The Next Generation Of Workers


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology, Career
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Next Generation Of Workers

  1. 1. The Next Generation of Workers
  2. 2. The Next Generation of Workers Prepared by Lily Guthrie Proof Readers Barbara Akers Carey Nash Production Artist Carissa LozanoAbout the Office of the FutureCreated by Marjorie Blanchard, PhD, the Office of the Future’s function is to study and report on emerging trendsin leadership, technology, and other workplace issues. Another primary role is to challenge the company’s statusquo and act as a catalyst for change that will ensure the company’s continued vitality and success. Its findings andreports are available to clients and other organizations to assist with planning for the future and to the media fortheir use in keeping their readers advised of trends in the workplace.This document is a summary of research compiled and prepared by The Ken Blanchard Companies, Office of theFuture. It is available in PDF format.For further information, contact Lily Guthrie at 800 728-6000 or 12309C • 02/09
  3. 3. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Table of Contents Introduction The Four Generations...............................................................................................................2 . Four Generations Working—or Not Working—Together...........................................................3 Beliefs and Values Development...............................................................................................4 Bridging the Intergenerational Gap...........................................................................................5 . Workplace Traits Most Attributed to Generations.....................................................................6 Intergenerational Differences and Similarities............................................................................7 The Generation Matrix. ............................................................................................................8 . Best Practices for Leading and Managing an Intergenerational Workforce. ............................. 11 . Why Should Organizations Care? Emerging and Intersecting Trends Impacting the Workplace..........................................................14 Next Steps.............................................................................................................................. 17 Appendix How to Use the Generation Matrix.........................................................................................18 Bibliography. ..........................................................................................................................30 . Notes ....................................................................................................................................32 .© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  4. 4.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSThe Four Generations Following is a side-by-side comparison of four will not fit every person born during the same span of generations. Expert opinions differ on the dates of time. each generation—for example, some have Xers ending in 1977 and some extending it to 1980 and beyond. Therefore, one approach to analyzing an individual or The following data is based on the most frequently group of people is to use their year of birth or age as a encountered beginning and ending points for each potential indicator of likes and dislikes. If people seem generation (U.S. Census Bureau). to fit the profile for a specific generation, leaders and managers should try to confirm that the observation Generation Years Population is true for each individual. If not, it will be necessary to reevaluate the person and look for other ways to The Silents 1925–1945 45 million understand and work well with him or her. Baby Boomers 1946–1964 80 million Other ways can include understanding personality differences through instruments such as DiSC® Personel Gen Xers 1965–1976 49.1 million Profile System® or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. Cultural differences are also a different lens for viewing workplace Gen Yers 1977–1994 73.5 million compatibility. People born between two generations are referred to as the sandwiched generation, or cuspers, born between 1940–1945 (Silents and Boomers), 1959–1964 (Boomers and Gen Xers), and 1970–1975 (Gen Xers and Gen Yers). Cuspers carry many similarities of the preceding and succeeding generations and are considered forerunners, pacesetters, and trendsetters. They can easily adapt to the differences of two generations, and make good managers—seeing both points of view and providing a voice for those who are not heard. For example, cuspers born in 1940–1945 learned the hard lessons from their parents who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II. As a sandwiched generation, they were the trendsetters of Baby Boomers, who take credit for bringing more equality into the workplace. Note: Grouping people based on their year of birth may be reliable for a large population and the characteristics for that group may be interesting and informative; however, the general characteristics © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  5. 5. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Introduction: Four GenerationsWorking—or Not Working—Together During a recent San Diego-based radio talk show, a are the new faces of the workplace that will create new 21-year-old Gen Yer called in to request expert advice challenges for organizations in the years ahead. For regarding a work issue. Although doing well in her job years, Boomers have dominated the workplace, but that as an intern journalist and getting along smoothly is changing. with her coworkers, the caller was upset because she was not invited to socialize with her coworkers after For the first time in modern history, four generations work. of workers are working side by side—each bringing a wide range of cultural and generational idiosyncrasies “Just be patient, you’ve only been on the job for 30 days,” with them to the workplace. According to research by said the Baby Boomer talk show host. “Keep doing good Rainmaker Thinking, Gen Xers and Gen Yers made up work. You’ll need to pay your dues and eventually earn 50.5 percent of the workforce in 2005 and that number the respect and trust of the group. In the meantime, is quickly increasing. you’re lucky to have a job, so quit your whining.” Many organizations are not equipped to deal with the Do you agree with the “Boomer” talk show host? Or, generational conflicts that may be arising, and most did this advice discourage the Gen Y caller even more? managers are struggling with how to work constructively This scenario is based on a typical generational clash of with individuals in each generation. In addition to viewpoints. First, there are plenty of low-skilled, low- dealing with generational differences, organizations are paying jobs to go around and more than likely, when it facing a looming surge of Baby Boomer retirement. comes to priorities, the company the Gen Yer works for is the last on her list of loyalties—behind her family, With a historically low five percent unemployment friends, and of course, herself. Second, unlike their Gen rate, businesses are seeking creative and effective ways X predecessors who prefer individual endeavors, Gen to address and accommodate the demands of the new Yers are team spirited and like to band together. workforce. Businesses are rethinking traditional human resources practices of hiring, motivating, and retaining Growing up in schools and environments that fostered key talent. teamwork, consensus, and collaboration, they crave belonging and fitting in. They also want to have fun The standard one-size-fits-all employee benefits, and live for the moment, combining working, learning, packages, and work requirements no longer serve the and playing—and that includes socializing and forming needs of people in a market-driven, fiercely competitive friendships with coworkers. economy. As more and more organizations compete to find and hire top talent in a tight job market, they Finally, armed with the latest electronic devices, realize that leading and managing an intergenerational laptops, and cell phones, Gen Yers demand immediate workforce is becoming a business imperative that cannot gratification and tend to be impatient when they do be ignored. not get what they want when the want it. They expect things to happen quickly, and they resent being told they “have to pay their dues.” Do you think the Gen Y caller is going to hang around and wait to gain the respect of her coworkers? Generational clashes, such as the one described above, are becoming more common in the workplace. These© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  6. 6.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSBeliefs and Values Development A high percentage of learned behavior and attitude wants to be like. The child observes qualities he or she patterns in adults are directly correlated to their wants to emulate and internalizes them and imitates formative years. According to Morris Massey, the major them. factors influencing value development are: • 14–20 years: Socialization by peers or significant • Family, friends other. Teens will seek their peer group and society to try out their values, test which ones will • Media endure, and see how they compare. They will experiment, observe, and make decisions about • Formal education what is right or wrong, good or bad. They will start making choices about what kind of people they • Church/religion will be and what they want to do. • Income • 21+ years: A significant emotional experience (S.E.E.) may change or replace values. Without • Geography that, values are now set. • Teachers, formal and informal Established values shape and guide people and will be the basis for our decisions unless people have a The most influential period of our value development process significant emotional experience. An S.E.E. is something takes place during the first 10 years. that emotionally affects an individual’s perception or understanding of reality and causes them to reexamine What happened to you and what was going on in the basic value or belief. society when you were 10 years old that shaped your values? These include defining moments or conditions If powerful enough, the experience will cause the in our environment that influenced people at every person to exchange one value for another. An S.E.E. age, such as wars, historical or political events, the can occur anytime in life, but the earlier it occurs, the financial climate, and popular heroes. While people of more significant the change will be. Some examples of all ages are experiencing these things simultaneously, significant events range from a bad divorce, death of younger people who are in this value-forming stage are a loved one, a financial crisis, a spiritual awakening, most likely to be significantly shaped by the influences a motivational workshop, or even a conversation that surrounding them. Massey identified the stages of value influences how we think or act. development as follows: • Birth to 7 years: Imprint by observation or patterning. What a child experiences is accepted, internalized, and considered to be right and normal. • 8–13 years: Modeling by heroes or identification. A child starts to make own value decisions. He or she will look outside of family—people he or she © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  7. 7. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Bridging the Intergenerational Gap Identifying generational distinctions can provide impacted by their influence. Most adults, to a lesser a useful framework for building awareness and degree, are filtering these factors through an existing understanding of the different viewpoints, attitudes, value system. needs, and expectations among generations as well as the implications for future changes in the workplace. According to demographic experts, each generation Understanding these unique generational differences adopts its generational identity through people, places, can become a competitive advantage for organizations events, and conditions that became reference points. in terms of higher productivity and human performance. For example, historical events such as the Vietnam Also, the long-term costs related to loss of talent, War, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the higher payroll costs, poor customer service, derailed Clinton scandal, or conditions or forces at work such careers, knowledge transfer, and stress-related issues as the Cold War, Great Depression, and 9/11, or major are enormous. changes in family structure such as divorce, marriage, or single parenting, have affected millions of people. Though these distinctions may raise concerns about Baby Boomers, who are notorious for challenging the stereotyping, some generalizations can be made. Neil status quo, have a different point of view than their Howe and William Strauss, authors of Millenials Rising: parents—the Silents—about patriotism. The Silents, The Next Great Generation, say that although everyone although too young to participate in World War II, in a particular generation does not hold the exact same are nevertheless very patriotic—a by-product of their values or beliefs, overall people share similar formative parents’ upbringing and strong belief in national pride experiences, thus creating a generational identity. and civic duty. A generational cohort shares a common history and collective knowledge that define and shape who they To bridge the generation gap, organizations can are. The work expectations and the influences of a provide opportunities for workers to share insights and generation are often a by-product of that generation’s resolve misunderstandings, “clear the air,” and remove unique upbringing and life experiences. age-based prejudgments that hinder their working relationship. Dr. Carolyn A. Martin and Bruce Tulgan, For example, look at your own experience. What authors of Managing the Generation Mix, suggest that happened to you when you were a child? What was going organizations begin by addressing questions such as: on in society that shaped your values? According to What is the generational mix and what has shaped each Morris Massey, author of The People Puzzle, the first 10 generation’s perspectives? years of a person’s life are the most influential years and shape the individual’s values, beliefs, and attitudes. How does the generation’s work histor y impact behaviors at the work site? How do you bridge the Our culture, technology, society, media, and events misunderstandings and remove the barriers among have a powerful influence on what we do and think. the generations in order to produce more successful Those influences shape our decision making and life relationships? How do organizations leverage each choices, including how we approach work. Massey states individual’s contributions and unique traits? What that our values get embedded by age 20, and from that skills and competencies do managers need to effectively point forward, impact our professional and personal lead and manage collaborative multiple generations? life—unless we have a significant emotional experience What urgent multigenerational challenges demand our that shatters those values. Massey also points out that immediate attention? And so forth. By acknowledging while people of all ages are experiencing these events and honoring the differences and strengths of all at the same time, those who are in the value-forming generations, organizations can leverage and maximize stage (under 21 years of age) are most significantly the learning, productivity, and innovation of the entire organization.© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  8. 8.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSWorkplace Traits Most Attributedto Generations The Silents • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term • Respectful of organizational hierarchy • Like structure • Accepting of authority figures in the workplace • Give maximum effort Baby Boomers • Give maximum effort • Accepting of authority figures in the workplace • Results driven • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term • Retain what they learn Gen Xers • Technologically savvy • Like informality • Learn quickly • Seek work-life balance • Embrace diversity Gen Yers • Technologically savvy • Like informality • Embrace diversity • Learn quickly • Need supervision The results shown are the top five traits for each generation listed in order from highest to lowest. Source: SHRM Generational Differences Survey Report, 2004. © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  9. 9. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Intergenerational Differences andSimilarities A 2004 Society for Human Resource Management The results from Randstad’s nationwide 2006 Employee (SHRM) report identified potential differences in points Review Report of 3,000 Americans further confirms the of views that sometimes lead to intergenerational widening gap of generational differences, specifically conflict. The report noted that a large percentage of HR regarding expectations and needs in the workplace: professionals deal with generational conflicts frequently. The report showed that in addition to differences based • Gen Y workers are less interested in pay increases on formative experiences, different generations value (27%) than are Silents (40%), Boomers (33%), training and development, retirement, benefits, and and Gen Xers (31%) childcare differently based on current needs. According to the report, common intergenerational clash areas • Gen Yers rate job training high (10%) compared to include: Silents and Boomers (4%) and Gen Xers (3%). • Gen Xers rate “high on preference for informality • More Gen Xers (52%) and Gen Yers (58%) want and desire to seek work-life balance.” In contrast, their employers to provide career paths compared older workers rate “ high on their respect for to Boomers (41%) and Silents (29%). organizational hierarchy and plan to stay with organization over the long term.” This clash raises • Gen Xers and Gen Yers are more experience- complaints by older workers about the poor work focused rather than status-focused on job title, ethic of the younger generation. Younger workers, position, and wealth. however, perceive this as a “time or work-life • Job training most appeals to Gen Yers (10%) balance issue.” compared to Silents and Boomers (4%) and • Younger workers are less likely than older workers Gen Xers (3%). to value “face time.” This could be attributed to • Only 3% of Gen Yers and 8% of Gen Xers consider the increase of flexible work options available, such increased responsibilities important to their as telecommuting, that allow workers to work careers; unlike Silents (15%) and Boomers (11%). outside the physical office. • Gen Xers and Boomers value promotions (11% and • Older workers focus more on time spent on the job, 9% respectively) more than Gen Yers (4%) and and younger workers focus more on quality of Silents (2%) do. output. • Si lent s (8 4%) wa nt more recog n it ion a nd • Younger workers feel they are unable to advance in appreciation from their job than do Boomers (78%), their careers because upper management positions and both Gen Yers and Gen Xers (74%) said this was are filled by older workers. important. • Larger companies (more than 500 employees) report • Gen Yers (60%), Boomers and Silents (both at more intergenerational conflict than small and 55%) are willing to tolerate more stress for more medium-sized companies. money. • Regardless of age, generations share similar views about good benefits and compensation, job security, and a safe work environment.© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  10. 10.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSThe Generation Matrix There are pros and cons to generational mixing in generation who adopted many of the strong beliefs and the workplace. One positive outcome is that it can values about patriotism, loyalty, and hard work from bring creativity and innovation in decision making their elders. The Silents grew up during an unstable and problem solving as people come together to share economy, learned not to take their jobs for granted, and different perspectives. On the flip side, blending believed in putting in an honest day’s work for an honest generations can cause conf licts or clashes due to day’s pay. They are the trendsetters and pacesetters who differences in values, ways of working, communication helped nurture, teach, and produce the Baby Boomers. styles, and so forth. Learning and understanding the Although Baby Boomers take credit for the culture wars unique differences of what makes each generation “tick” of the 1960s, it was the Silent Generation who silently is helpful in creating awareness and common trust paved the way to bring more equality into the workplace. among all people in the workplace. In a booming manufacturing economy, a command- and-control style of leadership was an efficient way of The Generation Matrix (see Appendix) provides a getting things done along with specialized roles and framework to engage workers in a lively discussion in strong central authority. order to share generational viewpoints, attitudes, needs, and expectations at work—why people work they way Hardworking and competitive, Baby Boomers have they do, what they believe in, and what motivates them. dominated the workplace for years. As challengers of They can compare and contrast how their differing the status quo, Boomers made tremendous strides in viewpoints play into potential generational conflicts the workplace during the shift from an industrial to a or clashes in the workplace such as Leadership/View knowledge-based economy. Boomers were instrumental of Authority, Technology, Relationships, Diversity/ during the 1980s in introducing more democratic, Change, Job/Career/Retirement, Management, Job humane, and informal concepts to the workplace. Loyalty/Security, Work Ethic/Work-Life Balance, Motivation/Rewards/Recognition, and Generation Characteristics. “Hardworking and competitive, Baby Boomers have dominated Workers have an opportunity to share their insights and understandings about cross-generational issues and the workplace for years.” potential conflict areas that may get in the way of their working relationship. It provides a place for individuals and teams to acknowledge and honor their differences, They brought in participative management, employee focus on their strengths, and see how each benefits from involvement, and team building, f lattening the one another. We have extracted workplace generational traditional hierarchy. Boomers entered the workplace characteristics and attitudes of four generations— believing they could find security and good pay in Silents, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers—from corporations. The corporate restructuring, downsizing, the Generation Matrix and created four scenarios to and layoffs during the early 1980s and late 1990s demonstrate how differing generational points of views shattered their dreams—leaving many people feeling may lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. disenchanted with corporate America and insecure about their jobs. “Work is just a job—families come first!” The key question is how can the four generations benefit from each other’s different perspectives and strengths. Balance between life and work is the key to happiness The Silents, or the Silent Generation, as described by Neil according to most Gen Xers. Xers have chosen to Howe and William Strauss, authors of Generations, are schedule their careers around large periods of time off to the children of the Great Depression and World War II enable them to do things they want to do between jobs. © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  11. 11. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS  The Generation Matrix Unlike their Boomer counterparts, Xers reject the idea of • What work would you like to be doing more of? Less putting in 60-hour workweeks. Gen Xers are sometimes of? viewed as cynical and may not trust or respect large institutions, corporate or otherwise. Lacking faith in • Are you being challenged enough? What would make job security and career permanence, they prefer to seek your job more satisfying? opportunities to become independent value adders, constantly reinventing themselves and their roles in • Are you being trained enough? What new skills organizations. Xers tend to have a casual approach would you like to learn in order to enhance your toward authority—judging leadership on merit rather performance or just to widen your knowledge of than status and titles. business? The most overprotected and coddled generation in • Are you being given enough feedback? Are there any history are the Gen Yers. First wave Gen Yers are oppor t u n it ies you wou ld be i nterested i n currently entering the workforce and will be moving pursuing? into positions vacated by Xers. Yers are not as concerned about job security as much as finding their dream job. • Are you being recognized enough? How would you Highly optimistic and confident, they want to succeed like me to recognize and reward you for the immediately in their jobs, and if they don’t, they will contributions you make to the team? jump ship and find another job rather than climb the • What about your job makes you want to take the day corporate ladder. off? Like Xers, Gen Yers saw their parents lose their jobs due • Why do you stay? What might lure away? to corporate downsizing, layoffs, and mergers and they are more loyal to their teams, managers, and coworkers It is important to note that generational cohorts share than to institutions. If they are not satisfied in their many similarities while there are many differences present job, they will leave for better benefits, more among generations. flexible working arrangements, and greater promotional opportunities. According to Jennifer Deal, author of Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Like their Gen X cohorts, work-life balance is a priority— Find Common Ground, and research scientist with the many are unwilling to put in the long hours and hard Center for Creative Leadership, research suggests that work of Boomers and Silents. These scenarios show how generational cohorts frequently share common values differing points of view and contrasting expectations and beliefs such as integrity, achievement, balance, among generations can lead to misunderstandings, competence, happiness, and so forth. Deal surveyed false assumptions, and conflicts in the workplace. The more than 3,000 corporate leaders and found that, more Generation Matrix can help leaders and managers build than likely, misperceptions about values are associated awareness of and understanding of these differing with context, not age. Deal argues that all generations generational attitudes and expectations, and the essentially value the same things. importance of using flexible leadership styles to address the needs of multiple generations at work. Key coaching For example, “People of all generations, at all levels, trust questions leaders and managers can ask: people they work with directly more than they trust their organization.” Although generations may have the • Are things as you had expected they would be? same value, however, they do not define it in the same way. Deal says that generational conflict is “the result • Are there talents you aren’t using right now that of miscommunication and misunderstanding, fueled by would benefit the team? The organization? common insecurities and desire for clout.”© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  12. 12.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSThe Generation Matrix According to Deal’s research: Thus, they do not trust and respect large corporations. They are, however, loyal to their coworkers, teams, and • All generations have similar values. The most bosses—and demonstrate this by constantly acquiring striking result of the research is how similar the new skills or experience to prepare themselves for the generations are in the values that matter most. next job. • Family is listed as the top priority for all of the generations. • Everyone wants respect. All workers want respect, but the generations don’t define it in the same way. In the study, older individuals talked about respect in terms of “giving my opinions the weight I believe t hey deser ve,” whi le younger respondents characterized respect as “listen to me; pay attention to what I have to say.” • Leaders must be trustworthy. All workers want leaders they can trust. • No one really likes change. People of all generations are uncomfortable with change. It has less to do with age but rather how much people stand to gain or lose as a result of the change. • Loyalty depends on context. The amount of time a worker puts in each day has more to do with his or her level in the organization than with age. The higher the level, the more hours worked. • Everyone wants to learn. Learning and development opportunities were important for all generations. • Everyone likes feedback. Everyone want to know how they are doing and how to improve through learning and training opportunities. Finally, generations adjacent to one another may share more similarities than those that are two or more generations removed. For example, Gen Xers and Gen Yers are known for changing jobs more frequently than people in the preceding generations. Both generations are viewed as somewhat cynical and as lacking faith that job security and career permanence exist, mostly because they saw their parents or other adults lose their jobs to corporate downsizing, layoffs, and mergers.10 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  13. 13. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Best Practices for Leading and Managingan Intergenerational Workforce It is important for leaders and managers to be aware are “overcommunication” and difference deployment of and understand the different attitudes and (using employees’ differences to strengthen teams, expectations of an intergenerational workforce and departments, etc.). In the book Generations at Work, the how to manage them effectively and to manage the authors profiled five organizations that have successfully potential clash points that may arise such as work ethics, tapped into and leveraged the strengths of their managing change, and so forth. Best practices such intergenerational workforce, including Chevy’s Fresh as good communication and flexible leadership styles Mix, TGI Friday’s, Ben Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., Lucent will increase the likelihood of successfully managing Technologies, and West Group. These organizations have a productive workforce and meet the expectations creatively and successfully applied five critical operating and needs of individuals, as well as those of the entire principles into their workplace: organization. 1. Accommodate employee dif ferences — For example, Gen Xers and Gen Yers share similar This means treating their employees as they do needs and expectations such as a more innovative their customers. They identify and try to serve workplace, flexible hours, inclusion, and supervisors their employees’ preferences such as work-life who care and listen. Younger people are more balance, flextime, and scheduling options to interested in hearing that organizations want them accommodate a diverse workforce. to have a life, not just a job. Consequently, they desire more choices and freedom to pursue their career 2. Create workplace choices—They allow the development. They may require a different leadership workplace to shape itself around the work being and coaching style with immediate, ongoing feedback done, customers being served, and people who Understanding these unique needs and offering them do the work. T his translates to decreased training opportunities to increase their career growth bureaucracy, casual dress code, short chain of will enhance their productivity and support retention command, a relaxed and informal environment, efforts. The following cross-generational experts and and having fun. authors provide practical solutions and best practices for creating a friendly intergenerational organization. 3. Operate from sophisticated management style—Leaders and managers are direct but tactful; and effectively articulate the bigger Generations at Work vision, specific goals, and measures. They Ron Zemke, Claire Raines, and Bob Filipczak, authors provide autonomy to do the work and reward of Generations at Work, point out that best companies performance. Seven key attributes that characterize to work for must be sensitive to the unique differences their flexibility: and needs of each generation and what individuals • Their supervisory style is not fixed. Direct are looking for, such as what makes work rewarding, reports are managed by individual track which environment is most productive, and what record and personal preferences. types of workload, schedules, and policies contribute to a workplace that attracts and retains top talent. • Their leadership style is situationally varied. Best companies to work for leverage the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills of their employees • They depend less on position power and more and use these differences to maximize the organization’s on personal power. overall mission and goals. The authors emphasize that the two keys to creating a successful workforce© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 11
  14. 14.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSBest Practices for Leading and Managing an Intergenerational Workforce • They know when and how to make policy Baby Boomers exceptions for people. • Preferred leadership style is collegial and • They are thoughtful when matching consensual. individuals to a team assignment. • Gain their confidence by demonstrating • They balance concern for tasks and for compassion and understanding. people. • Approach them with respect for their • They understand the elements of trust, and achievements. work to gain it from their employees (fair, inclusive, good communicators, competent). • Involve them in participating in the organization’s direction and implementation 4. Respect competence and initiative—They of change initiatives. assume the best of their people. Companies hire carefully to assure a good match between the • Challenge them to contribute as part of a team person and the job. to solve organizational problems. 5. Nourish retention—They are concerned and • Offer opportunities to serve as a coach as part of focused on retention—offering lots of training, the change process. one to-one coaching, and training opportunities. They encourage regular parallel movement between • Support work–life balance. jobs with broadened assignments. Gen Xers Leadership Styles: Different • Respect the experiences that have shaped their Generations beliefs and thinking. In the SHRM article Leadership Styles: Generational • Tell them the truth. Differences, by Nancy R. Lockwood,the author stresses the importance of using flexible leadership styles • Honor sense of work–life balance. to address the needs and expectations of multiple generations at work. The article recommends the • Offer mentoring programs. following best practices to better equip leaders and managers and to increase productivity and retention. • Clearly communicate that repetitive tasks and The data was based on extensive research by expert quality checks are part of the job. sources and findings from the SHRM Generational Differences Survey Report, 2004. • Offer learning opportunities. Silents Gen Yers • Create positive working relationships by gaining • Take time to orient with respect to the trust and respecting their experience without organization’s culture. being intimidated by it. • Provide structure and strong leadership. • Gain their confidence by demonstrating compassion and understanding. • Be clear about expectations and long-term goals. • Offer mentoring programs.12 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  15. 15. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS  Best Practices for Leading and Managing an Intergenerational Workforce Suggested recommendations to successfully communicate included: • Delegate work in a way that involves the 9. Plan for succession (knowledge management strengths of each group (e.g., on a cross transfer). generational team, the team leader could suggest that the Gen Xers do the research 10. Offer mentoring programs (to transfer and Baby Boomers process the information). knowledge from senior to junior employees). • Hold fewer and shorter meetings for Gen Xers 11. Offer flexible scheduling (part-time work, and Gen Yers. temporary positions, job sharing, telecommuting). • Customize educational programs (e.g., communicating across generations may mean packaging messages in several ways so that 12. Offer a wide variety and choices of benefits everyone understands). (auto, life, and health insurance, 401(k) match, alumni group, etc.). Leading a Multigenerational Workforce—12 Best Practices Dr. Susan Murphy, a senior consultant with Claire Raines Associates, a consulting firm specializing in generational differences, offers 12 best practices: 1. Study generational composition; use the information in many HR strategies. 2. Train people about the generations, using a variety of formats. 3. Match workforce to customer base. 4. Include all generations on boards and councils. 5. Support continuing education (lifelong learning, tuition reimbursement, etc.). 6. Reward managers for retention. 7. Reward performance and productivity (without regard to age). 8. Offer horizontal movement (to gain experience and break down silos).© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 13
  16. 16.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSWhy Should Organizations Care? Emergingand Intersecting Trends Impacting theWorkplace The following emerging and intersecting trends build a employees under the age of 30 plan to be self-employed. convincing business case for creating a business-friendly According to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research intergenerational workforce. In light of the emerging Center, self-employed workers are considerably more trends, where there is intergenerational mixing, there satisfied with their jobs than are other workers. Why? is potential intergenerational conflict, especially in the There is less risk. Advanced technology is breaking down way people approach their work, how they communicate, the barriers for anyone to create a start-up with very and how they perform in the workplace. little capital. Savvy entrepreneurs can have a company up and running in a matter of weeks versus years. The surge in entrepreneurialism is causing concern for Leadership Gap many companies that are facing an impending shortage Organizations are concerned about the looming Baby of skilled workers. The United States Bureau of Labor Boomer retirement surge and the resulting urgent need Statistics projects the self-employed category will grow to fill critical leadership positions. The pool of 25- to 65- 5 percent from 2004 to 2014, compared with 2 percent year-olds is shrinking rapidly. The unemployment rate growth for the decade that began in 1994. is just 5 percent, and we can only expect it to go lower. According to the Conference Board, 64 million skilled Lack of Management Skills workers will be able to retire by the end of this decade. That equates to two employees leaving for every new Many Gen Xers have been in the workforce for 10 to 15 hire entering. The Hudson Institute predicts the supply years and are beginning to move into more senior-level of skilled labor in the United States will not catch up positions in their companies. Many are now managing to the demand until 2050. Simply put, there are not coworkers who are 10 to 20 years older than they are, enough workers from younger generations to take their and in many cases, are more experienced than they are. places. The Gen X population is a little more than half Some Gen Xers have been promoted so rapidly or have the population of Baby Boomers, leaving a gap in upper had so little mentoring that they have never learned management positions when Boomers begin to retire in management basics. the next few years. Gen Yers are considered too young and inexperienced to fill these gaps. Some organizations, Ma ny ot hers need to lea r n inter persona l a nd such as IBM, are adding special programs for their communication skills to effectively manage up as middle- management employees and providing more well as learn how to effectively work with corporate perks to retain key talent. politics and get things done through others. A recent report published by Personnel Decisions International revealed that management skill and competencies differ Custom-Built Life between generations and that organizations need to According to a National Study of the Changing plan ahead for a fundamental change in management Workforce, 26 percent of workers of all ages plan to be practices, especially as Boomer managers are replaced self-employed or own their own business at some time by Gen Xers. in the future. Many young people are electing to start their own businesses rather than join the corporate The Retention Challenge ranks. With confidence, skill, and new technology on their side, they are inventing their own jobs and even What are the costs for hiring and replacing key talent? their own companies. In a recent study, 43 percent of According to research by TD Magazine, in the United14 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  17. 17. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS  Why Should Organizations Care? Emerging and Intersecting Trends Impacting the Workplace States, the cost of replacing an employee averages Getting Blindsided by Hiring $17,000. Workers making more than $60,000 per year will cost organizations more than $38,000 to replace. Only One Generation Replacing experienced employees includes intangible costs such as loss of corporate knowledge when Companies will be at risk of losing their competitive employees walk out the door with corporate know-how. edge if they become too locked into employing only one Another intangible cost associated when workers leave generation of workers. For example, a company that is includes adding more work for existing employees, staffed exclusively by Boomers will not be able to tap thus affecting their morale and productivity. Many into the energy and experiences of Gen Yers and may businesses are struggling to keep pace with a new lack the ability to connect with customers from other generation of young people entering the workplace. generations. Cam Marston, author of Motivating the “What’s in It for Me” Workforce, says that there are key According to workplace experts, younger workers want a differences in customer service between the generations. more collaborative work environment, less boring work, Silents and Boomers define service as care, concern, and more work-life balance. An online survey of 320 interaction, and conversation. Gen Xers and Gen Yers graduates by Experience, Inc., found an average tenure measure service in time and seek service that is quick of 1.6 years at a first full-time job. More than 36 percent and reliable. Learning what different generations stayed less than a year. prefer and providing service according to customers’ preferences is not only key in retaining good talent but Many organizations have revamped their also good customers. recruiting and retention programs to attract and retain older and younger workers. Digital Natives versus Digital Immigrants. According to author Work-Life Balance Marc Prensky, who has studied the technologically As we continue to see rapid developments in information savvy generation, a typical 21-year-old entering the and communication technologies, workers will be workforce today has, on average, played 5,000 hours pressured to do more with less. Stress-related problems of video games; exchanged 250,000 emails, instant affecting employee morale and wellness will continue messages, and phone text messages; and spent 10,000 to grow as a result of a fast-paced and time-pressured hours on a cell phone and 3,500 hours online. environment. According to a survey conducted by Edge International, a legal management consulting firm, Gen Generational clash? This experience creates a great divide Yers ranked “time for personal life” as their number between the generation that grew up with technology one priority. According to the Undergraduate Ideal and is easily assimilating it and customizing their digital Employer Ranking Survey conducted by Universum world around it, and the generations that are “playing Communications, an employer-branding specialist that catch up” and trying to accommodate these new changes. helps companies develop their brand image, students Tech savvy Gen Yers will expect the latest technology ranked “balance personal and professional life” and and gadgets in the workplace. Their experience with “pursue further education” as their two top priorities interactive media has led many young people to develop in the workplace. new skills, assumptions, and expectations about their employers. Gen Yers are less willing to sacrifice family and personal time for the office and less likely to be loyal Some experts warn, however, that the heavy reliance of and committed to working long hours. Boomers are technology such as cell phones, instant messaging, and catching on as well, seeking more work-life balance such email—in addition to relying on their parents and friends as flexible work schedule options. While studies show at the other end of the technology—is affecting the brain that improvements in employees’ work-life balance can development of younger people—especially in area improve organizational results, many organizations still related to independent thinking and decision making. do not offer these benefits.© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 15
  18. 18.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSWhy Should Organizations Care? Emerging and Intersecting Trends Impacting the Workplace Boundaryless Workforce Unprepared to Enter New work arrangements such as telecommuting, the Workforce virtual teams, and use of temporary professionals have changed the makeup of the workplace. Organizations According to a recent report by SHRM, Are They are relocating to the suburbs where land, resources, Really Ready to Work?, at the high school level, well and labor are cheaper. More workers are telecommuting over one-half of new entrants are not prepared in or working out of remote offices or from their own the most important skills such as oral and written homes. To compete globally, many multinationals are communications, professionalism/work ethic, and offshoring or outsourcing to low-cost emerging critical thinking/problem solving. College graduates did economies such as India and China. The United Nations not do much better. A Human Resource Institute survey projected a growth rate for India at 8 percent over 2006 showed that 85 percent of young people who attend a and 9 percent in China. One of the biggest challenges two-year college and 45 percent who attend a four-year for multinational companies is learning how to institution have to take a full year of remedial training. mobilize their human resources globally and getting One of the largest and fastest growing groups of young workers to adopt a collaborative mind-set regarding a people in the United States is college dropouts—rising wide range of cultural and generational idiosyncrasies. to almost one out of three Americans in their mid-20s, Many younger workers are coming into the workforce with according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Some experts networking, multiprocessing, and global-mindedness state overreliance on computer programs that correct skills that older generations can learn from. However, spelling and grammar errors perpetuates poor written the Silents and the Baby Boomers report performance communication skills. Email and instant messaging concerns involving the “If you don’t see them, are they also rob the opportunity for developing face-to-face performing?” mentality. interpersonal skills. Therefore, many organizations are opting to recruit and hire Gen Yers in high school and college to get them up-to-speed faster in order to One-Size Does Not Fit All involve them earlier in more important roles and critical tasks. In the past, companies did not worr y about an i nd iv idu a l ’s wa nt s a nd desi res. T he y u su a l ly implemented a one-size-fits-all management philosophy The Flatter, Superfast, Efficient to fit everyone’s needs. If some employees did not or could not conform to the organization’s policies Organization and practices, companies encouraged these people The traditional brick-and-mortar organization with a to leave. That is no longer true. Research conducted full-time staff and highly structured hierarchy is making by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found that way for a more fluid and flexible organizational structure, different generations of employees required different with a core of ever-shifting network of suppliers management strategies for recruiting, retaining, and vendors all working together—permanently or and motivating workers. Employers are rethinking temporarily—to accomplish a single project. Portable traditional practices as the era of standardized benefits computing devices are revolutionizing how we work and and work requirements gives way to a more custom- share information. Wireless technology is enabling more built model. Many organizations are helping young individuals to access the Internet from more locations. workers create customized career paths; they may Software organizations such as Yahoo!, which recruit and offer professional development opportunities such manage a diverse workforce made up of individuals who as training, adding new responsibilities, or offering work well with a lack of formalized processes, are able monetary rewards and stay-on bonuses. In contrast, to deal with ambiguity and are adept at multitasking. Boomers are looking for roles that offer an opportunity Less separation by job description exists. The work is to do meaningful work, reliable job security, retirement information-focused, and the person in charge may be pensions, and health care. younger than the people he or she manages.16 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  19. 19. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Next Steps Reasons for Proactively • How does the company effectively transfer and share knowledge from experienced workers to a new, Addressing the Multiple younger group? Generational Issue • Given advances in technology and experiences 1. Managing and leading multiple generations that different generations have had with training are in the workplace is an important current and future there learning preferences across generations? issue. • Do managers need to adjust their motivational and 2. The way people learn and want to learn is changing leadership styles to fit each generation? and is generation-related. Companies need to move or provide alternatives that are tested and that • How does the company accelerate getting younger work. workers on board given their lack of experience, skills, and training? 3. Companies that want to be an Employer of Choice have to find new ways to attract and retain top talent. • How does the company motivate and engage mature To do this a company needs to rethink policies workers to continually upgrade their skills and and practices regarding work-life balance, flexible participate in continuous learning activities? schedules, and so forth. • What is the generational composition of the 4. The war for top talent is heating up and the big company’s workforce? Is the company hiring and talent pool is Gen Yers. Companies need to find ways promoting airly to address any disparity in to bring them up to speed quickly due to the shortage treatment? of Gen X workers and increasing competition for • What will the generational composition of the highly skilled workers. workforce be in five years? • What is the generational composition of the Critical Questions company’s customers? Is the current company’s • What major changes are needed in the company’s workforce equipped to understand their needs? HR policies and practices to address and meet the needs and demands of different generations? • How does the company create a work environment that fosters and leverages generational and cultural “Companies that want to be differences, diverse backgrounds, and knowledge? an Employer of Choice have to • How can the company recognize the individuality find new ways to attract and that each person brings to work and engage employees of all ages to maximize their performance? retain top talent.” • What are the differences between generations that play out in the workplace and make it challenging to manage or be managed by younger coworkers?© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 17
  20. 20.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERSAppendix How to Use the Generation Matrix The findings in this white paper are based on a compilation of best thinking and ideas from experts and researchers on generational differences in the workplace today. Their thinking and ideas are based on extensive research studies and interviews. The statements on the Generation Matrix are generalizations, and certainly are not true for all people of a certain generation. They are offered as commonly held perceptions, stereotypes, observations, and interpretations about different generations that may help explain the generational conflicts and misunderstandings frequently occurring in the workplace. The Generation Matrix is intended to build awareness and possibly open a dialogue among coworkers, managers, and leaders with their direct reports or other people about their differing expectations, desires, and beliefs about working together. It may help people within a generational cohort find words to better explain their feelings, beliefs, and expectations and to “clear the air” regarding intergenerational conflict areas. For example, younger people who grew up surrounded by digital media are able to rapidly adapt to new technologies released into the market and quickly assimilate them into their daily lives. They may assume this is true for older adults. However, people who grew up with radio and television as their primary medias may be uncomfortable using new technology and find it intimidating and confusing. Leaders and managers should use the Generation Matrix as a tool to help groups of people compare and contrast their similarities and differences, and ultimately help them look for ways to leverage all their strengths, thus creating a healthy and productive work environment.18 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  21. 21. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS  Generational Characteristics The Silents (1925-1945, 45 million) Baby Boomers (1949-1964, 80 million) • Worked together toward a common goal • Pursues personal gratification at expense to others • Delayed gratification • Self-enlightenment—search for spirituality and • Self-sacrifice for greater good meaning of life • Are patriotic and civic-minded • Believe in growth and expansion • Tend to be conservative; risk adverse • More liberal and idealistic • Are dependable, reliable, and self-reliant • Make the world a better place • Have obedience and respect for authority • Competitive • Have strong work ethic—work is duty • Celebrate individualism • Value dedication and commitment • Internally motivated • Value tradition, rules, and conformity • Optimistic—see the world in terms of infinite • Are considered forerunners, trendsetters, and possibilities pacesetters for Baby Boomers • Team orientation • Personal growth • Involvement • Work defines who they are Gen Xers (1965-1976, 49.1 million) Gen Yers (1977-1994, 73.5 million) • May appear disillusioned, defensive; want high quality of life • Civic-minded and like to be involved in community • Self-reliant and resourceful • Celebrate diversity • Think and act according to their instincts • Individualistic • May listen to counsel, but make own decisions • More narcissist than previous generations—not • Emotionally neglected by parents (first generation good at taking criticism latchkey kids left on their own by divorced and/or • Independent and open-minded; optimistic working parents) • Display confidence and sense of entitlement; have • Individualistic and diverse (ethnically, culturally, high expectations of self attitudinally) • Grew up feeling special—coddled and protected by parents and society; have distorted view between • Independent, resilient, and adaptable self-esteem and reality • Techno literate (grew up with PCs, VCRs, and video • “Been there. Done that.” attitude games) • Want to know they are making a difference—local • Entrepreneurial spirit and global • Work-life balance a priority • 40% raised in single parent households; are 4–5 • Informality times more likely to have experienced divorce • Results oriented than previous generations • Global thinkers© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 19
  22. 22.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Clash Point: View of Authority The Silents (1925-1945, 45 million) Baby Boomers (1949-1964, 80 million) • Value loyalty, dedication, and commitment to the organization • Question rules and traditions of previous generation • Experienced command-and-control leadership in and either push for change or ignore irrelevant ones hierarchical organizations • Challenge the establishment (divorce, living together, • Seek clearly defined specialized roles and a strong illegal drugs, radical rule breaking) central authority figure • Have tendency toward a collegial and consensual • Have respect and trust for authority, leaders, and leadership style institutions • Although advocates of participative style • Value rules and traditions, uniformity, standardization management—find it difficult to practice it • Experienced the power of unions and collective • Brought up in a work environment that began to action under strong leadership to protect frontline question authority and hierarchy approach to business and are eager to shed command-and- • Sacrificed individual needs for the greater good control style • Are patriotic and civic-minded • Made profound changes in the 80s, such as • Are keepers of organization’s history and founding participative management, flattened pyramids, principles employee involvement • Have strong beliefs in law and order Gen Xers (1965-1976, 49.1 million) Gen Yers (1977-1994, 73.5 million) • Question institutions (presidency, military, • Grew up with lack of central authority in schools organized religion, corporations) and authority (teachers acted as facilitators) • Tend to be skeptical toward authority • Are less likely to follow social rules • Distrust hierarchy and prefer more informal arrangement • May not have automatic respect for authority— • May judge on merit rather than on status; are not will make suggestions if it will improve situation impressed by titles or authority • Tend to have irrelevance and distrust of government • Are less concerned with office politics or playing and politicians, journalists, institutions the game within the system • Respect competency • Dislike hidden agendas and secrecy • Are not impressed by position, titles, or authority • Value independence and individuality—think • See leadership as a participative process and are of themselves as free agents or independent upfront with superiors contractors • Want leaders who are competent and inspire and • Like to question policies and procedures that motivate them seem ambiguous, unclear, outdated • Are flexible workers and independent agents and are • Choose rules that make sense to them and allow uncomfortable with hierarchies and rigid structure others to follow different rules20 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A
  23. 23. THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS  Clash Point: Technology The Silents (1925-1945, 45 million) Baby Boomers (1949-1964, 80 million) • Grew up in a manufacturing era where physical • Rise of television (from 172,000 in 1948 to manpower and assembly line work were more 15 million in 1952) transformed social habits common than knowledge work • Were in the forefront of creating digital revolution; • Increasingly common usage of electrical appliances 70s technological revolution was beginning to and new technology in transportation provided more replace manufacturing as center of our economy mobility • Technology is important to current lifestyle at • Developed skills with new technology slowly work and home, but is a challenge to learn • Tend to be uncomfortable with new electronic technology and may find it intimidating and confusing—but will adapt to it if necessary, e.g., ATM cards, voice mail • Prefer personal contact or live person on the telephone rather than voice mail message Gen Xers (1965-1976, 49.1 million) Gen Yers (1977-1994, 73.5 million) • Technology literate—first generation to grow up • Grew up surrounded by digital media and are more with PCs, VCRs ,and video games comfortable, knowledgeable, and literate than previous generations • Grew up in environment of instant information such • Assimilate new technology whereas previous as open investigative reporting on TV and access to generations accommodate it many types of information • Customize their digital world as new products • Technology is important to daily life and work and come on the market feel comfortable with it • Facility with technology has empowered them— • More educated than previous generations are consultants to older adults in using technology • Expect employers to supply the latest • Have a tendency to think quickly and juggle many technology to maintain their skills tasks at one time • PC movement brought quest for equality, opportunity, • Are heavy online users and can locate information individualism, and justice in the workplace easily and instantly on Web and through networking • Have grown up with heavy reliance on technology, which has negatively affected basic spelling and writing skills • Use of technology has created demands for instant digital gratification© 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A 21
  24. 24.   THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS Clash Point: Relationships The Silents (1925-1945, 45 million) Baby Boomers (1949-1964, 80 million) • Pleasant and at ease with customers • Like to work for a manager who cares for them • Personal sacrifice—put aside individual needs personally, treats them as equals, provides for common good opportunities to pursue new endeavors, and • Respect for authority empowers them • Prefer formal communication that is limited • Equality is important; want to be treated as to work issues only—may be uncomfortable equals discussing personal life issues • Value teamwork and participative leadership • May get stuck in “we’ve never done it that way” • Competitive and like standing out in the crowd mentality or seek one right answer • Interpersonal communication is important • Reticent when they disagree • Relationships are important • Later Silents produced leaders known more for • Good at delivering service—want to please their human relationship skills and their ability • Uncomfortable with conflict to negotiate than for their decisive leadership • Reluctant to go against peers • Personal gratification is important Gen Xers (1965-1976, 49.1 million) Gen Yers (1977-1994, 73.5 million) • Prefer strong commitment to people and • Lack of face-to-face interaction is due to heavy relationships; desire to build lasting relationships reliance on communication technologies • Seek sense of family, but family is not necessarily • Admire and respect parents and are open to input, in terms of traditional or legal concepts but as to but on their own terms level of emotional commitment and support • Tend to be more loyal to peers, coworkers, boss • Can count on peers and themselves to get things rather than to organization done • Socializing and relationships are what makes • Tend to be self-directed; nonhierarchical work fun and are more important than productivity, profitability, and achievement • More independent than Boomers or Silents • Like working and learning from colleagues they respect and hope to socialize and form friendships with them • Are inclusive and value collective action • Relationship with immediate manager is a critical factor in whether they stay in job or not • Form close bonds of loyalty with those who share their differences and honor their uniqueness22 © 2009 The Ken Blanchard Companies. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate • 12309A