Four Generations In The Workplace:Searching For The Common Ground
The Center on Aging & Work at Boston College (2007)• Generation Y/Millennials/Echo (1981-1999): 15.8% (RP 2009 – 5%)• Generation X (1965-1981): 35.7% (RP 2009 -34%)• Baby Boomers (1947-1965): 39.9% (RP 2009 – 55%)• Matures/Traditionalists (1927-1947): 8.5% (RP 2009 – 6%)
The Center on Aging & Work at Boston College (2008)2006 to 2010 Population Changes (WI)< 25 - 1.5%25-34 -.5%35-44 -1.8%45-54 +1.7%55-64 +2.2%65-74 -.2%> 74 +.1%
Retirement and Departures Intentions Survey Report (FDL AC/MPTC 2008)Impacted areas next 10 years (in addition toHealthCare):• Administration (25.2%)• Quality (23%)• Materials/Warehousing/Transportation (21%)• Maintenance (20%)• IT (19%)• Customer Service (18%)
Retirement and Departures Intentions Survey Report (FDL AC/MPTC 2008)• 33,000 workers plan to retire by 2026• 22,000 0 to 20-year-olds entering work force in that time (but some will leave the area).
Retirement and Departures Intentions Survey Report (FDL AC/MPTC 2008)Factors influencing retirement decisions:• Reaching retirement age (32.5%)• Job stress/pressure (17.9%)• Financial security at time of retirement (14.6%)• Coincide with spouse’s/partner’s retirement (11.1%)• Desire for a career change (8.6%)• Access to post-employment benefits (3.9%)
Retirement and Departures Intentions Survey Report (FDL AC/MPTC 2008)Post-Retirement Activities:• Golf/fish/shop/knit/travel, etc. (58.10%)• Non-related field/different employer (40.8%)• Train for a new field (25.4%)• Related field/different employer (22.4%)• Related field/current employer (22.4%)
Implications for Employers• Keeping older employees who want, or need to continue to work.• Keeping skills up to date.• Knowledge transfer.• Future shortage in labor market.
AARP• Recruiting (“retirees welcome”)• Training (computer, financial planning, assign them to train others, tuition reimbursement, generational issues)• Phased retirement (part-time- day, week, year; job sharing, special projects)• Retiree Relations (alumni programs, newsletters, volunteer programs, ongoing employee activities, benefits)• Caregiving Programs (schedule, adult day care, education, support)
For the first time in history, four distinct generations – Matures, Boomers, Xers, and Millennials - are employed side by side in the workplace. With differing values and seemingly incompatible views on leadership, these generations have stirred up unprecedented conflict in the business world.
Eliminating generational discord is grounded in understanding what makes each tick.• What are their core values?• What do they expect of their leaders?• How do they define success?• How are they different than you?
Matures: At a Glance• Born between 1927 and 1947• When you think of this generation, think “duty and sacrifice”
Contacting the EAPFormative events Think of• The Great Depression • Jimmy Carter• Pearl Harbor • Charlton Heston• WW II • John Glenn• Hiroshima • George Bush • Billy Graham
Matures: An Overview• Smallest in numbers - 55 million• They are the wealthiest• Most work for only one company in their lifetime
Matures In the Workplace• Are loyal to their employer and expect the same in return.• Possess superb interpersonal skills.• Are enjoying flextime arrangements today so they can work on their own schedule.• Believe promotions, raises, and recognition should come from job tenure.• Measure a work ethic on timeliness, productivity, and not drawing attention.
Matures in the Marketplace• Have great faith in the nation’s institutions: people (i.e., Charlton Heston), companies, and the government.• Demand quality. It is more important than speed or efficiency.• Are loyal customers but aren’t afraid to shop around.• Willingly follow the rules that have been established. They believe they are there for a reason.• Think the standard options are just fine. There is no need to get fancy or customize.
Boomers: At a Glance• Born Between 1947 and 1965• When you think of this generation think: Individuality, “Me” Generation
BoomersFormative events Think of:• The Civil Rights Movement • The Beatles• Vietnam War • Bill Gates• Woodstock • Bill Clinton• The Cold War • Oprah Winfrey• Roe vs. Wade • Muhammad Ali• Kennedys, King assassinations
Boomers: An Overview• Boomers dominate the workforce (77 million)• They have a strong, loyal, solid work ethic described by them as working long and hard, and being seen doing it.• Economic conditions have required layoffs and downsizing, and some Boomers feel their work ethic may have gone unrewarded.
Boomers In the Workplace• Believe in, champion, and evaluate themselves and others based on their work ethic.• Work ethic for Boomers is measured in hours worked. Measuring productivity in those hours is less important.• Believe teamwork is critical to success.• Believe relationship building is very important.• Expect loyalty from those they work with.
Boomers In the Marketplace• Are interested in products and services that will allow them to regain control of their time.• Believe technology brings with it as many problems as it provides solutions.• Want products and services that have been customized for them, the individual.• Believe rules should be obeyed unless they are contrary to what they want; then they’re to be broken.• Want products and services that will indicate to their peers that they’re successful.
Xers: At a Glance• Born between 1965 and 1981• When you think of this generation think: Skeptical, Reluctant
Address the Problem BehaviorFormative Events Think Of:• Watergate • Monica Lewinsky• Fall of the Berlin Wall • Michael Dell• Challenger explosion• The Gulf War• The PC boom• The Reagan Presidency
Xers: An Overview• As youth they were told they’d be the first generation in the nation’s history that would not be as successful as their parents.• “We’ve seen that the company won’t provide it, nor will the government, so it is up to me.”• They reject the Boomer work ethic attitude.• They “inherit” the many management positions vacated by the Boomers upon their retirement.
Xers In the Workplace• Eschew the hard-core, super-motivated, do or die Boomer work ethic.• Want open communication regardless of position, title, or tenure.• Respect production over tenure.• Value control of their time.• Look for a person to whom they can invest loyalty, not a company.
Xers In the Marketplace• Can spot a phony a mile away.• Rely on peer-to-peer referrals more than any other generation.• Want options; plans B, C and D.• Embrace technology as a way to maintain control of their lives.• Want to be in control of the sale.
Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a Glance• Born between 1981 and 1999• When you think of this generation think: Coddled
Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a GlanceFormative Events Think of:• Oklahoma City Bombing • Tara Lipinski• Columbine • LeAnn Rimes• 9/11 Terrorist Attack• The Internet boom
Millennials: An Overview• For the majority of their lives they’ve only seen a growing economy.• Entering the workforce in droves.• In the workplace they are looking for the opportunity to learn and move about.• They want to be close with their peers and search for leadership from their bosses and supervisors.
Millennials In the Workplace• Search for the individual who will help them achieve their goals.• Want open, constant communication and positive reinforcement from their boss.• Find working with someone of the Mature generation easy to do.• Search for a job that provides great, personal fulfillment.• Are searching for ways to shed the stress in their lives.
Generation (wh)Y?• Technology obsessed vs. tech savvy• Entitled vs. ambitious• Pampered vs. nurtured• High maintenance vs. high performance• Loud vs. vocal• Superficial vs. efficient
Generation (wh)Y?• Unrealistic vs. optimistic• Excessively questioning vs. eager for understanding• Lazy vs. broad interests• Needy vs. sensitive• Know it alls vs. quick studies
Generation (wh)Y?• Upbringing (child-centered, encouraged to question everything)• Knowledge and Information (find it quick, don’t need to store in brain, breadth may compromise depth)• Hard Work (Why doing it? Results oriented)• Loyalty (higher for family, friends and community than employer)
Generation (wh)Y?• Feeling valued/creating value (experience important, but…)• Technology• Balance• Future (Columbine, 9/11, terrorism, global warming, financial crisis)• From employers (engaged in professional development, ongoing learning, feedback, bigger picture)