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Mixing it up across generations

Mixing it up across generations

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Mixing it up across generations

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  1. Mixing it up across generations Kathy Weinsaft Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems

  2. So what are we talking about? • The oldest generation, those born before 1943 are often referred to as the Silent Generation, Traditionals, or the Schwarzkopf generation • They are 65 +

  3. Baby Boom Generation • The Baby Boom generation began after 1943 and experts label this generation in two waves • The Woodstock Generation -1946 to 1953 (55-62) • The Young Boomers-1954 to 1964 (44-54)

  4. Generation X and Generation Y • The Generation Xers were born between 1965 and 1977 (31-43) • Generation Yers, were born between 1978 and 1989 (19-30) • Referred to as the Millennials, Nexters, Echo Boomers

  5. What’s next? • Generation Z • Marketers are actively redefining the next generation or those born in 1990 to present (18 and younger) • This generation is entering post high school education and the workplace

  6. The M & M’s of the Workplace • Like M & M’s we are all different, but alike • M & M’s are different colors but taste the same • The 4 distinct generations in the workplace are all different ages but have many similar work characteristics • Generational issues are not simply about being part of or identifying with a particular cohort

  7. The Generations • Generational issues also mirror the critical issues organizations face as every employee of every age group joins the workplace revolution • Age-related issues are not simply matters of “young versus old”

  8. What are they • They are issues of adapting to and embracing the historic paradigm shifts that have redefined the employer-employee relationship and the meaning of loyalty, working life and career

  9. Why should you care? • The problems you need to solve will take a team • You need to help move your workplace from the past to that of the future more quickly, creatively and collaboratively • Well only if you want to get anything done, that is!

  10. What do we really know? • Generation X & Y are becoming the dominant players in the workforce • Old-fashioned workplace values and norms as we know them are disappearing

  11. The next generation • Has no attachment to the old-fashioned career path and work patterns • Managers will have to discard traditional notions of authority, rules and red tape and become more highly engaged in one-one-one coaching and negotiating

  12. What do we know…? • Managers will have to abandon the one-size-fits- all approach to employer-employee relations in order to drive productivity, quality and innovation • Hiring will become an art-regardless of age-for every role at every level

  13. Workers • The most successful workers will have to accept the fact that their career belongs to them • Workers will have to take responsibility for their own success and fend for themselves the best they can

  14. Workers • Workers will have to focus on learning marketable skills, building relationships with decision makers, and sell their way into career opportunities that define success in their own terms

  15. After today’s session… • You should be able to: • Identify the four generations in the workplace • Describe the characteristics of each generation • Discuss effective techniques to drive the success of the workplace • Describe what has changed for each generation in terms of their needs and expectations

  16. Session objectives…. • Discuss management recommendations for managers of multigenerational teams • Describe best practices to implement as the workplace changes • Discuss opportunities to attract, retain and motivate the best talent of all generations

  17. Level of Distraction • Generation diversity is still driving some people to distraction • In today’s workplace we hear a continuance of the following scenarios:

  18. Gen Yers (19-30) • “They have an unrealistic sense of entitlement when they come to work. They want higher-ranking positions than their experience and education dictate. They may be great Little Leaguers, but they have no idea what it means to play in the Big Leagues.”

  19. Baby Boomers (44-62) • “They think they’re great change leaders but they’re stuck in the status quo. They don’t know how to be flexible.”

  20. Gen Xers (31-43) • “Gen Xers don’t want to follow our management career path. They aren’t willing to commit the time. All they want to do is leave at 6 p.m. to have dinner with their family.”

  21. Older generation (65+) • “Older generations don’t work as smart as we younger people do. They don’t want to learn technology and they tell us to slow down. If we can get results in six hours, why do we have to hang around for eight?”

  22. Does any of this sound familiar? • Research has shown that in every conceivable industry, managers tell us that they are still tackling age-related challenges every day

  23. Does any of this sound familiar? • Some report that the Gen Y (19-30) new hires inform them of 17 things wrong with their organization before attending orientation • Others are finding it difficult to manage people old enough to be their parents or grandparents

  24. Does any of this sound familiar? • Finally, many struggle with adjusting their communication style to fit all workers (face-to-face, email, texting, instant messaging…)

  25. Imagine this… • With Gen X and Y (19-43) in 2005, the scale tipped in the workplace once and for all. Together Generation X & Y make up the majority of the workforce

  26. Imagine this • While the percentage of Gen Xers (31-43) in the workforce has remained constant since 2001 at approximately 29.5% that of Gen Yers (19-30) has naturally increased, with Gen Y becoming the fastest growing segment

  27. Imagine this… • Between now and 2011, roughly 10 million more Gen Yers (19-30) will join the workforce, not including immigrant members

  28. Imagine this… • By 2011, Generation Y (19-30) will outnumber Generation X (31-43) and the next generation (18 and below) will be nipping at the heels of Generation Y

  29. Imagine this… • The Baby Boomers (44-62) in the US alone, approximately 330 Woodstockers (55-62) turn 60 every hour • That’s an additional 7,920 sixtysomethings every day, every year for the next decade

  30. Imagine this…. • Even as Boomers (44-62) remain dominant players in many organizations, millions have left organizations and millions more will leave long before traditional retirement age

  31. Imagine this • Some Boomers have simply “cashed-out” and are laughing all the way to the golf course • However, some were downsized, restructured and reengineered out of jobs-these talented individuals have become free agents, leveraging their skills as temps, consultants, independent contractors or freelancers

  32. Imagine this…. • Some Boomers (44-62) have followed their entrepreneurial impulses and started their own businesses • Some are taking early retirement whether they can afford it or not and finding new workplaces that endorse their desire for flexibility

  33. Finally • Boomers are redefining aging and retirement in ways that will challenge organizations for the next decade

  34. Imagine this… • The Senior Generation (the Schwarzkopfers) number more than one million in the workplace of today-these are individuals that are 75 years + • There are millions more between the ages of 65-74, collectively representing a vast store of skills, knowledge, wisdom, institutional memory, relationships and old-fashioned work ethic

  35. Imagine this… • The oldest part of this cohort will continue to stream out of the workforce and virtually disappear by 2011

  36. Finally, imagine this… • Roughly two experienced workers currently leave the workforce for everyone inexperienced worker who enters it • By 2011 the number of prime-age-workers-the 35-45 year-olds from whom organizations draw the majority of their midlevel managers, will decrease by more than 10%, leaving organizations with a shrinking pool of leadership candidates

  37. Challenges… • With the slow population growth between 1966 and 1985, there aren’t enough Gen Xers(31-43) or Yers(19-30) to take the place of the members of the older generations who will retire during the next 5 years

  38. Challenges… • Given these statistics and projections, the pressure is on to seize every opportunity to increase effectiveness with this multigenerational workforce • Talent is still the name of the game

  39. Challenges • Every skilled worker of every age will be needed in every successful enterprise • The expressions “you’re too young” or “you’re to old” are moot points and need to be eliminated entirely from all hiring criteria

  40. Challenges • The mind-set of too old or too young needs to be replaced with: • “can they do the work that needs to be done today” • “can they learn the skills necessary to become up to date knowledge workers” • “can they add value to the workplace and to their own lives?” • “do they have the willingness to leverage their talents and expertise in collaborative and innovative efforts?”

  41. Defining the generations • Everyday people rebel at being put into any age-group category at all • Research shows that people don’t relate to their age group, that it stereotypes • The truth is that generations are in the eye of the age holder, viewed from as many different perspectives as there are unique individuals in the world

  42. What does this all say? • It alerts us to the sense of urgency about generational diversity in the workplace • It alerts us to seize every opportunity to turn that diversity into one of your biggest assets • It will help you maximize the strengths of your age-diverse team members • It will help you offer practical answers to questions that people across the country ask every day

  43. What do managers ask? • Research shows that managers across the globe, ask the following: • What is the “generation mix” today? • How do you bridge the understanding gap among generations to clear obstacles to more productive relationships? • How do you maximize everyone’s unique talents so all team members focus on what matters

  44. What else to managers ask? • What other core competencies and best practices will help you more effectively lead a collaborative Gen Mix team? • What urgent multigenerational challenges demand your immediate attention?

  45. Remember though… • With all of this, generational issues are not simply about being part of or identifying with a particular cohort

  46. How do we manage 4 distinct generations? • First, what shapes a generation is infinitely complex • The defining of generations and their members have kept researchers busy for decades • It is the defining of generations that allows us the framework to effectively “manage the mix”

  47. The “Schwarzkopfers” (65+) • Known as “betweeners” as they were born too late to participate in the mettle testing event of WWII and too early to become flower children Great leaders of the 60’s such as Martin Luther Kin, Jr., Caesar Chavez and Gloria Steinhem

  48. The “Schwarzkopfers” (65+) • They still hold some of the most important positions in business and politics • We never had a US President from their ranks

  49. The “Schwarzkopfers” (65+) • Began their work careers in the 1950s, job security made sense • Followed the old-fashioned career path, making many sacrifices in exchange for promised rewards that vested in the long term

  50. Famous “Schwarzkopfers” (65+) • Elvis Presley • James Dean • Bob Dylan • Andy Warhol • Ralph Nader