Managing Four Generations in the Workplace By: Melissa Hawkins, Brenda Mummert, and Colleen Nestruck
Objectives • Why does it matter? • What is a ”Generation” • The Four Generations • Characteristics • Workplace Characteristics • Managing Workplace Generations • Whats to come • Conclusion • Questions • References
Managing Multiple Generations The Effect on the Workplace He wants feedback, what the heck is that? Get a life! It’s 5:00, I’m out of here! They have no work ethic You’re right, but I’m the boss! Just do your job! No! I remember when… The kid wants a promotion after six months on the job!
Why does it Matter? • 1st time in history 4 generations in workplace at same time • Different Work ethics • Different Values • = Conflict in the workplace
What is a “Generation”? “group of contemporaries: all of the people who were born at approximately the same time, considered as a group, and especially when considered as having shared interests and attitudes”. (English Dictionary, 2011 )
Characteristics Veterans, Traditionalist, Silent, Matures (1922-1945) • Great Depression &WWII • Respect for authority • Conformers • Disciplined • Patriotic • Conservative
Characteristics - (continued) Veterans, Traditionalist, Silent • Nuclear Family • Education was a dream • Rotary Phones • Put cash away for later • Paid in cash • Delayed gratification • Duty, honor & country
Characteristics Baby Boomers (1946-1964) • Civil Rights Movement • Vietnam War • Positive about the future • Involvement • Rebels • Hippies • Believed nothing was impossible
Characteristics - (continued) Baby Boomers • Security Stability • Education was a birthright • Touch tone phones • Buy now, pay later
Characteristics Generation X (1965-1980) • Skeptical • Asks the question “why” • Living Life • Relaxed and casual • Economic downturn of the 80s/90s • Latch-key-kids • Raised in single Parent homes
Characteristics – (continued) Generation X • Education-a way to get there • Cell Phones • Cautious with money • Save, save, save • Looks toward the future
Characteristics Generation Y (1981-2000) • Practical understanding of life • Confident • Likes to have fun • Social • Merged families • September 11th
Characteristics – (continued) Generation Y “Millennial” • Education is expensive • Internet • Picture Phones • E-mail • Earn money to spend money
Workplace Characteristics Veterans • Hard working • “Just git’er done” • Punctual & never miss work • Respect Authority • Obey Rules • Work before fun
Workplace Characteristics Baby Boomers • Workaholics • “Work-til-you-drop” • Personal fulfillment • Desire quality • Sacrifice personal life to achieve professional goals • Work for 1 employer all their lives
Work Characteristics Generation X • Eliminate tasks • Self-reliant • Want structure and direction • Skeptical • Opt for quality of life instead of careers • Want to know “why” • See work as a challenge/contract
Work Characteristics Generation Y • What’s next • Multitasking • Sticks firm to a decision • Goal oriented • Tolerant • See work as a means to an end
Managing Multiple Generations The Effect on the Workplace • Recruiting • Building Teams • Dealing with Change • Motivating • Managing • Maintaining and Increasing Productivity • Communication
Managing Multiple Generations Interactive Style • Veterans—Individual, one on one, formal memo • Baby Boomers—Loves meetings, in-person • Generation X—Initiates communication, Electronic communication • Generation Y—Participative, Techno device- texting
Managing Multiple Generations Communication Style • Veterans—Formal or memo’s • Baby Boomers—In person • Generation X—Direct or immediate • Generation Y—E-mail, Social media, voice mail, and instant message
Managing Multiple Generations Generational Values • Veterans • Respect for authority • Integrity • Delayed gratification • Duty & honor & country • Baby Boomers • Security & stability • Optimism • Hardworking • Team player
Managing Multiple Generations Generational Values (continued) • Generation X • Family • Living life • Generation Y • Connectivity • Respect diversity • Want to make a difference
Managing Multiple Generations Feedback and Rewards • Veterans • No news is good news • Satisfaction is a job well done • Baby Boomers • Don’t appreciate it • Wants money and Title Recognition
Managing Multiple Generations Feedback and Rewards (continued) • Generation X • Constantly wants to know “how am I doing”? • Freedom is the best reward • Generation Y • Gives feedback how ever they want • Wants feedback at the push of a button • Rewards come with meaningful work
Managing Multiple Generations Messages that Motivate • Veterans—need to hear that their experiences are respected! • Baby Boomers—need to hear you are valued and needed! • Generation X—wants to hear “do it your way”, “forget the rules”! • Generation Y—needs to hear that they are bright and will work with others like them!
How do you make Everyone Get Along? • Create function & project oriented assignments • Watch your communication • Listen • Look beyond appearances • Keep an open mind • Deal with changing work/life expectations • Consider individual needs • Emphasize commonalities & strengths and use those as resources • Honor each person’s contributions
What’s to come 5-Generations in the workplace • Know as Generation 9/11 • Grown up with war • See things through a lens due to • 9/11 • View the world with less optimism
Conclusion • Not going to change because new generation will be entering work force • People are living longer and working longer • To be successful businesses need to recognize the strengths of each generation and use those to their advantages
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