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Generational Diversity


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How do you communicate and manage across the 4 generations in the workplace?

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Generational Diversity

  1. 1. Generational Diversity CAPPA SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 Betsy A. Haas, MA Esteemed Human Development International 818-904-0903 OBJECTIVE To heighten awareness and understanding of the generalized differences among generations, in order to decrease misunderstandings, conflicts, stress, discomfort, frustration, and miscommunication. And, to increase effectiveness in the your work without reinforcing stereotypes. 1
  2. 2. Diversity is not a lesson, it is a practice! It is an evolving process in which you never stop learning. It is about respect, not tolerance. We want to practice respect and an appreciation for others. ~Jennifer Montgomery~ Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men. Jane Adams (1860—1935) Betsy Haas (please ask for 4 permission to copy or use) 2
  3. 3. How do I want to be treated? • I want to be valued In the American Marketplace today, 70% of the people who leave their jobs do so because they do not feel valued. • I want to be appreciated • I want to be trusted This is the foundation of leadership ** To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved. George MacDonald • I want to be respected The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude. Arnold Glasow • I want to be understood When dealing with others, seek first to understand, then be understood. Stephen Covey Betsy Haas (please ask for 5 permission to copy or use) TIMES HAVE CHANGED The once linear nature of power at work, from older to younger, has been dislocated by changes in health, wellness and life expectancy, lifestyle, technology, and knowledge base. 3
  4. 4. GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY • A group of people defined by age boundaries (those who were born during a certain era), • they share similar experiences growing up, and • their values and attitudes tend to be similar. Betsy Haas (please ask for 7 permission to copy or use) THE POWER OF VALUES “Once established as young adults… there is only the possibility of adoption of our values if we experience a ‘Significant Emotional Event’…which so deeply affects us that it causes us to reevaluate our basic values to exchange one for another.” - Morris Massey 4
  5. 5. Major Factors Influencing VALUE DEVELOPMENT • In his book, “The People Puzzle” Morris Massey lists 8 influential factors that contribute to our value development • Keep in mind, it is when we are in the “modeling stage” – about age 10 – that these factors have the greatest impact “Areas of influence” guide what we think is RIGHT or WRONG • Church / Religion • Family • Income • Friends • Geography • Media • Teachers • Formal Education (formal & informal) GENERATION GAP Exercise A generation gap describes a vast difference in cultural norms between a younger generation and those more experienced. 1. Divide into two groups – do you consider yourself younger or older generationally? 2. Ask yourselves the questions that pertain to your group. Younger Older 1. What VALUES do you like 1. What VALUES do you like about your generation? about your generation? 2. What do you want to 2. How old were you when accomplish and when? you accomplished your most significant 3. Describe your ideal school. successes? 4. What challenges do you 3. Describe your ideal school. face at work that may 4. What challenges do you have to do with your face at work that may generation? have to do with your generation? Betsy Haas (please ask for 10 permission to copy or use) 5
  6. 6. WHAT WAVES ARE WE UP AGAINST? Non- Traditional Open Violence Values Hurried Families Safe Sex Substance Abuse Deteriorating Political Corruption Role Models Hedonism _____? Less Patriotism _____? “New Morality” _____? Changing Family _____? Structure Industrialization Religion Delayed Sexual Gratification Traditional Family Values 1920 1990 2010 VALUE DEVELOPMENT OVER THE DECADES 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s Aftermath Wall Street World War Korean War Vietnam War Vietnam Diminished Desert Storm of WW1 Crash II Impact World Indulged Civil Rights Cold War Respect / Close Family Great The War Kids Watergate Hostages Ended Depression Effort Assassination Radio Television Hypocrisy High-Tech Domestic The New GI Bill Space Terrorism Prohibition Rock n’ Roll Program “Me” Society Deal Working Generation AIDS Politically Very Women Suburbs Generation Correct Gap Gay Drugs Security Beatniks Oriented Kindergarten Liberation Internet Sexual Personal The Good Revolution Equal Rights Computer Generation Life (Pill) Amendment Lap Yuppies Feminists Environment Booming Economy Hippies Clinton Drugs Scandals Tolerance Commdr. FDR Gen. Gen. John F. O.J. Ronald Bill Clinton Richard Eisenhower MacArthur Kennedy Simpson Reagan Byrd Jesse McGwire & Owen Rosie the Dr. Spock Martin Muhammad Lee Sosa Babe Ruth Riveter Luther King Ali Iacocca Shirley Elvis Michael Charles Temple Frank Presley Neil Mary Tyler Magic Jordan Lindbergh Sinatra Armstrong Moore Johnson Jazz Rap / Hip Flapper The Beatles Disco Madonna Hop 6
  7. 7. OUR DISCLAIMER • We will be talking about “Mass Consciousness” which are the values held by most people in society during a time period • As in a “Bell Curve” there are those who fall outside the norm due to special circumstances, ethnicity, culture, environment, etc. Normal Values of Society Values Values deviating from deviating from the norm the norm THE POWER OF FOUR • This is the first time in • These four generations American history that often collide, as their we have had four paths cross. different generations working side-by-side in • They have different the workplace. values, different ideas, • Each generation has different ways of getting distinct attitudes, things done, and behaviors, different ways to expectations, habits, communicating in the and motivational workplace. buttons. Betsy Haas (please ask for 14 permission to copy or use) 7
  8. 8. TODAY’S GENERATIONAL WORKFORCE • Veterans (Matures) – born from 1922 – 1945 (5% of the national workforce 30 million) (currently 63 – 86 y/o) • Baby Boomers – born from 1946 – 1964 (45% of the national workforce 80 million) (currently 44 – 62 y/o) • Generation X – born from 1965 – 1980 (40% of the national workforce 45 million) (currently 28 – 43 y/o) • Net-Gen – born from 1981 – 2000 (10% of the national workforce 75 million) (currently 85 – 27 y/o) Betsy Haas (please ask for 15 permission to copy or use) WHERE DO YOU BELONG? • Take 5 minutes to mark your questions on the Test Betsy Haas (please ask for 16 permission to copy or use) 8
  9. 9. STATEMENTS FOR DISCUSSION As each generation replaces another, in the work environment, the overall training environment becomes something new altogether - fundamentally changing the participants’ morale, mood and behavior. 1. We assume our definition of success onto the other generations 2. We want others to “Pay your dues the same way I did” 3. Each generation thinks the following has it easier “VIVA LA DIFFERENCE” VALUES MATURES BABY BOOMERS GEN-X NET-GEN Mother Homemaker Working Single Single Mother/ Mom Mother Mother Single Father Family Close Family Dispersed family Latchkey Kids Comfortable with Looser family structure Marriage Married Once Divorced/Remarried Single Parent Undetermined Patterns Hair Short Hair Long Hair Any Style Hair Bleached/Spiked Clothes Formal Casual Bizarre Anything Goes Music Big Band/Swing Rock ‘n’ Roll Alternative/Rap Ska/Swing (very diverse) Money Save It Now Buy It Now Want It Now Get it Now (Online) Purchasing Purchasing with Cash Purchasing with Credit Struggling to Purchase Online Card Purchase Marketing Ford Marketing GE Marketing Concept Ignored Market Interactive Global Market Concept High -Tech Slide Rule Calculator Computer Internet/Text Messaging (games) Work Style Team Work and Personal Fulfillment Tentative/ Networking Commitment to Work Divided Loyalty War Win a War Why a War? Watch a War Wireless War (WW II patriotism) (Viet Nam War (Desert Storm – (Iraq Conflict) Demonstrating) Live on TV) Morals Puritan Ethics Sensual Cautious Tolerant 9
  10. 10. WHAT DRIVES EACH? CHARACTERISTICS MOTIVATION MATURES • Most affluent in Nation • Show respect and deference • Retired • Listen attentively to what life experiences have • Group not individual taught them, what they observe around them • Acknowledge contribution but don’t celebrate them too much outside the group BOOMERS • Most influential population • Allow to contribute to the team • Workaholic mentality – delayed • Acknowledge hours spent in the workplace gratification • Recognize competitiveness – their wins • “We” first orientation • Use optimistic language • Work ethic defined by time • Important to be a team player GEN-X • Most loyal population today – to • Balance family and lifestyle into decisions people not companies • Acknowledge the challenges of too many • Live for today, raised by parents Boomers in the workplace to compete with as friends – prove it to me • Provide adequate technology and tools • Cynicism, pessimism, skepticism • Rewards are in real-time NET-GEN • Most creative population • Reward with time (or symbols of success) • Instant gratification – • Celebrate them as individuals resourceful • Fun and open workplace environment • Seeks quick feedback • Use as ambassadors across diversity • Doesn’t acknowledge authority FINDING COMMON GROUND Rallying around “Like-minded” values…is the single most common denominator that brings people together across diversity factors OR can be the strongest clash of differences! (e.g. Politics and Religion) 10
  11. 11. BENEFITS OF A MULTI-GENERATION WORK PLACE • The group is more flexible. • Decisions are stronger because they are broad-based. • The group is more innovative • The group can meet the needs of a diverse work environment. Betsy Haas (please ask for 21 permission to copy or use) THE KEYS TO OVERCOMING THE DIFFERENCES THAT DIVIDE US • Understanding – the more we understand others’ point of view and allow for differences, the better we can communicate. • Acceptance – We accept someone as a person of worth, even if we can’t agree. • Forgiveness – To keep the lines of communication open, it is imperative that we learn to forgive. Betsy Haas (please ask for 22 permission to copy or use) 11
  12. 12. MOVING OUTSIDE THE BOX New Zone of Comfort Risk Four Risk Three Risk Two Risk One Original Risk Two Zone of Comfort One Risk One Risk Three Risk Three New Zone of Comfortort Risk Four New Zone of Comfort LISTENING What the heart speaks the mind hears. 12
  13. 13. EXAMPLE # 1 • Scenario: At appraisal time, a manager from the Mature Generation gives • Solution: Explore a Team plaque to a Net- reward plans geared to Gen. The Net-Gen the different generations employee is ungrateful and giving monetary and says, “Why didn’t I rewards and recognition get a day off six months at the time when it is ago when accreditation earned. Net-Gen’ers was completed?” want instant rewards, but Matures are interested in rallying the team. Betsy Haas (please ask for 25 permission to copy or use) EXAMPLE # 2 • Scenario : A Generation X participant tells a Boomer that he has been working too hard and should take a vacation. • Solution: The next Instead of saying thanks, time that this situation the Boomer replies, “I work comes up, the to get ahead, to get a Generation X promotion, not for a participant might elect vacation.” to talk to the Boomer about a bonus, rather than suggest that she take a vacation. Betsy Haas (please ask for 26 permission to copy or use) 13
  14. 14. SCHOOL OF CHOICE •Requires a WORK culture that recognizes and appreciates a variety of perspectives, styles, and opinions. •Differences in perspectives are sought out, valued, respected, and put to use. •The supervisor taps into the best (productivity and creativity) of everyone. RESOURCES This talk was based on the work of: Morris Massey, The People Puzzle: Understanding Yourself and Others (Reston, VA: Reston Publishing, 1979) Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks, Boomers, Xers, and Other Strangers; Understanding the Generational Differences that Divide Us (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1999) Mixing Four Generations In the Workplace a two-program DVD featuring Cam Marston, 2007 Half Day – One Day & Two Day Generational Diversity Workshops Available for your Teams! 14
  15. 15. Betsy A. Haas, MA 818-904-0903 MORE TOOLS 15
  16. 16. Understanding • The gut-level value systems between generations in our society that simultaneously exist are dramatically different • The focus should not be on how to change people to conform to our values and standards – but to accept and understand other people in their own right, acknowledging the validity of their behavior based on values • If we understand and respect other people and their values, then we can interact with them in a more effective manner American Indians believed that “to know another man you must walk a mile in his Moccasins” Betsy Haas (please ask for 31 permission to copy or use) Acceptance • The goal of our understanding is to better enable us to accept each other and create better relationships that allow us to overcome differences that divide us • Those who experience acceptance feel more loved, secure, confident and are able to have healthier, more positive relationships • Those who don’t feel accepted feel less valuable, insecure, judged, and defensive. They often feel that they need to prove themselves • Acceptance doesn’t mean that we approve of what he or she does or believe…it is a gift to improve the relationship • Acceptance can help others understand why you believe the way you do, and who knows… they may just be able to see your point of view and even come to the discovery that you just might be right – but it has to be their choice! Betsy Haas (please ask for 32 permission to copy or use) 16
  17. 17. Forgiveness • Forgiveness is a powerful force that can do enormous good…values clash, tempers flare, and words and actions build walls that need to come down. • “Closing the Loop” concept: – Person A does something to Person B – This offense leads to some kind of emotional reaction. Person B is hurt. – Person B’s hurt turns to anger and lets it simmer, attacks, or compromises letting Person A have his or her own way. – Does not resolve conflict – LEAVES THE LOOP OPEN! Betsy Haas (please ask for 33 permission to copy or use) STEPS TO CLOSING THE LOOP 1. Heart Preparation Before approaching the other person you need to be READY 2. Clear Communication Honestly describe your thoughts, values & feelings using “I” 3. Loving Confrontation Talk openly but with sensitivity and plan together how to make the situation better…if needed agree to disagree? 4. Forgiveness Start the healing process 5. Rebuilding Trust (WHICH CLOSES THE LOOP) – it often takes time and continual effort to keep the communication open and growing again. Betsy Haas (please ask for 34 permission to copy or use) 17
  18. 18. WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO FOR-GIVE (and why is it so hard?) Forgiveness …choose to release the offender Give up the grudge! …validate the offense Recognize the hurt! …give up resentment & revenge …set a prisoner free YOU! …perform an act of grace …create a second chance Break the cycle! Betsy Haas (please ask for 35 permission to copy or use) 18