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The New Diversity: Understanding and Communicating with Today’s Multigenerational Workforce. Tom Dondore, SPHR, Michael H. Scheerer, M.ED., MBA HRS/TND Associates, Inc. 610 371 9505 Four Generations At Work.

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the new diversity understanding and communicating with today s multigenerational workforce

The New Diversity:Understanding and Communicating with Today’s Multigenerational Workforce

Tom Dondore, SPHR, Michael H. Scheerer, M.ED., MBA

HRS/TND Associates, Inc.

610 371 9505

four generations at work
Four Generations At Work
  • The critical differences among the four generations in today’s workforce
  • The unique learning and development issues associated with the four generations
  • Do’s and don’ts for learning climates that meet the needs of each generation
  • Actions you can take to bridge the generation gap through training and development
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Today’s workforce spans four generations, as Americans live and work longer
  • Each contributes its own values, attitudes and perceptions to an evolving workplace

“Every person is in many respects… … like all other people … like some other people …like no other person.”

who they are
Who they are…
  • Traditionalists 1922-1945
  • Baby boomers 1946-1964
  • Generation X 1965-1980
  • Millennials 1981-2000


generations in the workplace so what
Generations in the workplace: So What?
  • Differences can affect interpersonal, team, and supervisor interactions
  • Supervisors who understand uniqueness of each generation can design strategies that bridge generations
evidence of generation gaps
Evidence of generation gaps
  • 75% of workers age 55+ say they relate well to younger co-workers
  • Only 56% of younger employees relate well to older workers
  • 40% aware of intergenerational conflict

#1 - conflicts about acceptable work hours

#2 - believe others don’t respect them

  • Other issues:
    • Work ethics
    • Organizational hierarchy
    • Technology issues
    • Dealing with change
the generational imperative
The Generational Imperative

Employers must hire, retain,

and gain the full contribution

of the most talented employees

across all generations.

how the generations differ
How the generations differ
  • Values
  • Attitudes toward work
  • Work styles
  • Job satisfaction criteria
  • Commitment level to organization
  • Social, political, economic issues
  • Education
how the generations differ10
How the generations differ
  • Preferred leadership approach
  • Communication Style
  • Motivational buttons
  • How they interact with others
  • Preferred approach to feedback
  • View toward the company
how the generations differ11
How the generations differ
  • Work vs. personal life
  • Desired rewards
  • Financial behaviors
  • Relationship with technology
  • Expectations
  • Familial structure and influence
silents traditionalists

Contribution, Tradition, Loyalty

  • Disciplined and committed
  • Civic minded and group oriented
  • Significant knowledge legacy
  • Willing to reinvent themselves
  • Appreciate courtesy
boomers in the workplace
Boomers in the Workplace

Individuality, Effort, Improvement

  • Corporate navigators and change agents
  • Drive to compete and excel
  • Relationship oriented
  • Hard work = Badge of Honor
  • Searching their souls
xer s in the workplace
Xer’s in the Workplace

Independence, Options, Pragmatism

  • Diverse and entrepreneurial
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Outcome oriented
  • I’m having a life – right now!
  • Emerging family issues
millennials in the workplace
Millennials in the Workplace

Informal, Planful, Achievement

  • Digital natives
  • Multi-taskers
  • Power of the group
  • Multi-cultural
  • Well-educated
so what
So what?
  • Think of the last time you heard comments like these …
    • You’re right but I’m the boss!
    • Just do your job!
    • I remember when …
    • The kid wants a promotion after six months on the job!
    • No!
new management challenges
New management challenges
  • People no longer get a job & want to be there 25 years
  • Younger employees may quit traditional organizations because older workforce does not know how to manage them properly
  • Bosses are getting younger … an issue for older workers
training and development
Training and Development
  • Emerging employer practices:
    • Add age as a diversity factor – awareness of age stereotypes
      • “The older generation are set in their ways”
    • Train managers to handle differences
      • “Their interests and values are not the same”
    • Train older workers on technology
    • Emphasize lifelong learning
transferring knowledge
Transferring Knowledge
  • Emerging employer practices:
    • Mentoring and “reverse” mentoring
      • What can be learned and gained from older and younger co-workers
intergenerational team building
Intergenerational Team Building
  • Training programs to:
    • Build trust
    • Develop effective interpersonal & team communication
    • Facilitate team problem solving
    • Expand team capabilities
benefits to the organization
Benefits to the organization
  • Reduce stress from intergenerational conflict
  • Generational perspectives result in better quality of work
  • Maximizes productivity of an age-diverse workforce
how to make it work
How To Make It Work
  • Management courses teach importance of ‘knowing you staff’. 
  • What’s important to your people? 
  • What motivates them outside the workplace? 
  • A desire for children get into a good college? 
  • To finish a marathon?
  • What excites and motivates your people regardless of generation?
how to make it work26
How To Make It Work
  • This topic is based on generalizations.
  • Don’t over generalize.
  • Everyone does NOT fit neatly into a category!
  • Some Gen Y folks act like X’ers.
  • Avoid the temptation to be a negative Pygmalion.
management action
Management Action
  • Be aware Do you have 4 generations? Will you?
  • Be enlightening Educate your employees & managers.
  • Be open Talk about these issues … listen!
  • Be a good example Model respect and understanding.
  • Be creative Question the fact that one benefit package fits all
bridging the gaps
Bridging the Gaps
  • Avoid age stereotypes.
    • Get to know people as individuals.
  • Make an effort to work inclusively and collaboratively.
    • With groups include people of all ages.
    • When scheduling meetings, take into account people’s

personal lives and their different needs.

    • Ask someone older for their point of view or a younger

person with a technology problem.

bridging the gaps29
Bridging the Gaps
  • Get to know people’s strengths across the generations.
  • Seek out mentoring opportunities.
  • Talk about generational issues with coworkers.
  • Conversation starters:
    • What was this organization like when you started?
    • How do you balance work vs. rest of your life?
    • What do you like most about what you do?
    • What do you like to do outside work?
bridging the gaps30
Bridging the Gaps
  • Look for what you can learn & gain from older & younger
    • Younger employees bring energy
    • Boomers, Millennials & X’ers bring experience, judgment, knowledge
    • oforganizational politics, & eagerness to pass on & share

Be willing to give up control!

Help each other out.

bridging the gaps31
Bridging the Gaps
  • Turn traditional roles upside down.
    • Must the senior person always plan the agenda?
    • Must only the leader’s name be on the cover of report?
    • Rethink roles to bring generations together

Use humor to bridge gaps.

Show your appreciation.

your questions
Your Questions????

Thank you for your attention.


HRS/TND Associates, Inc.

610 371 9505