Generations @ work


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  • Things different generations commonly have issues with and how other age group may see them
  • May not be as prevalent in workforce, but may be volunteers and definitely patrons!
    Silent: not much feedback wanted or given
    Waste not, want not- every little bit counts
    Have a high commitment to their job, low absenteeism
    conservative, fiscally prudent, and loyal to their employers.
    Sandwiched between supporting aging parents and kids in college or out of jobs
    Either starting a second career or pushing back retirement since many investments and retirement accounts have taken hits
    They value a work/life balance, but are still very career oriented
    ambitious, strong work ethic, loyal to careers and employers, multi-taskers.
  • Raised in a time where children weren’t valued as much
    They can work in teams, but prefer to work individually
    Their loyalty lies with themselves and their families, not to their employer like previous generations (However if employer shows they value the employee and are willing to invest in them (training, etc) they will have more loyalty) Seen more like independent contractors then life-long employees
    Want challenging work and don’t want to feel like they are wasting their time
    Flexibility (dot-com boom) Doing what they like trumps a paycheck. Need to spend time with family, don’t want to work 14 hr days like they saw their parents doing
    independent, highest number of divorced parents, dual-income families, self-sufficient (e.g., took care of chores and other responsibilities after school and before parents returned home from work).
  • Don’t automatically respect those in authority- that has to be earned
    can either catapult to the top of your company or catapult out to your competitors/ don’t have the same loyalty to employers as other generations
    Need a lot of feedback regularly (possibly due to helicopter parents) also may need guidance for taking on extra responsibility beyond job description (can be seen as overly sensitive). NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE WHY!!!
    Grew up around technology, especially younger group of millenials
    Love to build relationships and feel connected to people @ work which will make them want to stay. Like to have fun!!
    grew-up in a similar environment as Generation Xers, but with a different parenting style (e.g., timeouts, not spankings, very protective parents); extremely conscious of the global environment; open minded and accepting of differences in race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc; socially conscious; concerned with personal safety.
  • Highlight how every generation said they were smarter!
    While millennials are the only generation that didn’t mention work ethic, they are proud of the fact that they are more tolerant than other generations. (more accepting of non-traditional families. Immigrants, races, etc)
  • In order to work together effectively preconceived notions and stereotypes should be pushed aside
  • A lack of fear regarding change, coupled with an enjoyment of variety, are important personal desires that employers must recognize. Identifying the driving personal wants of the generations is the first step to help foster knowledge-sharing. Once the personal desires of the different generations are recognized and addressed accordingly (e.g. flexible work schedules for individuals ready to retire, creating a rotational job change for young professionals, etc.), the focus should shift to identifying communication barriers. Individuals from the younger generations often feel that older generations do not respect or trust their ideas and therefore, leave the younger generation workers feeling undervalued. The older generation frequently perceives that the younger generation lack work ethic, and respect for authority and institutional practices. These perceptions (whether true or not) lead to an inability to communicate. It is essential for an employer to identify the cause of the mistrust (which is almost always the root of any lack of communication) and work to build trust.
    Sometimes not directly responding (call vs. email) can be seen as disrespectful to older employees
    Formal vs. informal communication
  • 5 Tips Employers Can Implement to Narrow the Generational Communication Gap1. Be aware. Consider your workforce make up and needs over the next several years - even decades - (including costs due to turnover). Do you have multiple generations currently...will you in the near future? The remainder of the tips assume the answer is yes.2. Be enlightening. Educate your employees, including your managers, regarding the differences amongst the generations and show this as a strength. Diversity of thought and approach makes an organization stronger and more appealing to more people and to more customers. If we all thought the same way, we would never develop new ideas, embrace change and move our organizations forward.3. Be open. Talk about generational issues in a friendly environment. Let employees share their experiences and viewpoints in a safe atmosphere. Its ok to have these differences - but you need to know how to manage them. Listen to all viewpoints and don't just talk once - engage in frequent discussions about the topic. 4. Be a good example. Model respect and understanding from the top down. Create a flexible cultural environment. For example, if a Generation Y employee works from home on projects that do not require interaction with others, do not downplay the importance of that employee's contribution to the project or the employee. In fact, take the opportunity to highlight how contributions can be made from anywhere.5. Be creative. Establish multiple incentive programs tailored to your company's various generations. Toss out the idea that one benefit package fits all. For example, an employer may entice a Generation Y employee to increase customer satisfaction by rewarding the employee with free Internet access for a month after a specified number of customers complete an online (favorable) evaluation of the employee. Determine what employees want and reward them with it.
  • While there are generalizations to be made about generations, do not label all employees as people are all different!
    “Have you ever heard yourself utter the phrase, “I don’t understand kids these days, why do they think it’s okay to…….” If so, you are not alone. Part of the generational divide is that we don’t take enough time to truly understand the other generations’ mindset. The truth of the matter is that growing up in different eras causes people to see things differently. Many misunderstandings and conflicts can be avoided simply by acknowledging where the other person is coming from.”
    We cannot create a one-size-fits-all working relationship, but instead must tailor our interactions and communications to best meet the needs of each other.
    Tell your supervisor/co-workers about what kind of feedback helps you excel. Set up check-in meetings if you like more feedback, etc.
  • Forbes Article: Social learning goes beyond traditional learning and allows generations to learn from each other. Experiences, knowledge, different cultures, how things work in different environments (not just someone who has more experience) VERY important in the public library as we need to understand how to serve all different types of people
    Collaborate to share knowledge of tools (often younger generations) and knowledge of application and how to use in professional world
    Allow their strengths to be your weakness and vice- versa.
  • Don’t forget how your parents/elders looked at your behavior when you were growing up. It is the same for every generation and will continue to change as generations in the future come of age in different times. It is important to find value in each generation and develop their skills as they will take over the workforce. What kind of legacy do you want to leave???
  • Generations @ work

    1. 1. Do employees understand how work is done differently in different generations? Do employees understand customer needs, interaction and work styles from different generations?
    2. 2. How is communicating with someone from another generation different from communicating with someone from your own generation?
    3. 3. Age Gap in Professionalism Younger Employees Older Employees  Inappropriate dress  Workplace language  Resistant to change  Issues adapting to new  Social Networking dos and don’ts  TOO CASUAL technology  Serving diverse patrons  TOO RIDGID
    4. 4. Generations  Traditionalists  Baby Boomers  Generation X  Millennials
    5. 5. Traditionalists  Born before 1946  “Silent Generation”  Seen as Silent/Stoic  Came of age in Great Depression  Reliable and hardworking  Committed
    6. 6. Baby Boomers  1946-1964  78 million  “Woodstock Generation”  Pushing back retirement  Value work-life balance  Sandwich Generation
    7. 7. Generation X  1965-1980  50 million  “Latchkey kids”  Prefer working individually  Loyal to themselves, not organization  Want challenging work  Flexibility
    8. 8. Millennials (Gen Y)  1981-2000  75 million  “Entitled Ones”  Catapultors  Need a lot of feedback and guidance  Tech Savvy  Multi-taskers
    9. 9. “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
    10. 10. Common Issues  One management style won’t work anymore!  Competing personal desires  Lack of trust  Communication
    11. 11. Narrow the Communication Gap      Be Aware Be Enlightening Be Open Be a Good Example Be Creative
    12. 12. Tips for Working Together     Let go of labels Seek to understand Get out of your generation Be clear about the feedback you want
    13. 13. Benefits  Create a culture of Social Learning  Knowledge of tools vs. knowledge of application  Mentor opportunities
    14. 14. Just Remember  EVERY generation is different than the ones before it/after it  EVERY generation adds value to an organization
    15. 15. Sources  04/20/working-with-five-generations-in-theworkplace/  millennials-confident-connected-open-tochange/  butors.asp?ID=925  http://goodpeoplegoodbusiness.areavoices.c om/2013/05/15/closing-the-generation-gap/