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The Generational Divide in the Workforce


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Learning Objective: Discover how to address generational differences to leverage each generation’s strength

Today’s workforce is comprised of four different generations: The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. These generations are unique in the blend of the defining events that have shaped their lives, the values that they hold dear, and in the way they navigate their careers. Several studies have been conducted to provide a greater understanding into the differences and similarities of these generations. This interactive discussion will shed light on the generational divide to enable your organization to facilitate a greater interconnection across these generations and within organizations.

At the end of this seminar, participants will:

a. Understand workplace generational differences and similarities
b. Challenge stereotypes and explore truisms for each generation
c. Identify methods to communicate and collaborate across generations

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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The Generational Divide in the Workforce

  1. 1. IMPACTS OF GENERATIONAL SHIFTS IN THE WORKFORCE Presenters: Cozy Bailey Tamal Burise DeAnthony Heart Chasidy Perrin “The authors’ affiliation with The MITRE Corporation is provided for identification purposes only, and is not intended to convey or imply MITRE’s concurrence with, or support for, the positions, opinions or viewpoints expressed by the authors.”
  2. 2. Video Showing Challenges of Millennials Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace Source: YouTube
  3. 3. Setting the Stage Source: Proteus
  4. 4. Why Should We Care? Source: HubPages - Motivating, Managing, Retaining Generation X and Gen Y, Z Employees: Updated on November 14, 2016
  5. 5. Challenges & Stereotypes of Managing a Multigenerational Workforce Adverse stereotyping – Older workers often look at the younger generations as entitled, lazy, and obsessed with technology – Millennials and Gen X challenge the system and are generally difficult – Younger workers see older workers as being stuck in their ways and refusing to embrace new, innovative ways of thinking and vice versa Loss of knowledge and experience – As older generations move out, younger generations may not have the experience to successfully carry out the job beyond technology – Without knowledge transfer, a gap in capability and experience could result Increased workload – With younger employees on staff, older employees often see an increase in their workload because they must train younger, newer employees Delivery issues – Older employees tend to take more time and put more pride in their work – Younger employees will deliver faster and more efficiently than older employees Source: The Challenges of Managing a Multi Generational Workforce White Paper
  6. 6. Generational Differences in Communication • Understanding what people value and what motivates them makes it much easier to communicate job expectations • Different generations tend to value different communication styles, team structures and job perks • The difference between older and younger generations in preferred communication styles has almost become a cliché Source: Dilbert Cartoon – Business Communication Tuesday, November 4, 2014
  7. 7. Adapting to the aging workforce Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. AARP • Ten thousand Baby Boomers will turn 65 each day through 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics • Those that retire will take with them most of the institutional knowledge they spent an entire career amassing • Ranges from intellectual capital, expertise in their given industry, and insights into key customer relationships including measures regarding policy, procedure, and documentation
  8. 8. Transition Strategy to Improve Workforce Challenges Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. AARP
  9. 9. Generation Workforce Perception Source: XYZ: How Generation Affects Employee Engagement – Amanda Shore, September 14, 2015, Herd Wisdom
  10. 10. Attitudes Towards Technology Use
  11. 11. Attitude Towards Social Media Photo Credit: Entrepreneur, 2015
  12. 12. Attitude Towards Career
  13. 13. Again, Why Do I Care? Millennials will be roughly 50% of the USA workforce in 2020 and 75% of the global workforce by 2030 Reference: Forbes article: Three Reasons You Need To Adopt A Millennial Mindset Regardless Of Your Age
  14. 14. So what can we do about it? • Staff • Manager/Supervisor • Senior Leadership
  15. 15. Staff • Be transparent. Don’t hide anything from us, especially bad news • Pay us well • Allow for flexibility • Allow for autonomy, but also guide us • Be a mentor not a manager. • Help us see a clear career path forward • Give us more autonomy over our development • Promote us when we deserve it • Find ways to make things fun • Mutual Transparency is Valuable • We all need to Understand the Value of Compensation and Benefits • Flexibility Must be Mutually Beneficial • Build relationships that promote autonomy and good behavior • Manage Individuals Forward through Mentorship • We all need to Understand Guidelines and Expectations for Promotion • Involve Junior Staff in Making Things Fun! Management Source: NVTC Millennial Board, 2016
  16. 16. Continue to break down barriers to enable your workforce to grow and learn together Senior Leadership Image Credit: Pixabay
  17. 17. Game Time Rules – We pose a question, if you believe the answer to the question is yes you move to the right side (our left) and vice versa – We will ask a few people to shed light on to why they believe the answer to the question is either yes or no Let’s Begin!
  18. 18. Question 1 Do people in a particular generational group behave matching the stereotypes recognized by their peers? NO YES
  19. 19. Question 2 Do people in a particular generation believe that the stereotypes assigned to their generation are accurate? NO YES
  20. 20. Question 3 Do you believe technology makes life more complex? NO YES
  21. 21. Question 4 Are there differences in how each generation perceives compensation? NO YES
  22. 22. Question 5 Should organizations have training for employees to generate a common understanding of the varying generations in the workforce? NO YES
  23. 23. Generational Stereotypes • Do people in a particular generational group behave matching the stereotypes recognized by their peers? • Do people in a particular generational group believe that the stereotypes recognized to their generation are accurate?
  24. 24. Q/A Session