau of Statistics, use 1983–2000.[24][25][26][27][28]In Canada, 1983 is generally thought to be the starting birth year for Generation Y, ending in the late-1990s or 2000, even as late as 2004.[29][30][31][32][33][34]In China, Generation Y does not exist, as the rapid rate of change in that country since 1983 has caused generations to be classed by decade.[35] While in most of the developed world, a person born in 1983 and a person born in 1990 are considered the same generation; in China, those born in the 1970s are called the "post-70s" generation, those born in the 1980s the "post-80s" generation, and those born in the 1990s the "post-90s generation".[35]Like members of Generation X, who were heavily influenced by MTV, early members of Generation Y are also sometimes called the MTV Generation. This term can also be a catch phrase for youth of the late 20th century, depending on the context.[36][37][38][39]Led to a sense of self-confidence (viewed as arrogance in some instances – “more confidence than talent”)Oklahoma City BombingThe InternetGrowth in Social MediaClinton/Lewinsky scandalColumbine High School MassacreSeptember 11, 2001The popularity of ESPNThese are the children who grew up with Ronald Reagan as “The Great Communicator”Their morality is an outgrowth of being raised in more conservative timesThey have largely known prosperous times (despite a few hiccups in the early ’90s)They desire a good education so that they can make their markReally, they are the Veterans in a different generationRaised by “soccer moms”Psychologically impacted by danger in worldSchool desks in pods, not rows -- Not me.Birthdays take entire weekEveryone gets a trophy (just for showing up)Early education about pollution, environmentNew breed of feminism, don’t use “f” wordOpen minded and multi-culturalGet along with and actually like parentsPolitically activeExtreme tech savvy, “digital natives”Resilient and not bothered by set backsJob satisfaction over money or opportunityNeed lots of supervision and structureAn “echo” generationPersonal Goal OrientedService OrientedGeneration starting to move into parenthood – flexible hours, parental leave plans, childcare services, recruitment savings.Younger of Gen Y = training, career coaching, gym, vacation
  • Bush v. Gore and Obama v. McCain and Romney are our first voting elections
  • Millennial Generation• Largest consumer group ¡n the history of the U.S.• Nurtured in the most “child centered period” ever (uber-parented’!)• Conditioned to live in the moment• Accustomed to the immediacy of technology• Earn money for immediate consumption• Respect after being respected• Question everything Gen “Y” Psychographics • Raised in comfort and with the tntemet• Highly “parented”•Most techno-savvy generation... Baby Mozart, Baby Monitors, Computers in the nursery• Self-Inventive, individualistic• Grow-up early, mature late• Celebrate dIversity – hIgh degree of tolerance towards different cultures, lifestyles and behaviors• Two life-altering events shape the consciousness of this generation: the terrorist attacks 019/11 and the shootings at Columbine and other American schools Gen “Y” Workstyle• Work on their own terms – command of technology and having experienced affluence so early In life puts them in a unique position to negotiate those demands• Want to be “paid volunteers,” joining organizations not because they have to, but because they really want to, and because something significant is happening there• Expect quick promotions• Expect feedback• Expect respect 
  • PAY AND MOTIVATIONREALITY: Research from the Corporate Executive Board, The Center for Creative Leadership, and The Gallup Organization concluded that there is no relationship between a person’s generation and whether he or she is more or less motivated by perks and high pay.  In other words, Millennials are about as motivated as boomers and Gen Xers by perks and money (although these factors don’t rank all that high for anyone, on average). Also site: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. PinkAgain, the real difference shows up between organizational levels. Our data indicates that people at lower levels in organizations — who make less money — are slightly more motivated by extrinsic rewards than people at higher levels in the organization. All generations indicate compensation is either the most important or second-most important job attribute they care about when evaluating potential employers.  What is different, though, is how Gen Y evaluates their level of compensation, which creates the need for an entirely different compensation communication strategy. Gen X and boomers want to know how much compensation they get and whether the level of compensation will meet their needs.  Gen Y employees focus much more on their level of compensation relative to their peers and less on the absolute amount of compensation. The implication for executives is that communication about compensation levels across the company (a subject often avoided in previous generations) will become more important in engaging Generation Y. And that communication must be more transparent than ever:,  Organizations will be pushed by Gen Y employees to share specific pay ranges, bonus amounts, and in some cases, the specific pay amounts of employees to effectively engage them.  You may think giving Millennials that iPad or handing them that spot bonus or letting them bring their dog to work is going to increase their dedication to the job, but it won’t. It might make them think you (or your company) are cool (because everyone loves a free iPad, right?), but there is no evidence that it increases overall motivation. 
  • WORK ETHIC  Reality: Research indicates that Millennials currently in the workplace are just as intrinsically motivated as are boomers and Gen Xers. The data says that they not behaving differently than the two previous generations.  Data indicates that people at lower levels in organizations (who tend to be younger) are slightly less motivated by the content of their jobs than people at higher levels. When looking at people at the top and at the bottom, consider the differences between the content of their work, the scope of their impact, and the level of their autonomy. Millennials aren’t motivated to do boring work. And boomers weren’t any more motivated by that kind of work when they were younger.  If you want to motivate Millennials, it’s a good idea to give them work they will actually enjoy and find meaningful.  Most people understand that it’s not all going to be fascinating, but a reasonable portion of it should be, or why not find a new job?  Reality: Millennials have a self-centered work ethic. This is not necessarily the negative that it may seem at first. Millennial employees are dedicated to completing their task well. They have not been raised in a way that demands them to look around and see what should be done next. Instead they ask "what is my job" and go about figuring the best, fastest way to complete that task. Then they consider themselves done. This is a key differentiator between your employees and yourself. The younger they are, the more your employees view their jobs as "something to do between the weekends." For most, early employment has nothing to do with a career path; it is a way to earn money to have fun in their free time. And that is okay. Instead of being frustrated that your youngest employees are not interested in climbing your corporate ladder, embrace their true motivation - reliable spending money - and use it to your advantage.  When you tell an employee, "I understand this is not your lifelong career, but to earn the paycheck every week, here is what I expect." they are much more likely to respond than if you try to motivate with promises of promotions and titles down the road. Understanding that being at the job isn't as important to Millennials as completing the assigned task also opens up new opportunities for motivation and reward. Younger employees are very likely to respond to offers of paid time off. A leading retail organization has recognized this new way of thinking with its Working Hard Card: When managers witness an employee rising to a challenge, exceeding expectations or otherwise giving 110 percent, they can hand the employee a Working Hard Card on the spot. Each card is worth a set amount of paid time off to be used at the employee's discretion. It is a simple strategy that rewards employees in the currency they value most - their time.  Reality: Millennial employees are willing to put in the time to do the job, however they are uninterested in "face time." Gen Xers and Millennials view time as a currency. While Baby Boomers tend to see time as something to invest, the younger generations view it as a valuable currency not to be wasted. These are the generations that demand work-life balance and paid time off. They want to get the job done, then put it behind them and enjoy life. Boomer managers have a tendency to lose the interest of their Millenial employees by looking too far into the future. Millennials live in the time frame based on right now. Their world has proven that nothing is a guarantee - from nationwide layoffs to war to soaring divorce rates, they have decided that there's not a lot you can count on. As a result they are not interested in promotion plans for five years from now. They don't even want to know what will happen at the end of the summer. Life is uncertain. To reach the Millennial employee and reduce turnover, make it certain. Tell your employee that you have a plan. Take pains to ensure it is in a time frame short enough for them to envision. Be prepared to fulfill your promise - once fooled, the Millennial employee is forever jaded. This approach feeds into their reality, while simultaneously building trust and buying you more time. Reward small successes along the way, string these milestones together, and you will soon realize longer tenures among your staff. What motivated previous generations doesn't motivate Mellinnials. Money and status are not their priorities; relationships and experiences are. They will work hard if they believe they are making a difference and are appreciated (they do enjoy personal attention). Millennials have no resistance to change and little aversion to failure as long as they are learning something. Source: Millennial Rising, Neil Howe and William Strauss   
  • The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged workers -- an indicator of workplace conditions – was lowest among employees aged: 30-59. Employees in this age range are more likely to the actively disengaged with their workplace. The percentage of actively disengaged workers was highest among those aged 40-49 (22%) -- far higher than the active disengagement registered by employees aged 18-29 or those 6o and older (15% for both age groups).  
  • JOKE:Boomer: “You are lazy, I put in over 60 hours a week at my job.”Millennial: “Yeah, that’s a shame that you work so slowly”.Ask for 2 or 3 more conflicts from the audience.
  • List them and ask for 2 or 3 more from the audience.ADDITIONAL CONCERNSYears of e-communication have resulted in digital natives losing the ability to recognize facial cues. “Growing up Google” is creating a nation of searchers. We are losing idea generators.
  • Millennial Strengths — They are…Uniquely tapped into a key demographic: Experts on their own generation. Companies spend a lot of money researching and marketing to this age group.Experienced: Armed with more experience than they realize: summer jobs, internships, tutoring, studying abroad, school clubs, sports participation and volunteer work. These Demonstrate leadership, problem-solving, work ethic and social skills. Untethered and flexible: Generally don’t have mortgages or dependents yet. Able to stay plugged in, work around the clock if necessary, travel on short notice and relocate if an opportunity becomes available.Energetic: Have a rare and valuable attribute: unbridled energy, hunger and eagerness on the job. Status quo is boring. Innovation is it: Have something better to sell — creativity and innovation. Not locked into limited, linear patterns of thinking about industry issues or challenges. Construct solutions the way the web works, using creative networks and associationsAdaptable and willing to learn: Forced to adjust and position as a change agent. Get energy and inspiration from change, as opposed to the anxiety or resistance older generations may feel.Comfortable with technology and willing to teach: More comfortable with new technologies and social media tools. Reverse mentor opportunityMulti-tasking : Expected to do multiple people’s jobs and juggle several projects at once. Grew up in a generation toggling Google, Facebook, email, and instant messagingCollaborative by training: Grew up doing group projects. Interaction, open office plans and brainstorming are the new normal.  Interested in more than just a paycheck: Well known for prioritizing value and meaning in their work over money. Employee’s passion is the company’s best resource. When people’s jobs are aligned with what they care about, they put in the extra effort, and it flows straight to the bottom line.Generation Y's Workplace Strengths and WeaknessesThe upbeat, civic-focused, self-centric Generation Y attitude is beginning to manifest itself in the workforce. As new recruits, the members exhibit a high degree of ambition and entitlement: They expect and demand career track positioning, time to pursue volunteer interests, attentive management from supervisors, and regular, appreciative acknowledgement even when their work doesn't merit it. Because they've been overpraised and protected from feeling unsuccessful, Millennials often struggle with processing failure and criticism. This group frequently lacks the ability to internalize the lessons they need to learn while staying engaged in the work at hand.  The high degree of adult oversight and praise members of Generation Y received as children has left them reliant upon external direction and regular appreciation from authority figures, such as parents, teachers or supervisors. When confronted with unclear guidelines or minimal management, Millennials tend to flounder. They're unable to determine on their own the direction they need to take. They expect others with more authority to give it to them. Left to figure things out on their own, Millennials may resort to entertaining themselves until told otherwise or sticking to lesser tasks that lie within their comfort zones. As a result, Generation Y is struggling as it enters a workplace where employees are expected to hit the ground running with little oversight and to learn on the job.  Generation Y's strength is its technological sophistication. Digital communication is Generation Y's birthright. Members grew up in an on-demand world where access to information is immediate. Technology has been and remains an integral part of their daily lives, including their relationships. Thus, they possess the tools and savvy needed to work with the information systems running companies today and to address the challenges of working in virtual teams on complex problems. Raised to be team players, Millennials are well suited for collaborative work environments.  Generation Y's Impact on the American WorkplaceNot all of the workplace changes Generation Y is necessitating are unwelcome, especially to world-weary Generation Xers who continue to fight an uphill battle against Baby Boomer managers for more flexible, family-friendly work arrangements.  Employers have noted Generation Y's distaste for working late nights, long commutes and any other "face time" expectations that are not backed by a strong rationale. They want a workplace that accommodates their desire for balance between professional and personal pursuits and their need for organizational structure, adequate direction and acknowledgment.  When you stop to think about it, is there anything inherently wrong with their workplace expectations and demands for meaningful jobs and socially responsible employers, for attentive supervisors who give clear direction and appreciate a job well done, and for healthy work/life balance? We could all benefit from Generation Y's expectations of the workplace.   
  • Provide structure. Clearly state goals. Assess progress. Define assignments and success factors.Provide leadership and guidance. Plan to spend time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to Millennials when you hire them.  Encourage the Millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive personal self-image. Encourage - don't squash them or contain them.Take advantage of the Millennial's comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join. They believe a team can accomplish more and better as they've experienced team success. Purposefully include members of each generation on a team. Listen to the millennial employee. These young adults have ideas and opinions, and don't take kindly to having their thoughts ignored.. They had the best listening, most child-centric audience in history.Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. “What’s happening next “is their mantra. Don’t bore them, ignore them, or trivialize their contribution.Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. Multiple tasks don’t phase them. This is a way of life. Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy. The electronic capabilities of these employees are amazing. Provide a life-work balanced workplace. Your millennials are used to cramming their lives with multiple activities. They work hard, but they are not into the sixty hour work weeks defined by the Baby Boomers. Home, family, spending time with the children and families, are priorities. Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. Millennials want to enjoy their work and their workplace. They want to make friends in their workplace. Worry if your millennial employees aren’t laughing, going out with workplace friends for lunch, and helping plan the next company event or committee. Help your long-term employees make room for the Millennials.
  • Follow-Through– Gen X expects you to meet your commitments, so do it! Pitch In – Do your coworkers a favor… grab some coffee or clean the break room. They will notice!Experience > Education – Experience matters the most in the real world. Respect those who have experience and lead with your own experience for more credibility.Multi-Task but don’t Multi-Think – You cannot give full attention in a meeting while emailing or IM’ing
  • Transcript

    • 1. Thriving in a Multi-generational World: Leveraging Generational Diversity Steve Dosier Abbey Ziv Principal Consultant Global Director of Learning and Engagement Corporate Intelligence Advisors Adconion Media Group The Paul Merage School of Business Corporate Partners Quarterly Meeting November 29, 2012
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    • 3. AGENDA • Purpose: To foster a better understanding of generations in the workplace and enable the leveraging of each generation’s strengths. • Topics: – Generation Statistics • Birth Trends • Labor Force by Age • Labor Force by Generations – Definitions & Influencers – Millennials: Truth or Myth? – The Downside of Not Dealing with the Issue – The Upside of Addressing the Opportunity – Recommendations 3
    • 4. GENERATION STATISTICS 4
    • 5. BIRTH TRENDS Generation “X” MillennialsBaby Boomers 5
    • 6. LABOR FORCE BY GENERATION 6
    • 7. LABOR FORCE PROJECTIONS 7
    • 8. 4 GENERATIONS IN THE WORKFORCE 8 Born: 1933 - 1945 Born: 1946 - 1964 Born: 1965 - 1980 Traditionalists Baby Boomer Generation X Generation Y Born: 1981 - 2000
    • 9. TRADITIONALISTS: BORN 1933 – 45 9
    • 10. DEFINITIONS • Traditionalists / Silent Generation / Veterans: born 1933 to 1945 – Current age = 67+ – Great Depression  Self-sacrificing – Rise in self-developed wealth – Patriots, World War II – Customary, strong work ethic, no nonsense – Loyal, disciplined, and knowledgeable – Married young – Communication Preference – formal memo – Motivation – Your experience is respected 10
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    • 12. “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.” —Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) 40th President United States 12
    • 13. BABY BOOMERS: BORN 1946 – 64 13
    • 14. DEFINITIONS • Baby Boomers: born 1946 to 1964 – Current age = 48 to 66 – Booming economy & suburban affluence – Strong nuclear families, stay-at-home moms – Competitive and hard-working – Invented the 40+ hour work week – Hold leadership positions, maintain strong devotion to work, expect the same of subordinates – “Do the time” before making demands / “Live to work” – Communication Preference – in-person – Motivation – You are valued, you are needed 14
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    • 17. “Each generation wants new symbols, new people, and new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.” — Jim Morrison (1943 – 1971) Musician, Poet 17
    • 18. GENERATION “X”: BORN 1965 – 80 18
    • 19. DEFINITIONS • Generation “X”: born 1965 to 1980 – Current age = 32 to 47 – Saw downturn in the economy, job insecurity for parents, layoffs – Divorce on the rise; More working moms – Latchkey kids  Independent and adaptable  Practical – Invention of microwave meals (i.e.: “Hot Pockets”) – Don’t hold a strong level of commitment to company – They are committed to their boss and work team – Communication Preference - Direct, Immediate – Motivation: Do it your way, forget the rules 19
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    • 23. “My generation is having its midlife crisis in its 20s.” — Edward Norton, (born 1969) Actor 23
    • 24. MILLENNIALS: BORN 1981 – 2000 24
    • 25. • Millennials / Generation “Y” / Netgen / Echo Boomer / Entitled Generation: born 1981 to 2000 – Current age = 12 to 31 – Most racially diverse generation in history – Most educated generation / very optimistic – Showered with attention / driven by high expectations of their parents / coddled kids / sense of entitlement / merged families – “Digital Natives” / Most technology literate / assume technology – Learned to juggle tasks and interests, effective at multi-tasking – Work well in groups, prefer teams to independent work – Want flexibility in the jobs & work schedules / “Work to live” – Communication Preference – Email, Voicemail – Motivation – You will work with other bright creative people DEFINITIONS 25
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    • 32. “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) 32nd President United States 32
    • 33. TRUTH OR MYTH? 33
    • 34. TRUTH OR MYTH? “Millennials are more motivated by perks and high pay than other generations. They are interested only in material rewards, and organizations will go bankrupt trying to satisfy the Millennial’s’ desires.” 34 MYTH!
    • 35. TRUTH OR MYTH? “Millennials have no work ethic. They aren’t interested in their work. Their lack of commitment to an organization is also demonstrated by their lack of interest in their job.” 35 MYTH!
    • 36. TRUTH OR MYTH? 36
    • 37. DOWNSIDE OF NOT LEVERAGING GENERATIONAL STRENGTHS 37
    • 38. THE DOWNSIDE … • Members of each generation bring distinct sets of values, attitudes, expectations and behaviors to the workplace. • If differences are ignored, they can grow into a source of misunderstanding and conflict. 38
    • 39. THE DOWNSIDE … “I don’t need a Gen Y’er texting instead of building business relationships!” 39 – 68% of Boomers feel that “younger people” do not have as strong a work ethic as they do. – 32% of Gen X’ers believe that the “younger generation” lacks a good work ethic – 13% of Gen Y’ers say the difference in work ethics across the generations causes friction. They believe that they have a good work ethic for which they are not given credit. – “Gen X, Gen Y and the Baby Boomers: Workplace Generation Wars” by Steff Gelston (January 2008)
    • 40. 40 “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” — George Orwell (1903 – 1950) Author
    • 41. UPSIDE OF ADDRESSING GENERATIONAL STRENGTHS 41
    • 42. THE UPSIDE… • Synchronized generations bring strength to an organization – Built-in mentoring — practical way to fill skill gaps, inexperienced members learn how to avoid “old mistakes” and make new ones, experienced members learn how to envision solutions outside their comfort zone. – Active engagement — reduces the risk of “group think” by encouraging dynamic thinking whereby everyone openly questions and validates the team’s thought process. – Increased innovation and creativity — a diverse mix of perspectives will foster new ways of looking at solutions and opportunities giving your organization a competitive advantage. – Better communication — Help each other understand each generation’s uniqueness and communicate better with co-workers, partners, and clients. 42
    • 43. THE UPSIDE… • Millennial Strengths — They are… – Uniquely tapped into a key demographic – Experienced – Untethered and flexible – Energetic – Status quo is boring. Innovation is it. – Adaptable and willing to learn. – Comfortable with technology and willing to teach. – Multi-tasking. – Collaborative by training. – Interested in more than just a paycheck. 43
    • 44. RECOMMENDATIONS 44
    • 45. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS • Provide structure, leadership and guidance. • Measure on results, not time spent on the job. • Encourage the Millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive self-image. • Take advantage of the Millennial's comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join. • Listen to the millennial employee. • Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. They are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. • Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy. • Provide a life-work balanced workplace. • Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. 45
    • 46. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEADERS • Allow for a collaborative, participatory environment. • Involve others in the big picture. • Offer to be a mentor. • Create custom career paths. • Remember how the previous generation misunderstood you. • Encourage skills development. • Provide an opportunity to learn by doing. Situational fluency. • Develop interactive training. • Understand and respect other perspectives. • Allow for flexible, personalized work environments. • Prepare to hand-off to the next generation of leaders. 46
    • 47. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MILLENNIALS • Understand and respect other perspectives. • Share your success and enable others. • Use technology to make your job easier. • Strive to understand the system. • Seek out mentors. • Set goals. Take risks. • Ask to be involved. • Be willing to compromise. • Volunteer, Invest, Network. • Smile. • If all else fails, wear a suit! 47
    • 48. THANK YOU! • Steve Dosier – Principal Consultant – Corporate Intelligence Advisors – 714.536.4871 – stevedosier@corpinteladvisors.com • Abbey Ziv – Global Director of Learning and Engagement – Adconion Media Group – 310.382.5573 – abier@adconion.com 48
    • 49. APPENDIX – REFERENCES 49
    • 50. REFERENCES • PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS – AARP – The Corporate Executive Board – The Gallup Organization – Lee Hecht Harrison – PricewaterhouseCoopers – The Center for Creative Leadership • GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS – Centers for Disease Control – Congressional Budget Office – Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics – Social Security Administration • PERIODICALS – BusinessWeek – CIO Magazine (Oct 2007), Management Techniques for Bringing Out the Best in Gen “Y” by Deborah Gilburg – CNN.COM – Forbes 50 • BOOKS – Gen X, Gen Y and the Baby Boomers: Workplace Generation Wars by Steff Gelston (Jan 2008) – Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 by William Strauss and Neil Howe (Sep 1992) – The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Apr 2010) – The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace by Ron Alsop (Oct 2008) – When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Mar 2003) – Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, Neil Howe and William Strauss (Sep 2005) – X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier (Jan 2009)