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Generational Differences. In the Workplace. Generations (Weston, Blauth , McDaniel, Perrin). Group of people born in the same general time span who share some life experience Historical events Pastimes Heroes Work experiences. Roll the Dice. Roll the dice Each will reveal a word

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generational differences

Generational Differences

In the Workplace

generations weston blauth mcdaniel perrin
Generations(Weston, Blauth, McDaniel, Perrin)
  • Group of people born in the same general time span who share some life experience
    • Historical events
    • Pastimes
    • Heroes
    • Work experiences
roll the dice
Roll the Dice
  • Roll the dice
  • Each will reveal a word
  • Use the word(s) to tell about yourself or someone with whom you work.
who are you
Who Are You?
  • Traditionalists (1900 – 1945) – Great Depression, WWII, Korean War, … John Wayne, Joe DiMaggio
  • Boomers – (1946-1964) – Suburban sprawl, television, Vietnam, Watergate, … Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Spock
  • Gen X-ers– (1965 – 1980) – Sesame Street, MTV, PCs, Divorce, latch-key kids, … Michael Jordan, Bill Gates
  • Millennials - Gen Y – (1981 – 2000)- digital cameras, social media, YouTube, 9/11, Katrina, … Mark Zuckerburg.
fire service and union leadership
Fire Service and Union Leadership
  • Today, there are at least three distinctive generations in the workforce.
  • Boomers are team players, love social interaction at work and invest time to work their way up
  • Gen X-ersare sceptical, determined to do a good job but also go home and have a life
  • Millenials (Gen Y-ers) have little patience, if they’re not happy… They leave.
what is your perception of work
What is Your Perception of Work
  • Review the Quiz
  • Circle the description that best describes your perception of work
  • Add your points
boomers 1946 1964
Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Focus on the American Dream
  • Value loyalty
  • Equal rights
  • Team Oriented
  • Good communication skills
  • Live to work
  • Competent
  • Want to make a difference
  • Able to handle crisis
  • Ambitious
  • Ethical
gen jones 1953 1965
Gen Jones (1953-1965)
  • As teens in the 1970’s—popularized the slang term “jonesin’” (meaning a craving or yearning)…
    • turned out to be a core personality trait of this generation of huge expectations left unfulfilled
  • Between the personality extremes of the Boomers’ idealism and the Xers’ cynicism lies the more balanced mainstream “Jones” quality
  • The “keeping up with the Joneses” connotation reflects a collective competitiveness of the Generation Jones birth years
gen x ers 1965 1980
Gen X-ers ( 1965-1980)
  • Latch-key kids
  • Angry but don’t know why
  • Confident
  • Pampered by parents
  • Results driven
  • Self sufficient
  • Project oriented
  • Strong sense of entitlement
  • Willing to take on responsibility
  • Work/life balance is important
mil gen y characteristics 1981 2000
Mil/Gen-Y Characteristics(1981-2000)
  • Refuse to work a job that does not bring them a sense of joy.
  • Care about the earth and servicing their community
  • Text one another, IM, watch each other on YouTube, and sometimes do all three at the same time!
  • Do NOT care about what you have to say unless you have been endorsed by their friends.
    • They care about what their community says, and they take each others recommendations VERY seriously.
gen y invented by the boomers
Gen Y Invented by the Boomers
  • Boomers raised Gen Y to believe that they can do anything and be anything.
  • Boomers made their lives easy enough that they now believe they deserve to live first and work second. (How dare them!)
  • So the first thing Boomers have to do is stop being pissed off at their own creation and embrace the brilliance of this Gen Y community.
gen y s four main motivators
Gen Y’s Four Main Motivators
  • Challenging, stimulating and varied work -work on a variety of projects ,learn and use new skills
  • Pay - high self esteem gives high expectations, and if they feel pay is low, they feel undervalued. May also be paying off school loans.
  • Career growth learning and development - need to know how the tasks they are assigned now will fit into the “big picture” of overall career.
  • Enjoyable work environment - all about interacting with their peers…don’t want to be isolated. Want their work environment to be fun.
gen y ers
Gen Y-ers
  • Demotivated by four factors:
    • boredom
    • a lack of respect or recognition
    • an inability to learn, grow and develop
    • having a bad boss
how do you reach them
How Do You Reach Them?
  • Understand that Gen Y is an “experience” culture. 
  • Don’t want to be told what to like or what to do. 
  • Want to experience the world for themselves and pass their own judgment. 
  • Love to be in the trenches of life, and they want to be there with their friends. 
how to earn their respect
How to Earn Their Respect
  • They don’t waste time on people who are not being real with them.
    • Authentic is cool.
    • Authentic is truthful.
  • This generation has seen it all, from televised wars to 9-11 to the hanging of Hussein.
  • They know real when they see it, and it takes them all of three seconds to pass that judgment.
how to connect with millenials gen y ers
How to Connect with Millenials /Gen Y-ers
  • START by listening
  • Hang out with them.
  • Experience life with them.
  • Respect them.
  • Their outlook on life will change you.
  • ---------------------------
  • Note: Tattoo parlors (36 percent of them have at least one tattoo)
txting can u cnct
Txting: Can U Cnct?
  • Text codes used to communicate.
  • Try it
  • Complete the texting exercise
generation differences in the military
Generation Differences in the Military
  • Senior officers didn’t understand social media
    • Blocked access to MySpace, YouTube and other sites
    • Appalled to see junior officers still using Facebook to organize their squadrons
  • DOD Decision –
    • Forbid the behavior and lose benefits of online
    • Risk wrath of senior officers who didn’t understand it
generation differences in the military1
Generation Differences in the Military
  • Traits of Millennials (Gen Y-ers) adverse to Military Tradition
    • Adoption of culture (baggy clothes, piercing, tattoos)
    • Casual indifference to distinctions (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) e.g. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – feels absurd to them– there is no shame in asking or telling.
    • Most tolerant generation on record
  • The oldest members are Navy lieutenants and Captains in the Air Force, Army and Marines
military millennials gen y ers
Military: Millennials/ Gen Y-ers
  • Larger than Boomers
  • 50% larger than Gen –Xers
  • Committed to family/community/ teamwork
  • Volunteering for nonprofit work
  • Reversing trend toward drug use, criminal activity, and teen pregnancy
  • Can-do spirit
military millennials gen y ers1
Military: Millennials/ Gen Y-ers
  • Communicate through text, handhelds, videos, audio mixes, blogs and social media pages.
  • They are adept at gathering and sharing information
  • They tend to be quick and effective decision makers
  • Amazing ability to multitask
  • Their openness can be used to break down barriers
    • Training procedures must address this issue if privacy or secrecy is necessary
military opportunities to grow
Military: Opportunities to Grow
  • Inexperience in negotiating agreements
  • Deficient in face-to-face social skills
  • Inability to ‘win hearts and minds’
military best of both worlds
Military: Best of Both Worlds
  • Combine best aspects of networks and best aspects of ‘command and control’
  • Infuse the organization with a sense of urgency and unified mission
  • Make people responsible for taking commonsense actions
  • Seamless communication, speed, agility, and ability to multitask
  • Balanced leadership should provide direction, discipline, and cohesion
generation gap overemphasized
Generation Gap Overemphasized

Are we Victims of stereotyping ---- Blind to commonalities ?

  • Boomers, X-ers, and Millennials have same expectations from employers
    • Work on challenging projects
    • Competitive compensation
    • Opportunities for advancement and learning
    • Fair treatment
    • Work/life balance
building together
Building Together
  • Sheets of paper
  • No other materials
  • Construct the tallest free-standing structure
building together1
Building Together
  • Planning/Timing – who planned/who ran out of time?
  • Pressure – what were the effects?
  • Innovation – Ideas?
  • Risk – who took risks?
  • Learning – could you do better if given another chance?
  • Best practice- Look around… what techniques could be combined to make it better/stronger?
  • Skills – what skills were valuable?– who had the skills?
the mission all generations must fulfill the mission
The Mission: All Generations Must Fulfill the Mission
  • Differences can be tolerated as long as they do not interfere with the mission
    • Cell phones on emergency responses
    • Taking their time when alarm goes off (can’t get out of bed– or won’t stop task)
    • Disregarding a command because you don’t like the tone of the officers voice (or don’t like the officer)
    • Disregard policy
      • Wearing proper uniform – not FDNY t-shirts on duty (unless you work for FDNY)
      • Tobacco - (chew because you can’t smoke)
focus on shared values
Focus on Shared Values
  • Similar ‘top’ values – Family tops the list for all generations
  • Everyone wants respect – though not defined the same way.
    • Boomers – “give my opinions the weight deserved”
    • Millennials/ Y-ers – “listen to me…pay attention to me”
  • Nobody likes change – age is not a factor… Has to do with what you will loose/gain
focus on shared values1
Focus on Shared Values
  • Loyalty depends on context – e.g. hours at work – older workers may spend more time because they are at a different level.
  • Everyone wants to learn – want to have the education needed to perform well
  • Everyone likes feedback – want to know how they are doing/ what they can do better
ways to minimize differences
Ways to Minimize Differences
  • Avoidcharacterizations based on age – “Old Farts vs. Young Punks”
  • Focus on Similarities- use body part analogy
  • Recognize that change occurs – punch card, floppy disks, thumb drives wireless
  • Recognize value – keep what works from the past and be open to new ideas
  • Become curious for the unknown – desire knowledge
ways to minimize differences1
Ways to Minimize Differences
  • Ask questions rather than make statements – teachable moments (e.g. Do you think that was the best approach?)
  • Define acronyms – IT people have great difficulty talking with non IT people
  • Paraphrase before answering – (Your perception and their intended point may be very different)
  • Acknowledge when someone of a different age is correct – maturity, learning and experience can enlighten
advice for boomers
Advice for Boomers
  • Get to the point
  • Avoid clichés – be genuine
  • Learn to use technology
  • When making assignments explain the expected endpoint (then let them figure out how to achieve it) … their ways may not be the same as yours
  • Communicate benefits
  • Lighten up!
advice for y ers
Advice for Y-ers
  • Show respect for Boomers
  • Take your time- get to know people (not just the task)
  • Be friendly – relationships are important
  • Choose face-to-face conversation
  • Give your full attention – don’t do something else when talking to someone
  • Learn the job… don’t just want to LOOK the Part
  • Learn the structure/ politics of the organization
  • Learn the history– seemingly odd decisions are often based on history
advice for managers
Advice for Managers

When Communicating with:

  • Traditionalist – words and tone should be respectful, good grammar, clear diction, no slang.
  • Boomers – words should be relational over coffee/lunch, ask about interests, get their input, link to mission and values.
advice for managers1
Advice for Managers

When communicating with:

  • Gen X-ers– don’t waste time, be direct/ straightforward, avoid corporate speak, send email with details
  • Millennials/ Gen Y-ers– be positive, send a text message, tie to personal goals or to goals of the team, don’t be condescending, avoid cynicism and sarcasm.
ideal leader for all generations
Ideal Leaderfor all Generations
  • Lead by example
  • Act as a coach/mentor
  • Be accessible
  • Encourage followers by helping them see how they contribute to organization
  • Challenge followers
  • Hold others accountable
where and how did kennedy die
Where and How did Kennedy Die?
  • In Dallas from a gunshot
  • In a plane crash in Martha’s Vineyard
  • Of a brain tumor at home
  • Who’s Kennedy