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Generations in the Workplace

Generations in the Workplace

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Generations in the Workplace

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  1. Generationsin the Workplace June 2013 Aging Odyssey Ouida Crozier, M.Ed. Equal Opportunity & Access Division MN Department of Human Services

  2. Learning Objectives • Identify the 4 generations • Identify the formative experiences and value systems of each generation • Understand impact of these experiences and values on the workplace • Understand and respect what is important to each generation • Identify varying approaches to interacting with co-workers from each generation

  3. The Generations in Today’s Workplace • The Veterans/Matures (b. 1922-1943) • The Baby Boomers (b. 1943-1964) • Generation Xers (b. 1960/64-1980) • Gen-Y/Gen-Next/Millennials (b. 1980-2000) (Generations at Work, Zemke, Raines, Filipczak, c. 2000)

  4. The Veterans/Matures • Born 1922-1943 • Early memories are of Great Depression & WWII • Around 40 million people still living from this generation • Includes “The Sandwich/Forgotten Generation” (b. 1930-1940)

  5. The Baby Boomers • Born 1943-1964 • Earliest memories are post-WWII • Around 75 million people still living from this generation • Two cohorts: • Early Boomers (b. 1943-1954) • Late Boomers (b. 1954-1964)

  6. Generation X • Born 1960/64-1980 • Earliest memories are post-Boomer • About 50 million people from this generation still living • Also two cohorts: • Early Gen-X (b. 1960-1970) • Later Gen-X (b. 1970-1980)

  7. Gen-Y/Millennials • Born 1980-2000 • Earliest memories include computers and other digital media • About 75 million people in this generation • Also two cohorts: • Early Gen-Y (b. 1980-1990) • Later Gen-Y (b. 1990-2000)

  8. The Veterans:A Deeper Look

  9. Formative Events: Veterans • The Dustbowl and the Great Depression • World War II & Pearl Harbor; the Holocaust; Hiroshima & Nagasaki • Created the United States as we have known it for more than half a century: #1 country in the world – politically, militarily, industrially • Built our infrastructure from Interstate highways to national power grids to a powerful central government • Vaccines, the conquering of communicable diseases, public health infrastructure • The Korean War

  10. Veteran Values • Dedication & sacrifice • Hard work can accomplish anything • Conformity & adherence to rules • Respect for authority • Law & order • Patience & delayed rewards • Duty first, pleasure later • Honor

  11. Forgotten/Sandwich Veterans(b. 1930-40) • Not old enough to serve in WWII • Korean vets but lack the recognition of those who served in WWII • Never had their own President • Smaller cohort than older Veterans & much smaller than Boomers • Suffered the brunt of change in social mores • Learned to act as go-betweens & excelled at mediation • Many are still in the workforce

  12. Veterans: Cultural Touchstones • “Down on the farm” • The Shadow, The Lone Ranger • Golden Era of Radio • Tarzan the Ape Man, Flash Gordon • Mickey Mouse, Blondie • JL: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman • Marilyn, Mae West, The “It” Girl • Clark Gable, John Wayne, Gary Cooper • Vinyl records – 33 1/3 rpm • Coats & ties, “nylons,” neatly styled hair

  13. Veterans: Heroes/Role Models • Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) (1882) • Eleanor Roosevelt (1884) • Helen Keller (1880) • Generals MacArthur, Patton, & Eisenhower (1880, 1885, 1890) • Winston Churchill (1874) • Gary Cooper & Audie Murphy (1901, 1925) • Babe Ruth & Joe DiMaggio (1895, 1914)

  14. The Baby Boom Generation:A Deeper Look

  15. The Baby Boomers • Born 1943-1964 • Earliest memories are post-WWII • Around 75 million people still living from this generation • Two cohorts: • Early Boomers (b. 1943-1954) • Late Boomers (b. 1954-1964)

  16. Formative Events: Boomers • Post-WWII prosperity • McCarthyism • Polio vaccine & others become widespread • Civil rights movement & ’64 CR Act • Silent Spring, Peace Corps • Birth control pills, Nuclear reactors • Assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK • The space program, men on the moon • Vietnam War, protests, & Kent State U shootings; LBJ declines to run again • Agnew resigns; Watergate; Nixon resigns

  17. Boomer Values • Optimism/We can change the world • Team work • Personal gratification/Me-generation • Well-being & personal growth • Youth-oriented • Work defines me • Social involvement • Question authority • Trust no one over 30

  18. Early Boomers(b. 1943-54) • Idealistic • Felt a part of the 1960s revolutionary changes in culture (Hippies) • Workaholics putting career over family • More lifetime income and bigger assets (Yuppies)

  19. Later Boomers (b. 1954-1964) • More realistic • Environmental movement begins • Family important, career second • Embraced changes in sex roles; shared parenting • More cynical; experienced assassinations & Watergate • Experienced Reagan recession and down-sizing

  20. Boomers: Cultural Touchstones • Ed Sullivan; Elvis • The Beatles • The Rolling Stones • Cadillacs, Continentals, Corvettes • Fallout Shelters, Suburbs • Golden era of TV • TV Dinners & Hula hoops • “The Mod Squad” & “Laugh-In” • Peace sign, Love-ins, Woodstock • 45s and 8-tracks • Designer jeans/glasses, trendie fashion

  21. Boomers: Heroes/Role Models • Gandhi (1869) • John F. Kennedy (1917) • Robert Kennedy (1925) • Jacqueline Kennedy (1929) • Gloria Steinem (1934) • Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929) • John Glenn (1921) • Golda Meier (1898)

  22. First Two Generations:Compare & Contrast

  23. Veterans vs. Boomers Veterans • Followed tradition (sex roles, culture) • Loyalty (marriage, work, family) • Disciplined approach • Be patient, wait for rewards to come • Play by the rules Boomers • Redefined roles; promoted equality • Left unfulfilling relationships in pursuit of others that would bring happiness • Sought immediate gratification • Changed the rules

  24. On the Job: Veterans PlusesMinuses + Stable, reliable - Ambiguity & change are hard + Detail oriented - Hesitant to buck the system + Thorough - Uncomfortable w/ conflict + Loyal, team players - Not likely to speak up when they disagree + Hard-working - Value Hierarchy + Spend wisely

  25. Veterans: Communication Preferences • Use good grammar & clear enunciation • Discrete, & formal • Link msg to company history • One-to-one • High regard for skills in interpersonal communication

  26. On the Job: Boomers PlusesMinuses + Service-oriented - Not “budget-minded” + Driven - Reluctant to buck peers + Willing to go the - Uncomfortable w/ conflict extra mile + Good at relationships - May value process over results + Want to please - Not always accepting of feedback + Team-spirit - Sometimes self-involved + Value quality

  27. Boomers: Communication Preferences • Take time for rapport • In person • Link msg to company vision/mission • “Call me anytime!” • Diplomacy

  28. Motivating Messages: Veterans • “Your experience is valued/respected here.” • “Experience is a good teacher!” • “It’s useful for us to hear what has and hasn’t worked in the past.” • “Your perseverance is valued and will be rewarded.” • “Quality of work is even more important than quantity of work.”

  29. Motivating Messages: Boomers • “You’re important to our success.” • “You're part of the family here.” • “Your contribution is unique and important.” • “We need you here – you can make a difference.” • “This work is worthy of what you bring.” • “There’s room here for personal and professional growth.” • “This is a cutting-edge place to work. We are making history!”

  30. The Next Generation:Gen-X

  31. Generation X • Born 1960/64-1980 • Earliest memories are post-Boomer • About 50 million people from this generation still living • Also two cohorts: • Early Gen-X (b. 1960/64-1970) • Later Gen-X (b. 1970-1980)

  32. Formative Events: Gen-X • Women’s Rights Movement; education opens doors • Watergate; Nixon resigns • Oil crisis of 1970s • Personal computers introduced • Jonestown • Three Mile Island • Iran hostage crisis • John Lennon assassinated • Massive corporate layoffs; recession of the ’80s • “Ride, Sally Ride”; Challenger disaster • Fall of Berlin Wall; end of Cold War • First Iraq War

  33. Gen-X Values • Work-Life balance • Technological literacy • Informality • Self-reliance • Pragmatic • Fun • Think globally • Be skeptical • Diversity is good

  34. Early Xers(b. 1960/64-1970) • Cynical, pessimistic • Don’t trust “the Fortune 500” • Huge debt from college education • Experience is the best teacher • Self-reliant latch-key kids • But still were stuck living at home

  35. Later Xers (b. 1970-1980) • “dot.com” boom  better job opportunities • Skills in demand • Commanded high starting salaries • Changed the workplace – flexibility • Entrepreneurship is good • More economic independence

  36. Gen-X: Cultural Touchstones • “The Brady Bunch” • “Dynasty” • “ET” • The Ninja Turtles – the cartoon • Pac-Man • Cassette tapes • Cabbage Patch Dolls • Disco, John Travolta, platform shoes • Gas “wars” of the 1970s • “Friends” • Playing on the “edge” – extreme sports • Nirvana, Grunge scene • Nose-rings, naval-rings, functional clothing, tats

  37. Gen-X: Heroes/Role Models • This generation rejects the notion of shared heroes and role models; • they heard about or lived through the assassinations of the 1960s, • and witnessed Watergate, Jonestown, Three Mile Island, the Iran hostage crisis, and the Challenger disaster. • Any heroes they have are personal and no one else’s business.

  38. The Boomers & Xers:Compare & Contrast

  39. Boomers vs.Gen-X Boomers • Challenged authority • Center of media attention • Defined and excited by work; live to work! • Politically active socially & at work Gen-X • Go around authority; ignore social position • “Don’t let them label you!” • Work to live; “Get a life!” • Politics never solved anything – usually makes it worse; don’t waste time on that at work

  40. On the Job: Gen-Xers PlusesMinuses + Adaptable - Impatient, want it now + Technoliterate - Poorer people skills + Independent - Self-interested + Unimpressed by - Cynical, jaded authority + Creative - Lack attachment to a specific job +/-Conservativespenders

  41. Gen-X: Communication Preferences • Get to the point! • Avoid buzz-words, clichés, and hyperbole • Lighten up! Don’t take things so seriously • Often prefer e-mail or texting • “Call me at work, not at home!”

  42. Motivating Messages: Gen-X • “We’ve got the newest hardware & software.” • “There aren’t a lot of rules to follow. You’ll have lots of choices.” • “We’re not very ‘corporate’ here.” • “There’s plenty of opportunity to do it your way.” • “We offer a lot of flexibility in work-scheduling.” • “There’s plenty of opportunity for advancement here.” • “You can tele-commute a fair amount.”

  43. The Newest Generation:Gen-Y/Millennials

  44. Gen-Y/Millennials • Born 1980-2000 • Earliest memories include computers and other digital media • The fawned-over offspring of the most age-diverse set of parents in U.S. history (teens, Xers, Boomers) • About 75 million people in this generation • Also two cohorts: • Early Gen-Y (b. 1980-1990) • Later Gen-Y (b. 1990-2000)

  45. Formative Events: Gen-Y • InterNet is ubiquitous • Attempted assassination of Reagan • Challenger disaster • “Black Friday” (10/87); “dot.com” boom (mid-90s) • Fall of Berlin Wall; end of Cold War • First Iraq War • Oklahoma City bombing; abortion clinic bombings; Columbine shootings • Princess Diana killed; Mother Teresa died • President Clinton impeached • U.S. experiences new wave of immigration from “new” countries in Africa, Asia, & Latin America • 9/11

  46. Gen-Y/Millennial Values • Passionate optimism • Civic duty & morality • Confidence • Achievement • Immediate, honest, frequent feedback • Sociability; Loyalty towards others • Call to collective action/We can change the world • Street smarts, protect yourself • “Old” is good – music, clothes, entertainment • Diversity & tolerance • Gender equality, racial equality

  47. Early Millennials(b. 1980-1990) • Video games: Nintendo, Sega • Families are “in” again • CDs are where it’s at for music, VCRs for video • AOL, Hotmail, home computers • Buy now, pay later – for everything • End of cold war • Recession

  48. Later Millennials (b. 1990-2000) • Video games: Xbox, Wii • iPods and DVRs/ Laptops and cell-phones • Facebook, YouTube, High-speed InterNet • Columbine & other school shootings • Terrorism is a daily fact of life • Kids integrated into adult activities • “Nuclear” family becomes minority model • Global electronic pen-pals • Boom-times economically • News as entertainment

  49. Millennials: Cultural Touchstones • Barney, Nickelodeon • The Ninja Turtles – the movies • Virtual pets • Beanie Babies, American Girl dolls • Oprah, Rosie, Ellen, Britney • Michael Jordan, Shaq, Koby, Kirby, Sammy Sosa • Kerri Strug, Mia Hamm, Venus & Serena • Michael Jackson, The Spice Girls, ‘N Synch • CDs & MP3 players, video games, e-mail, personal computers/RWCDs • Casual style, fondness for “retro,” mix-n-match

  50. Millennials: Heroes/Role Models • Princess Diana (1961) • Mother Teresa (1910) • Bill Gates, Steve Jobs (both 1955) • Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods (1972, 1975) • Christopher Reeve (1952) • First responders • Their parents • Barack Obama (1961) • “Instant” celebrities