Bridging the Generational Gap: Leveraging the Powerful Strength of Gen Y Tuesday April 29, 2014 1:45 PM to 3:45 PM
Speakers • Lorilee Medders, PhD • Research Professor in Risk Management, Florida State University • Lorilee serves as Director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, focusing her work with graduate students on catastrophe risk management and international risk management and her work with undergraduates on decision making under uncertainty by individuals, businesses and society. She has more than 20 years teaching experience in finance, risk/ insurance and decision sciences at three universities, and has researched, lectured and conducted workshops for more than a decade on the challenges and opportunities posed by generational diversity in the business environment. • Donna Thomas • Senior Vice President, Marsh • Donna Thomas joined Marsh in 2001 as a Client Executive/ Senior Client Advisor and is responsible for the design, marketing, implementation and servicing of property risk management programs for energy accounts in the Washington, D.C. / Baltimore office.
Speakers (continued) • Shannon Morse • Corporate Risk Manager, Engility Corporation • Shannon joined Engility in July 2012 after working as Risk Manager at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington Metro Area for 4 years. Prior to working as Risk Manager, she spent 10 years with Marsh as multiline insurance broker in Boston and Washington DC. • Yelena Urcia • Sr. Global Insurance Analyst, AES Corporation • Yelena joined AES in May 2009 as a Global Insurance Analyst. Prior to AES, she had interned part time with the Southern Company in Atlanta, Georgia while completing her graduate and undergraduate degrees at Georgia State University.
What to Expect • Identify Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Gen Y characteristics and the potential generational differences • Provide examples of typical work scenarios involving multiple generations • Learn specific strategies that will help you build a stronger company as you work with Gen Y
Background to the Generations • Baby Boomers • Generation X • Generation Y
Background- Baby Boomers • Born between 1945 and 1965 • 30% of the US population • 35% of US workers • 65% are married • 28% are college graduates • In general, healthier and wealthier than previous generations
Background- Baby Boomers • Competitive • Idealistic • Non-conformists • Loyal • Materialistic • Focused on personal fulfillment • Value titles and the corner office
Background- Baby Boomers • Major Influences: • Birth of Suburbia • Vietnam • JFK/MLK • Television • Watergate
Background- Generation X • Born between early 1960s to early 1980s • Major Influences • Fall of Soviet Union • Rise of personal computers • Internet • MTV – mass media • Social Diversity • Increased Divorce Rates
Background- Generation X • Independent upbringing • Emerging technology • Entrepreneurial • Diversity as a positive
Background- Generation X • Dislikes micromanagement • Learns through hands-on experience • Adapts well to using new and changing technology- though not necessarily comfortable as a producer of technology content • Expects and values emphasis on respect in the workplace
Background- Generation Y • Born between early 1980s to early 2000s • Major Influences • Terrorism Events - 9/11, Columbine, etc. • Social Media • The Great Recession
Background- Generation Y • Helicopter Parents/ Child Focused Lives • Busy/Scheduled Lives • Born into Information Age
Background- Generation Y • Protagonist Identity – “follow your passion” • Good at Multitasking and Teamwork • Technologically Savvy
What are the Potential Differences? • Life Purpose and Values • Hierarchy/ Transparency and Access to Information • Work and Family Life • Access to Technology/Social Media • Ethics
What are the Real Differences? • The Evidence from Research is Somewhat Mixed • Pew Research Center • PricewaterhouseCoopers • Center for Creative Leadership • The Institutes • Others
What are the Real Differences? • How a Millennial May Differ with respect to • Life Purpose and Values • Cause/purpose driven • High expectations of self • Strong sense of family/community • Not as religious as prior generations are, or were at the same age • More comfortable with diversity than were prior generations at the same age
What are the Real Differences? • How a Millennial May Differ with respect to • Hierarchy/ Transparency and Access • Question askers • Desire to be included in information exchanges • Want immediate responsibility • Resistant to authority?
What are the Real Differences? • How a Millennial May Differ with respect to • Work and Family Life • Seek not just a balance but a mix between work and personal life (social, community and personal development) • High expectations of self and employer • Want to be valued for individuality and outcomes rather than for presence, punctuality, appearance and activity • Want to learn transferable skills • Money oriented? • Entitled / self absorbed?
What are the Real Differences? • How a Millennial May Differ with respect to • Use of Technology/Social Media • Definitively more text and social media friendly than older cohorts • Do not necessarily want technology to drive their professional development • View technology as a tool for flexibility and creativity • Older Gen Y’ers not very different from Gen X but younger Gen Y’ers may be entirely different
What are the Real Differences? • Use of Technology/Social Media • Research strongly indicates that individuals who have grown up with high speed computing and social media actually may have different brain strengths from the rest of us • The advantage: Incredible ability to take in lots of information and catalog it • The disadvantage: Difficulty making “executive decisions”
What are the Real Differences? • How a Millennial May Differ with respect to • Trust and Ethics • A higher percent do not generally trust others than older cohorts today, but no higher % than for Gen X’ers at same age • Loyalty is to specific people and ideas, not to organizations • A higher percent think it is okay to “game” the system than older cohorts
What are the Real Differences? • Trust and Ethics • One Gen Y’er put it like this: • “Our generation takes an absolute beating in public perception… , but when it comes to actual arrogance, we don't have a thing on the Baby Boomers, who are so stuffed with self-importance that they can't shut up about their accomplishments (both real and imagined) to this day. Considering how broken the system in America is in favor of the rich, I don't think it's an unreasonable response to want to game that system. ‘I don't want to work hard’ could just as easily mean, ‘I don't want to work hard only to find 20 years later that I've been abused by an insurmountable, unethical power structure.’ I don't need a new car, or a fancy smartphone, or a nice house; I just don't want to work my a#% off and get completely #$%^ed despite it.” ~Anonymous Gen Y blogger
Building a Stronger Company • Encourage teamwork • Flatten the internal perception of the organization • Keep formality to a minimum • Provide frequent individual feedback, with a focus on development • Break big projects into smaller pieces • Allow (even encourage) the mix of social life in work life • Train them in decision making and conflict resolution • Consider moving more intuitive introverts into management positions
Building a Stronger Company • Teamwork • Create teams for projects and allow the team to allocate work across members • Avoid a sense of internal competition, except in cases where competition is positive (“best new idea”) • Create cohort teams for professional development, with a mix of departments and talents represented
Building a Stronger Company • Flatten the Organization’s Internal Perception • Have company core values and communicate them clearly in every project • Be as transparent as is reasonable, especially with respect to work opportunities and pay • Invite everyone who participates on a project to meetings related to the project • Allow everyone “teaching and learning” opportunities • Encourage “grassroots” project genesis and growth
Building a Stronger Company • Keep Formality to a Minimum • Keep in-person, formal meetings to a minimum • Encourage questions and other input from anyone and everyone • Allow casual attire except when formality is important to a success
Building a Stronger Company • Frequent Individual Feedback • Communicate regularly, both favorable and unfavorable feedback • Be demanding (accountability is critical) • Use the need to give unfavorable feedback as a professional and/or personal development opportunity • Custom fit feedback to the individual and their individual contributions as well as that of their team
Building a Stronger Company • Break Big Projects into Smaller Pieces • Smaller bits allow for autonomy (and learning from mistakes) without costing lots of time and money • Smaller bits make frequent feedback possible • Smaller bits help develop a sense of success and self confidence • Accountability is critical
Building a Stronger Company • Social and Work Life Mix • Encourage friendships to develop • Include families in company-sponsored events • Create relationship building opportunities/events • Allow, even encourage, play at work • Sponsor, participate and/or recognize participation in community/civic causes • Be sensitive to family stress and pressures
Building a Stronger Company • Decisions and Conflict Resolution Training • Training on these fronts can be especially successful in groups of mixed generations • Spend considerable time on critical thinking skills and ethics • Train for success using a “values and discernment” approach
Building a Stronger Company • Intuitive Introverted Managers • Vision driven and capable of easily flexing between leadership and support activities • Good listeners, inviting questions and other input • Decisiveand demanding • Develop high potential intuitive introverts with good organizational skills who are values driven (e.g., the MBTI INFJ) and logic driven (e.g., the MBTI INTJ) for management of ideas, systems and/or people
Contact Information • Dr. LorileeMedders • Research Faculty, Florida State University • firstname.lastname@example.org • Donna Thomas • Senior Vice President, Marsh • email@example.com • Shannon Morse • Corporate Risk Manager, Engility Corporation • Shannon.Morse@engilitycorp.com • Yelena Urcia • Sr. Global Insurance Analyst, AES Corporation • firstname.lastname@example.org
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