Working With Gen Y - AIChE STS


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  • The Four Biggest Reasons for Intergenerational Conflict within Work Teams
    via by Tammy Erickson on 2/16/09
    Today most of us work closely with colleagues that span at least three, if not four generations. The possibility that we'll misunderstand another team member's behavior is high. It's easy to form a hasty and incorrect impression of someone from another generation. While inter-generational misunderstandings can occur in a variety of situations, for teams, I find generational conflict unusually centers around four essential team activities:
    Choosing where and when to work
    Communicating among team members
    Getting together
    Finding information or learning new things
    Choosing where and when to work. Listen to the language: many older colleagues speak of "going to work." Members of older generations often view work as a place - a location you go to at a specified time, say from 8:30 am to 5 pm. This synchronicity stems from a time when the nature of most work required that workers to be present together, for example, to run a manufacturing assembly line. Over time, of course, the nature of work in most sectors of the economy has changed; today most tasks do not require synchronous activities, yet many in older generations - including many senior executives - continue to expect synchronous behavior.
    Younger workers, in contrast, tend to view work as something you do - anywhere, any time. They have grown up in an asynchronous world - filled, for example, with digital TV recorders that allowed them to watch any show at any time. Many Gen Y's consider the rigidity of set work hours an anachronism from another era.
    It's easy for team members to misinterpret each other's behaviors around time and place. Is someone who arrives at 9:30 necessarily working less hard than other team members who are there at 8:30? Is it okay for some members to work from alternate locations? Is adherence to time and place norms important for the team to accomplish its task? Is it viewed by some as an important sign of team commitment?
    Communicating among team members. No surprise that many Gen Y's and X'ers are comfortable using electronic communication. They text (or Yammer or Twitter) or post to various social networking sites much more frequently than most older colleagues do.
    The crux of most technology-based team misunderstandings is not the technology per se - it is how team members interpret each others' intentions based on communication approaches. Younger members are accustomed to rapid responses from peers; they are likely to feel frustrated and, at times, rejected if they don't hear from older colleagues for a day or so. Team members from older generations may not only be uncomfortable with digital communication, they may even feel offended by a lack of face-to-face or at least voice-to-voice interaction, or left out of the loop.
    Getting together. Boomers and X'ers are planners and schedulers; Gen Y's are coordinators. When faced with a need to meet, Gen Y's are likely to ascertain each other's immediate coordinates, and then home in on each other. Older colleagues would almost certainly prefer to rely on pre-planned schedules - and may be very annoyed by younger team members' seemingly seat-of-the-pants approach. To Y's, the extent of scheduling that goes on in most workplaces today seems stultifying and inefficient.
    Finding information or learning new things. Boomers and Traditionalists are linear learners - most are inclined to attend training classes, read manuals, and absorb the requisite information before beginning the task at hand. Gen Y's are largely "on demand" learners - they figure things out as they go, reaching out to personal contacts with relevant expertise for information or referrals, as needed. Y's are likely to be bored and turned off by a project that begins with a lengthy training phase. X'ers and Boomers may be annoyed by Y's' frequent questions and requests for input.
    As you work with colleagues from other generations, your first priority should be to avoid forming quick negative conclusions. Bring the team members' diverse perspectives out in the open -- help everyone on the team understand the multiple points of view - and legitimize each person's view in the eyes of the team.
    Decide together which norms will work best for your team - for example, how flexible you are about time and place, how you'll communicate different types of information, how scheduled you need to be, and so on - based on collective preferences and the work you need to accomplish.
    And, so we all can learn more, I hope you'll share your multigenerational team experiences. What issues do you face in working together well? How have you addressed them?
    Sarah and Josh are in the hallway. Josh stops Sarah in the hallway to ask her a question
    Hi Jeff, I have some creative ideas for the upcoming advertising and marketing campaign for the new movie. How about we use YouTube to distribute sample clips? We can put a tie-in to our website where fans can download additional movie posters?
    Hmm! Interesting but I am not sure if our website can handle the traffic and if we have money for a video, let me get back to you.
    Josh and the CEO are in the hallway
    Hi Julie, I made some quick demo videos of how we can use social networking and YouTube to market the new movie. I sent them to you. Did you see them?
    Yes, great work, I love them. I want to see a more formal plan soon!
  • Working With Gen Y - AIChE STS

    1. 1. Working with Generation Y Integrating recent college graduates into your work place and team Adnan Siddiqui, PE, President Engineered Project Services LLC
    2. 2. Engineered Project Services LLC My Background  11 years of experience in various engineering and construction project leadership roles.  Very interested in attracting and retaining new engineers to the projects industry.  CII Research Team  2007 Annual ECC Conference.  Founded EPS in 2008 to develop ConcepSys™  A rapid conceptual design system for process industry capital projects.  Increases process engineer productivity and enables faster evaluation of project options,  Currently in a invitation-only beta test in North America.
    3. 3. Engineered Project Services LLC Agenda  Who is Generation Y?  What defines Generation Y?  Generation Y in your workplace  Attracting and retaining Generation Y  HBR Case Study
    4. 4. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y  Born 1978 to 2003  Started graduating college around 2000  76 million  Millenials
    5. 5. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y’s Defining Moments  TMT Explosion  Technology  Media  Telecommunication  Economic boom of the 90s  Web 2.0 in the 00’s  Economic collapse of 2008?
    6. 6. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y’s Experience  Technology!  Technology!  Technology!  Examples  Internet  Email  Web Classic  Web 2.0  Instant messaging  Cell phones  Electronic media (TiVo, Hulu, etc.)
    7. 7. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y’s Aspirations  Work / Life Balance  Myth or reality?  What is more important?  Generation Y side  Engineer side
    8. 8. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y in Your Workplace  Very low ratio  In entry level roles  How many do you interact with on a daily basis in your job?  1  2  3  More than 3!
    9. 9. Engineered Project Services LLC Generation Y and You  Preferred communication tool  Email, IM, SMS  Work hours  Your technology sophistication = your intelligence?  Do you must have a Mac laptop and iPhone?
    10. 10. Engineered Project Services LLC Attracting Generation Y  Company Reputation    Facebook  Proactive – Deloitte Careers Fan Site  Indifferent  YouTube  First contact  Interview team demographics
    11. 11. Engineered Project Services LLC Training Generation Y  Rotation programs  Mentorship programs  Use online training
    12. 12. Engineered Project Services LLC Retaining Generation Y  Career management  Expectations  Tools  Challenges
    13. 13. Engineered Project Services LLC Retaining Generation Y  Four Biggest Reasons for Intergenerational Conflict in Teams  Choosing where and when to work  Asynchronous with different locations and times  Communicating among team members  Rapid response expected  Getting together  No rescheduling of meetings  Finding information or learning new things  On-the-job, on-demand training  Reverse mentoring
    14. 14. Engineered Project Services LLC “Gen Y in the Workforce” Case Discussion  Harvard Business Review, February 2009 Case  Case background  Film studio with 3 new Gen Y hires  Marketing dept led by 37 year-old: Sarah  New hire, Josh, Gen Y, works for Sarah.  <<Audience Interaction 1 – See slide notes>>  Josh does so-so job on immediate assignment for Sarah to develop his own ideas.  <<Audience Interaction 2 – See slide notes >>  Sarah frustrated with poor quality work and end-run.  Josh complains about Sarah to other Gen Ys in his company
    15. 15. Engineered Project Services LLC “Gen Y in the Workforce” Case Discussion  Do you know a Josh?  Do you know a Sarah?  Have you encountered a similar situation?  What should Sarah do?  What should Josh do?
    16. 16. Engineered Project Services LLC “Gen Y in the Workforce” Case Discussion  Ron Alsop – Author of “When Trophy Kids Grow Up: …..”  Josh’s behavior is typical in terms of not respecting the corporate pecking order  Sarah should reaffirm lines of authority while addressing Josh’s concerns  Sarah may need to indulge Josh but not become a baby sitter or parent  Encourage face to face communication over pure electronic communication
    17. 17. Engineered Project Services LLC “Gen Y in the Workforce” Case Discussion  Pamela Nicholson – President and COO of Enterprise Rent- A-Car  Sarah should not get angry but rather commend Josh for initiative  Provide more feedback to Generation Y
    18. 18. Engineered Project Services LLC “Gen Y in the Workforce” Case Discussion  Jim Miller, Executive VP of Sales and Marketing at General Tool & Supply  Josh is reaffirming Gen Y stereotypes  Gen Y have outsize expectations about what an employer could and should do for them  Looking for paycheck and not a career in terms of employment  Josh’s behavior is wrong. He is jeopardizing team success by not doing the best job on current assignment.  Sarah also needs to change her behavior and investigate Josh’s ideas.
    19. 19. Engineered Project Services LLC Conclusion  Gen Y is joining the work force so companies must learn how to rapidly integrate them into productive teams.
    20. 20. Engineered Project Services LLC Thank You  Send follow-up questions to  Customized training session available for your firm  Checkout demo of ConcepSys at: html