Intergenerational                                                  BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedChallenges at Work- and H...
Today’s Workplace Makeup (%)                          4040                                                 BM2B - Matching...
Next Decade Workplace Makeup (%) 60                        50                                   BM2B - Matching Talent to ...
Expectations of Work   Traditionalists         Boomer               Gen X                   Gen YLoyal, respect        Com...
Influences & Styles   Traditionalists         Boomer              Gen X             Gen YWWII                  Vietnam War...
Communication Preferences  Traditionalists       Boomer               Gen X          Gen YFormal              Semi-Formal ...
Why Communication Matters√   Communication is a management    system                                      BM2B - Matching ...
Why Communication Matters•   Collective purpose•   Improved morale•   Improved productivity•   Improved teamwork•   Less g...
Why CommunicationMatters• 7 in 10 have ‘friended’ a co-worker or  supervisor                                            BM...
Why CommunicationMattersCreation of ‘job flirts’• 2/3rds of these ‘flirts’ use social   networks to enhance their career  ...
Multigenerational Challenges•   Misalignment of goals and effort•   Communication issues•   Managing change – resistance t...
What to do…what to do?√ Develop Yourself                         BM2B - Matching Talent to Need√ Develop a Strategy√ Devel...
Develop Yourself1. Gain a sound understanding of the generations in your   workplace - research2. Evaluate the differences...
Develop a Strategy•   Employer brand•   Social network & connect it to the talent management strategy•   Learning and deve...
Develop Others•   Purpose and values•   Your brand•   Learning and development•   Location options                        ...
Start your process NOW!1.   Research the generations in your workplace2.   Find ways to leverage differences and similarit...
Intergenerational                                                  BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedChallenges at Work- and H...
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Intergenerational challenges at work


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Today’s workforce is comprised of four generations, each with their own working styles, workplace environment and communication preferences, and views of how they expect to be treated as employees. This creates challenge for organizations in terms of attracting, recruiting and retaining high performers. These challenges will only grow as, by 2020, there will be five generations in the workplace and Boomers, the current leadership and dominant cohort, will be replaced by the less expert Generation Y cohort. Today, more than ever, Human Resources experts can take a leadership role in addressing these challenges and leveraging the differences for performance advantage.

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  • The 2020 Workforce will, in all likelihood, be composed of 5 generations of employees, each generation, potentially, in the workplace with significantly different views of the workplace, different styles of work, different preferences as they relate to communication, and different expectations about how they want to be treated as members of the workforce.The world of work, today, is actually still very young. Just since the last century, has the workplace been structured as it is today, with jobs being worked primarily as employees. Since the start of the industrial revolution, we have not seen this mix of generations in the workforce.As well, Boomers are starting to retire. By 2020, in less than a decade, the number of boomers in the workforce will have decreased by 50%. The challenge for business leaders and HR experts is not just the increase in the number of positions that will be vacant, but the expertise that will go out the door with them. In the meantime, HR experts need to get up to speed on how to use these intergenerational differences and expectations to their advantage…not only in terms of recruiting and retaining the best but, more importantly, in terms of business performance.“Intergenerational Challenges at Work” looks at the effects of demographic changes in the workplace and intergenerational leadership practices required to tackle these challenges and use them to advance the performance of the current and future employee.There are 4 major influences that affect the composition of the workforce:There are 4 distinct generations in the workforce – and a significant shift is underway reaching its peak by the year 2020.Today, 40% of senior positions are held by the generation known as the baby boomers – they lead the companies and the country – they hold a significant amount of expertise.Generation X and Y have entered the workforce and they have arrived with different preferences, working styles, and views of work, workplace environment and how they should be treated as employees.Recent studies with small business owners, those employing less than 100 employees, representing the majority of employers in Canada – less than 25% have a succession plan in place – a means to pass on their business and expertise.We suggest this intergenerational workplace has significant implications for the attraction, recruitment and retention of high performing employees. Definitions – during this discussion I will reference, as the foundation for our theory about future employee performance requirements and how to take advantage of the demographic differences, the term generational cohorts. Generational cohorts are people born roughly at the same time, who as a consequence tend to have rather similar attitudes and expectations. They are often brought up with the same child rearing practices and have similar experiences as teenagers and young adults. This is a particularly sensitive period for acquiring a moral and political orientation. These shared experiences are termed ‘generational markers.’ These are important since they provide clues about how these generations will behave as they move into positions of decision making at work and have increasing access to resources.
  • What are the generations in the workplace today?Traditionalists born before 1947Boomers born between1947 and 1966Generation X born between 1966 and 1979Generation Y born between 1980 and 1995Boomers = 10.0 million (peaked in 1961)Generation X = 3.0 millionGeneration Y = 9.2 millionThe first boomer turned 65 in January of this year. Largest group has entered their 50’s. This means that by 2020 – the youngest boomers will be 56 years old but the majority will be 59; Gen X will be 41 years old and the youngest Generation Y will be 25 years old.
  • What will the workplace look like in less than 10 years?Traditionalists – some will still be around. Think about the people you know, or have heard about, that are in their 80’s and still working. So there will still be a few in the workforce when we hit 2020. Classic example is Warren Buffet. I have a new client – 75 years old and starting his 14th new business.Question to the audience - Does anyone know an employee or business owner over 70 years of age?There will be an obvious shift from Boomers to Gen X to Gen Y. Since the size of Gen X is so small compared to the large groups of Boomers and Gen Y, the Gen Y group will grow at twice the rate of Gen X and take over the dominant place at work. And a few of the younger, Digital Natives, or Generation Z will enter. Questions to Audience: (Presenter – note answers on Flipchart sheets).To which generation do you belong? What do you estimate to be the demographic makeup of your organization or the client organizations you serve? What do these demographic situations say to you about the future of your organization or your client organizations? What will be their greatest business challenge between now and 2020? What this workplace makeup says to us is:Boomers still dominate, not only the workforce in general, but also the senior positions in most organizations.Boomers have an accountability to mentor, coach, and develop the next generation of leaders. Generation X and Generation Y will take over the dominant position replacing boomers as this cohort retires. In companies with high levels of technology, most likely it will be Generation Y who replaces the boomer cohort.Our position is that if you don’t know the makeup of your organization – particularly, the current leadership generation – you will miss a tremendous opportunity to grow the leadership competency of the future and the performance of your organization. Today, more than ever, Human Resources can take a leadership role in addressing the pending expertise gap that will exist when the Boomers exit the workforce in large numbers and leverage the differences between the generations for performance advantage.
  • Why are the four generations different? There are 3 significant factors where we see differences – expectations of work, what influences them and their working styles, and today, most importantly, their communication preferences.Generational differences begin with formative events in each generation’s growth and development.Traditionalists = WW2Boomers = post WW2 – affluent society, birth control pill, Vietnam warQuestion to Audience: What would you consider to be the major life event influences on Generation X? Generation Y?Generation X = ‘latch key kids’, parents both employed, AIDSGeneration Y = technology, social networking, 9/11, war on terrorQuestion to Audience: How do you think these influences create differences between these two cohorts and Boomers?Significant shift from Traditionalists to Generation Y is the shift from company-focused loyalty to community loyalty. Gen Y loyalty is individual – to themselves and their peers – not to an organization. They seek environments that support the loyalty they have for their causes and their personal community.
  • Due to these societal influences, we do see some differences in life and work styles between the cohorts. Today’s entrant to the workforce is more likely to question authority and seek to be part of the team from the outset, much different from the work and life styles of the Traditionalists. But the real challenge comes with the dominance of the Boomer cohort – their working and life styles – many of them whom will be leading the new entrants.Some characteristics of Generation Y cohort.Generation Y:Strong sense of civic investment and social responsibility – seek this from their employerWorkplace that encourages and provides access to and tools for personal and professional developmentMeasure their own success from what they have learned, new skills they have developed – look for this from each and every experience.Positive feedback, regular feedback, technology solutionsSeek out collaborative environments – virtual team participation.
  • Although expectations and preferences are different, these does not mean that core values are different. Boomers spent many years with same employer – loyalty to the company was prizedBoomers see Gen X and Gen Y as not committed to their companies and feel they have an entitlement mentality – but their loyalty is more to themselves, their peers, their personal network.Significant shift from focus on face to face (formal) communication to interactive, informal communication. HR leaders need to take note of the different communication preferences and determine how best to leverage these differences for performance. This is the key to creating a workforce that is not only engaged but performing at a high level.
  • Ken Blanchard - …”research found that when employees perceived opportunities for meaningful work, growth, autonomy, and collaboration combined with fair working conditions, connectedness, task variety, clear performance expectations, and feedback, they had subsequent intentions to stay with a company and perform at high levels.”Understanding that communication is a management system, when applied to your business, and not just a series of tasks or actions, will help you to improve your communication effectiveness and use it profitably.Effective business communication emphasizes your business strategy and helps you to frame and deliver your business message. Effective communication presents the goals of your business clearly and identifies who is responsible for what in terms of delivering on business results. And this management system provides you with the vehicle to distribute timely information.Key to successful business performance is a committed, skilled and experienced work force. Managers who understand that employees, just like themselves, are seeking purpose and meaning in their work will use their communication management system to focus their employees on productive work by sharing business goals with them.Consider your own situation. What gets you up in the morning? What excites you about work? What are your goals? Your employees feel just the same. Keeping your employees fully informed and involved increases their motivation and productivity – they feel an integral part of something exciting. They want to be associated with success and accomplishment. Turn them into “owners.”
  • HR experts have always understood the value of effective communication The list of benefits is long. What is important when it comes to dealing with 4 or 5 generations is how their communication preferences and styles have been shaped by their formative years.But I am not only speaking about communication inside the organization and its importance for performance improvement, but also how we communicate to the external world when we are in recruitment mode. When we seek out a new hire, there is clearly a need to “communicate” to the demographic group that will provide us with the right candidate. Question to Audience:What venues do you use to recruit? Why?Have you thought about the demographic group you may need and the best communication media to use to attract them?
  • This is how Generation Y communicates and how they get their information on companies and opportunities.From Face to Face to Facebook – Generation Y – one study suggests 2 out of 5 would take a lower salary if they could have more freedom and flexibility at work with their device choice. BYOD is becoming a request from potential employees yet a Robert Half study shows 54% of firms do not allow their employees to access social media sites at work. Many HR Directors still using traditional, and soon to be considered, outdated methods of recruiting new employees – newspaper ads, recruitment fairs, recruitment agencies, market mapping. Hence, employee tools for growth and development tend to be traditional as well.
  • This is how Generation X, Y and even some Boomers, are using social media to enhance their careers and possibly find new opportunities.Job flirts are those social networking employees who use their networks to enhance their career prospects. Some are job hunting - In some cases, they are ‘keeping themselves out there’ –just in case. - In other cases, they are actively seeking other employment, while at their current place of employment. Some are actively enhancing their career prospects by blogging or connecting with others in other companies, expanding their network. LinkedIn is the perfect place to do this as well as job hunt.Where organizations are potentially missing opportunities is encouraging these social networkers to network with others in their organization and build good databases of information. There may be opportunities for self-service training of new skills, online workshops and team projects for professional growth and development, creation of internal social networking sites to promote employee involvement and engagement.Question to Audience:Do any of you use these sites to grow your profile, seek out new opportunities? Why?
  • Results of not recognizing that there are differences in working styles and preferences, and differences in the way each generation views the role of leadership, and the world of work can possibly create challenges in the organization and its’ ability to perform. According to research conducted by Jeanne Meister, in her book The 2020 Workplace - current leadership pays little attention to the cultural, circumstantial and situational needs of each generation. Less than 20% of organizations (world wide) have begun thinking strategically about how to handle these differences and address the pending retirement boom of the boomers.We can not assume that upcoming generations will eventually align their styles and preferences to previous styles and preferences. And why would we want that to happen? What needs to occur is solid acknowledgement that there are significant differences in work styles and preferences but the organization’s vision, purpose and core values can be the base on which to build new leaders. This is starting to become what is often referred to as ‘the employer brand.’This list of potential leadership challenges that could materialize if no effort is made to address the working style and preferences of the different generations is probably not different than the usual challenges created by changes in market forces that leaders face daily. However, in this particular instance, each of these challenges could be exacerbated creating significant gaps in performance between the current and future states.Question to Audience:Are there any additional challenges, you or your organization might face, that are not on this list?For you, what are the most significant challenges? Why?
  • How do you create and implement this process? By applying basic and sound leadership practices to provide you with the tools you need to take on this leadership role in your organization or with your client organizations. These practices will never go out of style.
  • This is the perfect, or right, opportunity for HR experts to take the leadership role, to assume a business and strategic leadership role.In the majority of cases, the senior leaders and managers will be from the boomer generation, so they will expect to lead others in the same way they were led. This will not necessarily work.Current leaders will need to invest time and effort to fully understand the preferences and working styles of the various generations actively working in their company. This will provide them with important information when seeking to create an environment where current employees are retained and future employees are recruited.You will need to teach them about the differences, how to work with them, how to incorporate them into their role as leaders. Your ‘leadership’ philosophy, based in change management concepts, will set the stage and provide the tools the boomer leaders will need to develop future leaders and keep expertise within your organization.Example: L’oreal Canada – training Program whereby employees from different generations in workshops to learn about preferences, working styles of other generations to gain an appreciation for similarities and differences and how to work more effectively with each other.
  • The strategy should include plans to develop the leadership competency of the organization, particularly as it relates to transferring expertise from current leaders to future leaders;Implementing a strong social network or at the very least, determining how best to incorporate BYOD into your workplaceConnect this social network application to your talent management strategy – recognize that this will need to be a part of your employer brand and will be one of the key recruiting tools you can utilize to attract Generation X and YDuring economic stress, many organizations forgo learning and development investment, yet this is what the younger generations crave. They are self-developers, self-service learners and expect to come away with new skills for each new experience. And this is a great way to integrate the generations, get them learning and developing together, providing coaching and mentoring opportunties.If you have the resources, create a cross functional team to develop the strategy.Build a business case to convince the current leaders of their responsibility to harvest their expertise and invest in the growth and development of junior employees. If you don’t have the resources to develop the strategy, use an external resource, an external coach. The key is to ensure the strategy and, ultimately, the process, implementation plan, and evaluation tools are customized to your environment. Although sound leadership practices never go out of style, you will need to recognize and honour the leadership style of your current leaders and work with them, and their limitations, to develop the right process. After all, we are talking about the right people being developed by the right leaders.Leaders spend time annually with their colleagues building a strategic plan for the company, but oftentimes, the strategy does not include how to grow the next generation of leaders. We are not talking about succession planning but growing and developing the next group of leaders in your organization. As we mentioned earlier, the current literature in this area suggests that less than 20% of leadership teams have spent time thinking strategically about handling the pending retirement boom, and the resulting loss of expertise crisis. (Ref: 2020 Workplace)As part of the strategy for growing the organization and tackling competitive challenges, leadership competency should be a critical component to be analysed, developed and actioned for performance improvement. The boomer cohort should be assuming accountability for transferring their leadership expertise to the next generation of leaders. This is a ‘demographic gift’ that organizations need to open – access this expertise before it is gone.
  • Overall:Core values never go out of style.Written and verbal communication, active listening, empathy, resilience, self-awareness, critical thinking, and influencing others will always be imperative for professional success.Personal and professional values alignment is ideal.Employer brand = vision, purpose of work, values, business goals, role in the community.Generation XContinuous training and developmentFlexible working hours – more balanced lifeFlexible location = telecommutingWant to engage in more adult way with the company, do not want to be taken care of by the company.Chance to join teams that may be outside their day to day jobsSalary and prestige rank lower than with BoomersWant to build broader networksGeneration Y wants to work with strong coaches – those focused on helping them to develop personally and their careers.Work/life balance – may start to address some of the stress related illness and toxic work environmentsOpen work places to foster collaboration – pack mentalityWant to reach out and build broader networks – the ‘big idea’ crowd or the ‘posse’ (Linda Grafton, Professor at LSE)Personal and professional values alignment – seek respect by earning it, not demanding it. Power and influence comes from collaboration, reaching out and building relationships.Boomers:Should be held accountable for developing the next generation of leadersIdentify the mentors and coaches, train them up, then assign them to the appropriate Gen X and Y potentialsThey respect authority and have been focused on results – they are good role models for meeting deadlines, team projects, persistence, productivityCreative problem solvers, successful in achieving resultsHave a broad network of professional and community contacts – use them to your advantageYears of experience and training in their technical fields – why not have them do some of the ‘hands-on’ training if not coaches and mentors?Examples for transfer of expertise:Large law firms have begun to add staff attorneys or contract attorneys – for those whom do not want the traditional partner trackMasterCard International Operations = reverse mentoringMonsanto = experienced technology division employees tutor younger workersExamples for Recruiting:Large Human Services company in Ontario requested Generation Y potential recruits write down their description of their “Employer of Choice.” Then management was asked to rate the responses. They then hired according to alignment and also, made the manager responsible for the initial training and development of the new hire.Referral incentives – Centre for Skills Development and Training – Ontario – encouraged Generation Y employees to refer their friends as they were seeking younger people as employees. Referral was paid out at $500.00 after 6 months (assuming new hire was still in place and performing).
  • We reiterate, again, that this is HR opportunity to take a leadership position – HR is becoming integral to address the pending expertise gap – today – and prepare your organization for the next decade. The ‘war for talent’ will be upon your organization soon enough, as boomers (who may be staying due to economic reasons) will certainly leave within the next 9 – 10 years, in large numbers. Open the demographic gift of boomers and their leadership expertise.The importance of HR leaders can not be exaggerated as you will need to influence your current leaders to take stock, learn new skills (how to mentor and coach), and begin the exciting process of developing the next generation of leaders. The boomer legacy can become a great one, with your direction and support.
  • Comments, questions?Thank you.
  • Intergenerational challenges at work

    1. 1. Intergenerational BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedChallenges at Work- and How to Use Them for Performance Advantage 1
    2. 2. Today’s Workplace Makeup (%) 4040 BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 25 3020 5 0 Traditionalists Boomers Gen X Gen Y 2
    3. 3. Next Decade Workplace Makeup (%) 60 50 BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 40 22 20 20 1 0 7 3
    4. 4. Expectations of Work Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen YLoyal, respect Competitive Self-reliant Pack-orientedauthorityCommon goals Optimistic, team- Sceptical, career- Self importance, BM2B - Matching Talent to Need oriented oriented loyalty to othersPerformance Results Results + Fun CareerCompensated for Reward for results Reward for Seek rapid successdoing job outcomesPut aside their own Seek promotion & Achieve work/life Sense ofneeds for company. career growth – balance community, work isJob security job security part of life continuum 4
    5. 5. Influences & Styles Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen YWWII Vietnam War Latch key InternetLoyal, dependable Self-worth, Independence, Independent, BM2B - Matching Talent to Need egotistical adaptability collaborativeLive to work Live to work Work to live BalanceDependable, believe Expect others to View world with Everyone shouldin sacrificing for have the same some cynicism get more fromothers work ethic and distrust their employers 5
    6. 6. Communication Preferences Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen YFormal Semi-Formal Irreverent FunFace to face Email, face to face Networking, Interactive,(formal) reigns – local LANs, WANs global-minded, BM2B - Matching Talent to Need connections always connected Freedom, flexibility, technology choice From Face to Face to Facebook 6
    7. 7. Why Communication Matters√ Communication is a management system BM2B - Matching Talent to Need√ Performance requires engagement 7
    8. 8. Why Communication Matters• Collective purpose• Improved morale• Improved productivity• Improved teamwork• Less grapevine BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• Pride in results• Reduced absenteeism• Improved understanding of direction• Confidence in, acceptance of, management decisions*.• *Excerpted from “The Manager is the Medium” The Mindszenthy & Roberts Corp. 8
    9. 9. Why CommunicationMatters• 7 in 10 have ‘friended’ a co-worker or supervisor BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• 68% of Twitter users ‘follow’ a co- worker or supervisor• Social sites checked almost as often as business email accounts• 2 out of 5 would take a lower salary if they were offered BYOD 9
    10. 10. Why CommunicationMattersCreation of ‘job flirts’• 2/3rds of these ‘flirts’ use social networks to enhance their career prospects outside of their current employer BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedOffice staff are active across a wide range of social tools for professional purposes • >70% use it at least once per month - 21% use LinkedIn, 20% Facebook, 9% Google+, 8% Twitter • Only 10% of these active social media users use these networks routinely to discuss work with 10 their colleagues.
    11. 11. Multigenerational Challenges• Misalignment of goals and effort• Communication issues• Managing change – resistance to change• Teamwork BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• Conflict within, and across, generations=• Productivity – lower morale, lost opportunities• Engagement – less loyalty or interest• Retention and recruitment – high performers will not be 11 attracted or will leave
    12. 12. What to do…what to do?√ Develop Yourself BM2B - Matching Talent to Need√ Develop a Strategy√ Develop Others 12
    13. 13. Develop Yourself1. Gain a sound understanding of the generations in your workplace - research2. Evaluate the differences and similarities and develop an appreciation for both – knowledge BM2B - Matching Talent to Need3. Incorporate the concept of ‘flexibility’ into your leadership world – competency4. Build your social network understanding and capability5. Evaluate and implement your coaching and mentoring skills – reflection and feedback. 13
    14. 14. Develop a Strategy• Employer brand• Social network & connect it to the talent management strategy• Learning and development• The demographic gift BM2B - Matching Talent to Need • Leadership competency • Open communication • Creativity and innovation • Coaching and mentoring • Critical thinking • Team building • Influencing others 14
    15. 15. Develop Others• Purpose and values• Your brand• Learning and development• Location options BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• Team participation – actual and virtual• Coaches and mentors• Foster collaboration• Utilize resident expertise 15
    16. 16. Start your process NOW!1. Research the generations in your workplace2. Find ways to leverage differences and similarities3. Take stock of current leaders and their skills BM2B - Matching Talent to Need4. Provide forums for collaboration5. Make leadership development a priority. 16
    17. 17. Intergenerational BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedChallenges at Work- and How to Use Them for Performance Advantage 17