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Managing Multiple Generations . Jennifer O’Donnell, PhD Mountain States Employers Council CPMR Program 12 January 2010. Questions We Will Consider. What is a “generation?” What are the defining characteristics of each generation? What key events helped shape these characteristics?

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Managing Multiple Generations


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    1. Managing Multiple Generations Jennifer O’Donnell, PhD Mountain States Employers Council CPMR Program 12 January 2010

    2. Questions We Will Consider • What is a “generation?” • What are the defining characteristics of each generation? • What key events helped shape these characteristics? • How can we use this information to relate to each generation more effectively?

    3. Surgeon General’s Warning When this information is used to pigeonhole people, it becomes a dangerous weapon. When we use it to ask ourselves “How can I be more effective?” it becomes a valuable tool.

    4. Guess When… “When we were boys, boys had to do a little work in school. They were not coaxed. Spelling, writing, and arithmetic were not electives. In these more fortunate times, elementary education has become in many places a sort of vaudeville show. The child must be kept amused and learn what he pleases, and it seems to be required as between misfortune and a crime to learn to read.”

    5. Guess When… “Pupils entering school cannot write well. Their thoughts are immature, they are miserably expressed, and they do not know how to spell.”

    6. Guess When… “Children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents and tyrannize their teachers.”

    7. Guess When… “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.”

    8. Guess When… “Our earth is degenerated in those latter days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common, and children do not obey their parents.”

    9. Generational Peer Groups Peer group = a group whose members share a common historical location and have similar experiences

    10. Values Formation “What you are is where you were when.” ~ Morris Massey

    11. 3-Pronged Approach Generational Markers WHAT Generational Values WHY HOW Generational Preferences

    12. Generational Values: The WHAT • My outlook & worldview • Why I work • How I work • What I expect • How I define “security” • How I communicate

    13. Generational Markers: The WHY • The national mood/climate • Adversity/the economy • Social events • Political events • Schooling/education • Organizational structure/practice • Technology & media • Diversity • Compelling messages • Family structure • People—celebrities, heroes, antiheroes

    14. My Outlook & Worldview Depression WWII Us v them Practical Duty Sacrifice Optimistic Open to change Personal fulfillment US as dominant world power Civil rights movement Time’s Man of Year 1967 Skeptical Uncertain Self-reliant Recession (avg 10 wks/yr) Downsizing/layoffs Latch-key Dow Jones records “You deserve this” Corporate fraud/mortgage crisis Human-caused terror Hopeful, trusting Inclusive Living in the now ???

    15. Why I Work Pensions Limited choice 8th grade education Patriotism Pay for survival It’s what you do To support family Out of loyalty to company Pay for necessities Define identity Make a difference Out of loyalty to company Self-help movement Pensions Civil rights “You are special” Pay the bills Learn new skills Create the future Out of loyalty to people Recession Downsizing/layoffs Graduate degrees Pay for lifestyle For social interaction Personal fulfillment Out of loyalty to boss Choice Affluence Globalization “You are special”

    16. How I Work With dedication Dutifully Low mobility Limited choice Preferably with others On teams “live to work” Democratic workplaces Graded on more than academics Layoffs/downsizing Latch-key With balance Efficiently Independently “work to live” Involved in family decisions Choice Inclusive schools On-demand culture In multiple roles Preferably with others Just-in-time “work, life, same thing”

    17. What I Expect……from the organization Segregation Unions Limited access Fairness, consistency Clearly-defined roles Clear expectations Chain of command Civil rights Democratic workplaces Workers’ rights Desegregation Democracy Respect whole person Consensus Respect autonomy Flexibility Earned titles Transparency Betrayal by authority figures No real heroes Latch-key Involved in family decisions Choice No tryouts, no class rankings Social media, Web 2.0 Egalitarian culture Inclusion Transparency Collaboration

    18. What I Expect……from my boss Hierarchical workplaces Direction Be an authority Fairness, consistency Hierarchical workplaces Civil rights movement Strong leadership Build relationship Latch-key Technology Age Increased access to information Hands-off The “why” Helicopter parents Children-focused families “On demand” information, culture Connected 24/7 Clear guidance Attention Involvement Coaching, support

    19. How I Expect……to be recognized and promoted Social Security Pensions The Industrial Age For my longevity For my company loyalty Pensions For number of hours For my company loyalty For working smartly For being efficient For task, not time Parents lost pensions The Knowledge Age For my good ideas For my potential For task, not time The Knowledge Age Web 2.0

    20. High-quality colleagues An intellectually stimulating workplace Autonomy regarding work tasks Flexible work arrangements Access to new experiences and challenges Giving back to the world through work Recognition from one’s company or boss High-quality colleagues Flexible work arrangements Prospects for advancement Recognition from one’s company or boss A steady rate of advancement and promotion Access to new experiences and challenges The Best Ways to Pay Me Boomers Millennials

    21. How I Define “Security” Cash in pocket Financial capital Job at stable company 14%  mortgage Social Security “A penny saved…” Job at stable company What I’m worth Financial capital Social Security Invention of credit card Killer resume Transferable skills Access to resources Having time to sell 40%  mortgage Recession Information Age Multiple roles Large network Social capital Having time to sell Heavily scheduled lives Social networking media

    22. How I Communicate Radio Newspapers Written letters News authorities Along chain of command One-way Two-way Open Unafraid to challenge Broadcast TV Mainframes Civil rights Cable TV Internet/PCs Cell phones Unafraid to challenge Brief Informal Inclusive Open All-way As networking Smart phones Web 2.0 iPod

    23. The Match Game Match the following career goals to the most likely generation. Build parallel careers Build a stellar career Build a legacy Build a portable career _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________

    24. The Match Game Match the following outlooks on work-life balance to the most likely generation. Give me balance now, not when I’m 65 Support me in shifting the balance Help me balance everyone else and find meaning myself Work isn’t everything; flexibility to balance my activities is ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________

    25. The Match Game Match the following requests for feedback to the most likely generation. Sorry to interrupt, but how am I doing? Once a year, with lots of documentation No news is good news Feedback whenever I want it, at the push of a button ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________

    26. The Titanium Rule Do unto others as they would want you to do unto them

    27. What would you do?

    28. What Would You Do? You are making a sales presentation to a group of members of the Silent generation. What is most important about the way you present your information? • Tie their business history, mission, and goals to your message. • Group them in pairs to role-play the advantages of your service or product. • Be sure the conference room is wired for downloading your visuals to their laptops.

    29. What Would You Do? A high-performing Boomer has plateaued. She holds key business information, so you need to keep her. How might you help jump-start her career? • Allow her to work with an energetic, younger mentor. • Give her time and resources to develop herself in an area that interests her. • Give her an expensive gift for her upcoming 20th anniversary.

    30. What Would You Do? You are a new manager. One 60-something team member has 20 years more experience than you do. What type of leadership is she likely to respond best to? • Friendly, fun, flexible, casual • Collaborative, visible, personal • Fair, stable, consistent, decisive

    31. What Would You Do? One of your employees, a Millennial, is late for work more often than not. She depends on her friends for rides. How might you begin to tackle this issue? • Call her parents and ask them to either bring her to work or make sure she arrives on time. • With her, brainstorm reliable transportation options. • Offer to pick her up on your way in.

    32. What Would You Do? Most of your customers are Boomers in an upscale area. What approach is likely to work best with them? • Give their questions to a representative who calls them back. • Have them dial in to an electronic menu system that provides answers for them. • Allow them to talk to a real person who gives them one-on-one service and on-the-spot answers.