Generations in the WorkplaceSkills practice: Generations Bingo!Video: Generations at Work, PBS Documentary 2008
Someone in America's Baby Boomer Generation turns 60 every 10 minutes. Of America's entire workforce holding executive and managerial positions, 19% will be eligible to retire by 2012.Couple this with the fact that Millennials, those born after 1981, make up 22% of the workforce and by 2014 they will represent 47% of the workforce- that means we will continue to have four generations in the workforce for some time.
Learning Goals for the participants
Icebreaker exerciseHave participants introduce themselves as well as address the two generational questions.
According to Strauss and Howe's interpretation, the typical grandparents were of the Missionary Generation;their parents were of the Lost Generation and G.I. Generation.Their children are Baby Boomers and Generation X (a.k.a. 13th Generation) Their typical grandchildren are of the Generation Y (a.k.a. Millennials.)Nearly fifty million Americans were born to the Silent Generation in America from the beginning of 1925 through 1942. No generation has so small a reputation as does the Silent. No generation since the American Civil War has been so misunderstood and underestimated. Silents are about 95% retired at this point. In a few short years virtually no Silent will command an industry, a battlefield, anything at all. They will have mostly gone well into the background. With the loss of Silent Generational John McCain in the 2008 United States Presidential election, it appears that since the members of this generation will be too old to consider running for this office in future, there will be no President of the United States from this generation. (except perhaps Joseph Biden, Vice President to Barack Obama who may change his mind and decide to run for President later in life.)
Veterans 1922-1943This group, also known as Traditionalists, Matures or the Silent Generation, lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They tend to be stable, thorough, loyal, private and hard-working. They believe in paying your dues, in duty before pleasure and having patience. They trust leaders, respect authority, and value formal dress and communication. Contrary to popular belief, Veterans like to take training courses if the classes are handled properly, and many want to continue to work part time after they've retired. Research shows that older workers are just as productive as young ones.
95% of this group is retired.
Messages that motivate Veterans:"Your experience is respected here." "It's valuable to the rest of us to hear what has - and hasn't - worked in the past." "Your perseverance is valued and will be rewarded."
The Baby Boomers (Boom Generation) were the generation born just after World War II, a time that included a 14-year increase in birthrate worldwide. Baby Boomers in their teen and college years were characteristically part of the 1960s counterculture, but later became more conservative. Size and economic impactSeventy-six million American children were born between 1946 and 1960, representing cohorts that would be significant on account of its size alone. This cohort shares characteristics like higher rates of participation in higher education than previous generations and an assumption of lifelong prosperity and entitlement developed during their childhood in the 1950s.The age wave theory suggests an impending economic slowdown when the boomers start retiring during 2007-2009.
Social Impact:Aside from that, what impact on society are boomers having? Well, let's see now... the CEO of General Electric is a boomer; the CEO of IBM is a boomer; the CEO of Ford is a boomer; Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft) are boomers; Steve Jobs is a boomer; Steven Spielberg is a boomer; Ron Howard is a boomer; Tom Hanks is a boomer; Denzel Washington is a boomer; Meg Ryan is a boomer; Michael Jordon is a boomer. The producers of most TV shows and movies are boomers. The editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal (Paul Gigot) is a boomer. Rush Limbaugh is a boomer; Oprah is a boomer; Barack Obama is a boomer; Mitt Romney is a boomer. Madonna is a boomer; Bruce Springsteen is a boomer; Tom Cruise is a boomer; David Letterman is a boomer; Jay Leno is a boomer; Dr. Laura is a boomer. Clarence Thomas is a boomer; Sean Hannity is a boomer; Glenn Beck is a boomer; Al Gore is a boomer; Bill and Hillary Clinton are boomers; Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve System, is a boomer; Sarah Palin is a boomer; Osama bin Laden is a boomer; George Bush is a boomer; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a boomer; every potential candidate for the Supreme Court for the next 20 years will likely be a boomer.
Be patient Parrot back – to clarify message was received correctly. Speak face to face
Baby BoomersUnlike their Veteran parents, Boomers didn't have to endure economic hardships and could focus their energy on themselves. On the job, Boomers thrive on change and are willing to go the extra mile. They are optimistic, team-oriented and into wellness. Boomers in general put a premium on developing relationships, but many don't like facing conflict and are very sensitive about feedback. Boomers think they changed the world and nobody could do better.
Messages that motivate Boomers:"You're important to our success." "You're valued here." "Your contribution is unique and important." "We need you."
Gen Xers are independent, enjoy Informality, are entrepreneurial, and seek emotional maturity. They want to build a repertoire of skills and experiences they can take with them if they need to, and they want their career path laid out in front of them – or they’ll walk.Gen Xers also seek balance in their lives now – not when they retire. They seek time to raise their children and don’t want to miss a minute – as their parents did. Gen-Xers also want immediate and honest feedback.
Individuals considered to be within Generation X were born and grew up during the later years of, and in the decade following the Cold War. Most often linked to Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush era. Its cynicism was exploited by the media early on. Generation X values espouse community, relationships, altruism and entrepreneurship. Coming age after Vietnam, they witnessed the end of the cold war and saw the fall of the Berlin wall. This generation saw the inception of the home computer and later the internet, as a tool for economic purposes: Dot.coms, MTV, Grunge music, Hip hop culture and Security-Moms attributed to this generation.MTV Generation, Video generation, 13th Generation by whatever name, those teens and young adults of the 80's and early 90's who scornfully rejects the habits and values of the previous generation baby boomer's viewing that group as self-centered, fickle and impractical. The formerly referred too as twenty-somethings of the 90's (TV show-Friends) as children/youth this generation grew up in times of no major war and relative economic stability. Alternatively experiencing cultural shifts in American attitudes and rates of drug usage, divorce and global economics shaped and helped to influence their attitudes and actions in addressing social problems which they largely view as their inheritance: homelessness, AIDS and fractured families.
Generation X 1961-1980Xers tend to be economically conservative because they grew up with double-digit inflation. They've seen their parents get laid off from jobs that were supposed to be secure, and won't rely on any institution for long-term security. Xers value the entrepreneurial spirit and will invest in their own development rather than the organization's. This group is adaptable, techno-literate, independent and not intimidated by authority. On the other hand, many of some of them are impatient, inexperienced and cynical. They prefer to manage their own problems but seek continuous feedback. Xers seek a balance between work and play.
Messages that motivate Gen Xers:"Do it your way." "We've got the newest hardware and software." "There aren't a lot of rules here." "We're not very bureaucratic."
The typical Gen Y-er surfs the web an average of 22 times per month...Gen Y is accustomed to “on demand” everything...Y grew up during the high-tech revolution and have never known a world without video games and CD players. They are tenacious, optimistic and even more technologically savvy than Generation Xers. Diversity, morality and street smarts are core values of this group. But they need supervision and structure to do well at work. Because they are so young, they have little experience dealing with people issues.
As a generation is defined not by formal process but rather by demographers, the media, popular culture, market researchers and members of the generation itself, there is no precise consensus as to which birth years constitute any generation. Although different groups and individuals consider different ranges of years as constituting Generation Y, those ranges of years are almost always within the outer bounds of 1976 as the earliest possible year and 2001 as the latest. The ongoing debate is in part due to the lack of a marquee event(s), like the boom in births after the end of World War II for the "Baby Boomer" generation.
components of their work ethic:Confident. Raised by parents believing in the importance of self-esteem, they characteristically consider themselves ready to overcome challenges and leap tall buildings. Managers who believe in “paying your dues” and coworkers who don’t think opinions are worth listening to unless they come from someone with a prerequisite number of years on the resume find this can-do attitude unsettling. Hopeful. They’re described as optimistic yet practical. They believe in the future and their role in it. They’ve read about businesses with basketball courts, stockrooms stocked with beer for employers, and companies that pay your way through school. They expect a workplace that is challenging, collaborative, creative, fun, and financially rewarding. Goal- and achievement-oriented. Just a day after she won a totally unexpected Olympic gold medal, skater Sara Hughes was talking about her next goal—scoring a perfect 1600 on her SATs. Many Millennials arrive at their first day of work with personal goals on paper. Civic-minded. They were taught to think in terms of the greater good. They have a high rate of volunteerism. They expect companies to contribute to their communities—and to operate in ways that create a sustainable environment. Inclusive. Millennials are used to being organized in teams—and to making certain no one is left behind. They expect to earn a living in a workplace that is fair to all, where diversity is the norm—and they’ll use their collective power if they feel someone is treated unfairly.
Generation Y would rather have a cell phone than a television. Older generations progressively value personal computers less.
have always been overconfident 20-year-olds, just as there have always been elders to say, “When I was your age. ...” Perhaps poetically, the last group to upend the working world with its ambition and drive are now looking down from the C-suites at their children, Gen Y, who are as single-minded in their search for balance as their parents were in their quest for success. Surveys over the last few years have found that this group is looking for work that includes a “flexible work schedule” (92 percent, according to a Harris Interactive poll), “requires creativity” (96 percent) and “allows me to have an impact on the world” (97 percent). And when the polling firm Roper Starch Worldwide did a survey comparing workplace attitudes among generations, 90 percent of Gen Yers said they wanted co-workers “who make work fun.” No other generation polled put that requirement in their top five.
"You'll be working with other bright, creative people." "Your boss is in his (or her) 60s." "You and your co-workers can help turn this company around." "You can be a hero here."
Distribute and facilitate the group exercise of Generations Bingo!
Reference general myths and stereotypes associated with the generations in a class discussion.
Strategies for Cross-Generational LeadershipAs these four generations continue to interact, companies can no longer assume that high pay, basic medical benefits, and a 401(k) will secure the top talent. As more Silents retire, Baby Boomers seek “postretirement careers,” Gen Xers demand challenging but balanced work assignments, and Millennials expect high perks in exchange for loyalty and technological savvy, leaders must find creative ways to recruit and retain talent. Reenergize your compensation and benefits. Companies must approach compensation, benefits, and incentives to satisfy the needs of each generation’s unique perspectives, attitudes, and values about work. For example, as more people retire later in life, many will want more time off as opposed to increased compensation. Younger people may value more flexibility in their careers, like assignments that foster new skill sets they can apply later in their careers. Older workers may want research assignments and paid sabbaticals during which they can engage in learning programs. Don’t assume that everyone loves your current health plan. Many companies now offer on-site health facilities and nutritionists as part of their benefits packages as well as flexible hours, alternate work schedules, and telecommuting.Generation X is the first generation to prepare for retirement without Social Security. They believe they can’t depend on the old pension system, so expect them to look for companies that offer 401 (k) plans and provide matching dollar amounts.Expand your communication strategies. Most companies rely too heavily on one strategy for corporate communication. By making the same message available in multiple formats (thus increasing the number of times you communicate a message), you’ll ensure that you reach all workers. Silents and Baby Boomers may appreciate verbal communication about changes in policy or procedures, while Generation Xers and Millennials may prefer the use of e-mail, instant messages, or corporate broadcasts.Conduct generational information awareness/sharing sessions. A great way to get people to work together across the generations is to provide them with an opportunity to educate each other about each generation’s own history, characteristics, milestone events, culture, language, and norms. Rather than talking at your people, have representatives from each age-based generation put together programming to educate people and facilitate dialogue. Make mentoring a constant. As your more established and experienced workers head toward retirement, develop strategies to ensure knowledge transfer and capture organizational memory. The more structure you can lend to your mentoring program to create knowledge transfer the better. First determine younger employees’ goals and developmental needs, and then pair them with older, more experienced employees to create cross-organizational dialogue among generations.
Consider various mentoring models—one-on-one sessions, group programs, senior leadership discussion panels, and a “speed mentoring” program where employees sit across from company experts to ask questions. No matter what method you choose, making mentoring a part of the employment life cycle will ensure that the company’s history and knowledge continues from one generation to the next.Train yourself and your managers to develop strong interpersonal skills to foster relationships with employees and each other. A leader’s primary responsibility is to ensure that everyone in the organization understands that “working together” is not negotiable. Create a respectful, open and inclusive environment where workers of all ages and cultural backgrounds can share who they are without fear of being judged, “fixed,” or changed. Leaders must remain open to new ideas and provide constant feedback, working with managers and staff to shape the company’s strategic vision. They must avoid projecting their own expectations about work and remain open to different perspectives based on generational attitudes.
Transcript:JUDY WOODRUFF: America's younger generation, there's something different about them: we see them talking and "text messaging" on their cell phones, even as they're wired to the music on their iPods. We know how to spot them, but do we really know much about them? We were curious, and set out to discover who they are, what turns them on, and off - and what do they think about themselves, and the world around them?BRENT WILLIAMS: The times are so different and what's expected of us is so different.ADORA MORA: Quick, fast and a hurry is pretty much our motto."GABE BALLEJOS: We're trying. I know were trying. And that's all any generation can really do.GENEVIEVE SPARLING: You gotta love what you do and do what you love. And as soon as you don't anymore, find something else.This program was made possible by: the pew charitable trusts, serving the public interest through information, policy solutions and support for public life;The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Annie E. Casey FoundationJUDY WOODRUFF: Hello, I'm Judy Woodruff. There are 42 million people in the United States between the ages of 16 and 25.Often catered to by their parents, and always coveted by advertisers, they nonetheless, are not widely understood. The world they live in and will inherit has grown smaller -- but its problems -- arguably more complex.Like every generation, they face decisions about school, job, friendships, love and money. But also like every generation, unique events and challenges define the choices they can make.The greatest generation came of age during the depression and led America to victory in World War II. Many baby boomers took to the streets to end a war, help fight for civil rights and liberate women. And Generation X saw the birth of the internet, the start of the aids epidemic, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.It's this tangled web of the Boomers' social consciousness and Generation X that gave birth to the current generation of 16-25 year olds.Sociologists and demographers call them "Generation Y" or "the Millenials," but no name has really stuck. So we're calling them "Generation Next."Are they up to the challenges ahead? To find out … this past summer we criss-crossed the country with an RV -- specially equipped with an interactive video kiosk, so we could hear what hundreds of Gen Nexters had to say.Along the way we spent time profiling some very special people…and we polled even more with the help of the Pew Research Center.It is hard, if not impossible to characterize an entire generation. But one thing we can say for certain is that Generation Next is filled with contradictions …as you will see and hear directly from them.
The largest demographic – baby boomers are starting to retire. The future of the labor market is shown in this graph. Which demographic group stands to benefit?
Getting Ready for the MillennialsBe Prepared For…high expectations possible involvement of parents Don’t…expect them to pay their dues throw a wet blanket on their enthusiasm Do…encourage them mentor them learn from them
Ask the participants for any questionsFeedback from the presentation and any points to clarify.
Distribute training evaluation forms to the participants.
Generations in the Workforcev5.pptx
State Personnel Department<br />Generations in the Workplace <br />
Appreciate technology innovations Y will bring. </li></ul>33<br />
What will the future hold?<br />Effectively managing 4 Generations in the workplace requires effective communication & appreciation of generational differences. <br />Baby Boomers & Generation X must train & developGeneration Y to cover the future ‘gap’ in labor. <br />34<br />
Further Reading… <br />The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaking Up the Workplace<br />By Ron Alsop<br />Published by John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2008<br />ISBN 0470229543, 9780470229545<br />272 pages<br />Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069<br />By William Strauss, Neil Howe<br />Contributor Neil Howe<br />Edition: reprint, illustrated<br />Published by HarperCollins, 1991<br />ISBN 0688119123, 9780688119126<br />36<br />
Evaluation of Training<br />Generations in the Workplace<br />Facilitated by John F. Schaefer <br />Indiana State Personnel Department Training Division<br />JSchaefer@spd.IN.gov(317) 233-4722<br />37<br />