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Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace

Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace. New York State Personnel Council General Membership Meeting Empire State Plaza Meeting Room #2 October 25, 2006 John A. Monteiro Chairperson, New York State Personnel Council Director of Human Resources Management

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Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace

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  1. Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace New York State Personnel Council General Membership Meeting Empire State Plaza Meeting Room #2 October 25, 2006 John A. Monteiro Chairperson, New York State Personnel Council Director of Human Resources Management New York State Office of Children and Family Services

  2. What is this all about? • First time ever that we have 4 different generations in our workforce working together side-by-side • Traditionalists, Boomers, Xers, and Millennials • Each of these generations were impacted by various events that shape who they are and how they work • We need to understand what motivates the various generations and how to work together

  3. What will you walk away with? • Better understanding and appreciation of each generation and how they act and think • Ideas on how to motivate and retain great employees from all generations • Insight into how to constructively work with individuals from among the various generations

  4. NU lacrosse team visits the White House – “Oh My”

  5. NU lacrosse team sparks flip-flop flap at White House CHICAGO (AP) —A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune included the headline "YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?!" inspired by an e-mail sent to player Kate Darmody from her older brother after he saw the photo on the team's Web site. Family members of other players expressed similar dismay, insisting the summer footwear staple was too casual for a visit with the president. "Don't even ask me about the flip-flops," said the mother of player Aly Josephs. "It mortified me." The women have defended their attire, arguing they wore a dressier version of the casual sandal. "Nobody was wearing old beach flip-flops," said Josephs, who wore a $16 brown pair with rhinestones. Darmody, 22, added: "I tried to think of something that would go well with my outfit and at the same time not be that uncomfortable. But at the same time not disrespect the White House." USA TODAY – 7/19/2005

  6. Workplace Conflicts • Conflicts frequently have generational issues as their cause • “He is not committed to his job” • “He has a poor work ethic” • “He does not follow direction” • “I cant believe the way he/she dresses” • “What do you mean I can’t work from home on Friday’s”

  7. The Challenge "Managing multigenerational workforces is an art in itself. Young workers want to make a quick impact, the middle generation needs to believe in the mission, and older employees don't like ambivalence. Your move." Harvard Business School "Working Knowledge" newsletter, 17 April 2006: "Can you manage different generations?"

  8. A New Generation Gap “The term Generation Gap was used mostly to describe conflicts between parents and children. Today, the “Gap” has more of a presence in the workplace, where employees from different generations are finding it difficult to work side by side because their experiences, goals and expectations are different”. GOVEXEC.com

  9. What Shaped You? • National Events • Music • Technology • Values • Relationships • Parental Expectations • Other

  10. Generational Snapshot of Workforce

  11. Questions to Consider • What motivates employees at work? At home? • What influences employee decisions? • What does work-life balance mean employees? • How can you incorporate these insights into how your organization operates?

  12. Generational Factoids • 65% of respondents agreed that generation gaps make it hard to get things done at work • 24% of Traditionalists, 30% of Baby Boomers and over 60% of Xers said they feel their generation is viewed negatively BridgeWorks' 2001 Generations Survey

  13. Generational Factoids • Only 14% of survey respondents choose Generation X as the generation most comfortable managing and this included Xers themselves • One-third indicated that they were often offended by someone from another generation at work • 45% of Xers come from families that have experienced divorce BridgeWorks' 2001 Generations Survey

  14. Generational Factoids • When asked who they are most loyal to at work, Xers put co-workers first, their boss or project next, and the organization last • 40% of Xers said having a mentor directly influenced their decision to stay at their current job. • Millennials ranked “personalsafety as their #1workplace issue. BridgeWorks' 2001 Generations Survey

  15. Generational Factoids • 29% of the Traditionalists agreed that a person should build their career with one employer, compared to 14% for Boomers and 11% of Xers • When asked “Which generation is the best at finding work-life balance?”, all generations picked Generation X • Millenniums indicated that flexible workplace and opportunity for promotion was more important than salary BridgeWorks' 2001 Generations Survey

  16. Traditionalists Generation • Majority (95%) of them have retired • Possess intellectual capital and institutional knowledge • Have strong work values and ethics • See themselves as vigorous, contributing members or the workforce • Silent stoicism (not much feedback given or expected)

  17. Traditionalists Generation • Offer opportunities for them to mentor • Offer opportunities to continue working • Allow them to volunteer if they do not want to continue working • Show them that you value their expertise and contribution

  18. Baby Boomers • The “Me” generation • Invented and Value work-life balance • They are the managers that are running our organizations today • Career oriented • “Love the good life” • Love job performance feedback

  19. Baby Boomers • Help them explore their next set of workplace options, and demonstrate how your organization can continue to use their talents. • Walk the talk on work-life balance by redesigning their jobs to accommodate multiple life demands. • Encourage them to enrich their present job and grow in place if they need to slow their career pace.

  20. Generation X • The next generation of leaders • The most well educated generation • Goal-oriented • Free Agents vs. Company Loyalist • Want to be challenged • Led dot.com boom • Want to have independence

  21. Generation X • Talk to them about their reputation, not just job tasks; they want your candid perspective and feedback • Acknowledge their ability to work independently and encourage them to leverage their entrepreneurial abilities. • Help them get the most out of every job position by discussing what the job can do for them and what they can learn from it.

  22. Millenniums • Value independence • Look for new challenges • Challenge the status quo • We’re all in this together • Want the opportunity to make an impact

  23. Millenniums • Demonstrate the stability and long-term value of your organization, and also show how your organization is flexible and filled with learning opportunities for them. • Provide work schedules that help them build careers and families at the same time. • Make groups and teams part of their job.

  24. Summary of Work Characteristics

  25. Reflections • What one thing did I learn about the Millennials? • What one thing did I learn about the X’s? • What one thing did I learn about the Boomers? • What one thing did I learn about the Silent?

  26. Reflections (Continued) • Which generation is most prevalent in my workplace? • How balanced is my organization in terms of generations?

  27. When Generations Collide • In what areas have you witnessed generations collide most often in your organization? • Have you experienced generational differences at work? • How do they create problems or opportunities to strengthen your workforce • Do you know your collide points?

  28. Final ThoughtsThe Moment of Truth What is the ONE thing I learned about “Traditionalist Generation” that will help me most in my job is….? What is the ONE thing I learned about “Boomers” that will help me most in my job is….? What is the ONE thing I learned about “Xers” that will help me most in my job is…. What is the ONE thing I learned about “Millenniums” that will help me most in my job is…. What is the ONE thing I learn about how I view the different generations and interact with them?

  29. Lessons Learned • What is the one critical concept that I will apply from this session? • What positive outcome can I expect from applying this concept? • What will I do differently?

  30. Questions and Answers?

  31. Thank You Handouts can be obtained by going to the Personnel Council Web Site www.cs.state.ny.us/personnelcouncil/

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