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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