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Working and writing across the generations

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Boomers and Millennials are significantly different as audiences, coworkers, and managers. This presentation described how we know and how we can communicate information, work with, and work for each generation

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Working and writing across the generations

  1. 1. Writing and Working Across the Generations Steven Jong Picassa 1
  2. 2. Introduction 2
  3. 3. What are demographics (and why do we care?) Demographics are statistics that illustrate the changing structure of human populations 8
  4. 4. Demographic analysis: the population pyramid http://fathersforlife.org/population_politics/world_population_pyramids_selected_countries.htm 9
  5. 5. http://www.china-europe-usa.com/level_4_data/hum/011_7c.htm 11
  6. 6. Generations http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/millennials/ 13
  7. 7. Survey: “What makes your generation unique?” Rank Milennial Gen X Boomer 1 Technology use (24%) Technology use (12%) Work ethic (17%) 2 Music/Pop culture (11%) Work ethic (11%) Respectful (14%) 3 Liberal/tolerant (7%) Conservative/ Traditional (7%) Values/Morals (8%) Pew Research Group 14
  8. 8. Top photo: GM, from https://usat.ly/2PBrBWBUSAA, from https://bit.ly/2Q1T44D Bottom photo: Getty Images 15
  9. 9. Generational Theory Kimberly Hoover Booher, Pinterest 16
  10. 10. Generational theory: the saeculum Boomer (“Prophet”) Gen X (“Nomad”) Millennial (“Hero”) Silent (“Artist”)19
  11. 11. Passing the torch http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/ 20
  12. 12. Meet the Generations https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/26/3-generations-work-together-at-jackson-machine-sho/ 24
  13. 13. “Boomer” generation • Born: 1946–1964 (2018: 54–72) • Leader class • Influences: TV, JFK assassination, Vietnam War, Woodstock, Watergate • Attitudes: materialistic, workaholic, individualistic, free- spirited, suspicious of authority • Information needs: text, simplicity • Work style: face-to-face meetings Jacob Lund, Shutterstock 25
  14. 14. “Gen X” generation • Born: 1965–1980 (2018: 38–53) • Manager class • Influences: computers, video games, Challenger disaster, end of Cold War, Gulf War I • Attitudes: self-reliant, entrepreneurial; mistrustful of government; anxious about jobs • Information needs: text, visual • Work style: hands off CUInsight 26
  15. 15. “Millennial” generation • Born: 1981–1996 (2018: 22– 37) • Worker class • Influences: smartphones, Internet, diversity, Columbine • Attitudes: busy, stressed; collaborative, goal-driven • Information needs: visual, embedded • Work style: hands on Gino Santa Maria, Dreamstime 27
  16. 16. Generational Personas Racorn, Shutterstock 35
  17. 17. Boomer • Life event: JFK assassination • Car: Prius • Goal: Fulfillment • Ideal job: High paying • Work style: Face to face • Trusted source: Brittanica • Success is: Putting in the time • Stressors: Age discrimination Thinkstock 36
  18. 18. Gen X • Life event: Challenger disaster • Car: Leased BMW • Goal: Balancing work and life • Ideal job: Project leader • Work style: Self-reliant • Trusted source: Google • Success is: Done on time • Stressors: Stuffing my 401(k) Fotolia 37
  19. 19. Millennial • Life event: Columbine shooting • Car: Uber • Goal: Saving the world • Ideal job: Making an impact • Work style: Group texts • Trusted source: Wikipedia • Success is: Positive feedback • Stressors: Student loans Depositphotos 38
  20. 20. Presenting Information to Different Generations Roman Samborskyi, 123RF 39
  21. 21. Presenting information to this younger generation • They may be tech-immersed but not tech-savvy • Don’t write, show (videos are a powerful draw) • Discuss achievements and feedback • Use augmented reality, virtual reality, gamification • Training: video (TEDtalk style) 41
  22. 22. Gamification Verizon Wireless 43
  23. 23. Presenting information to this older generation • Explain new tech in terms of old tech • Show app steps you think are obvious, but aren’t to them • Show how things look when they succeed, and give tips for recovering from errors 45
  24. 24. Documenting the new computers Royal Cyber 47
  25. 25. Working with Different Generations Getty Images 48
  26. 26. Boomers in the workplace are considered: • Experienced with corporate environment • Self-directed • Live to work • Loyal, productive, hard-working • Team players • Competitive • Interested in pay and respect Ernst & Young generation survey, 2013, http://www.ey.com/US/en/Issues/Talent-management/Talent- Survey-The-generational-management-shift 52
  27. 27. Gen Xers in the workplace are considered: • Skeptical • Independent • Work to live • Self-starter, self-sufficient • Results-oriented • Flexible, collaborative, problem-solvers • Best equipped to manage © WavebreakMediaMicro, Fotolia 53
  28. 28. Millennials in the workplace are considered: • Enthusiastic • Tech-savvy • Entrepreneurial • Inexperienced with corporate environment • Used to constant, individual feedback • Interested in fulfillment more than money • Interested in social goals “Mentoring Millennials,” Meister and Willyerd, Harvard Business Review, May 2010 54
  29. 29. Working with (significantly) older people • Don’t discriminate by age • Show your work • Do not say, “I have parents your age” even if you do • Never say “This is so easy!” • Don’t roll your eyes—take them seriously, despite their age • Be willing to learn • Look for a mentor • Don’t make the boss look bad in public • If you’re their boss, ask for feedback, and listen • They’ve had to work hard since they were your age to get where they are today • Ignore the occasional insensitive comment—they’re not woke • Tune your messages Scott Griessel, Getty Images 55
  30. 30. Working with (significantly) younger people • Don’t discriminate by age • Be flexible • Do not say, “I have kids your age!” (even if you do) • Things have changed since you were their age • If you’re the boss, they may still be right • Coach, don’t micromanage • Mentor, don’t boss • Don’t criticize them in front of others • Coach them through the occasional social awkwardness • Tune your messages 57
  31. 31. Wrap-Up Yuri Arcurs, Agefotostock 63
  32. 32. What questions do you have? shikheigoh, Getty Images 64
  33. 33. For more information (1) • Strauss and Howe: Generations (1991); The Fourth Turning (1997); Millennials Rising (2000) • Pew Research Center, Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next, February 2010 • Pew Research Group, “The Whys and Hows of Generations Research,” 3 September 2015 • Richard Fry, “Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America's largest generation,” Pew Research Center, 1 March 2018 • Victoria Deen McCrady, “Millennials: A New Breed of Novice.” STC Intercom, September 2015 65
  34. 34. For more information (2) • Tekla S. Perry, “Does Age Discrimination in Tech Start at 40?” IEEE Spectrum, 20 October 2017 • Matthew Hennessey, “Generation X needs to save America from millennials.” N.Y. Post, 5 August 2017. • Ernst & Young, Global Generations: A global study on work-life challenges across generations, 2015 • Jessica Kriegel, Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes, Wiley, 2016 66

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