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Generations in the Law Enforcement Workplace. Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace. Captain Joe Vargas 714-765-1923. These New Kids! What’s Their Problem. 2. Anaheim PD Age Distribution. Anaheim PD. 1% GI Generation 3% Silent 38% Baby Boomer

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generations in the law enforcement workplace

Generations in the Law Enforcement Workplace

Managing Generational Differences in the Workplace

Captain Joe Vargas


these new kids what s their problem
These New Kids!

What’s Their Problem


anaheim pd
Anaheim PD

1% GI Generation

3% Silent

38% Baby Boomer

39% Gen X

19% Millennial

Oldest Employee born in 1924

Youngest Officer born in 1986

apd demographics
APD Demographics
  • Oldest Officer- Chief John Welter 1949
  • Youngest Officer- Ofc. Jared Dewald 1986
  • Oldest Employee Grace Fields- 1924
comments about generations
This generational stuff is just socially acceptable stereotyping…politically correct rationale offered for immature behavior

Catering to and coddling the inexperienced…another example of inmates running the asylum

When is someone going to ask me what I need?

Doesn’t everyone want the same thing anyway?

Even if this generational stuff were true, this is still planet earth and we know how our department needs to be run for it to be a success

Can we go back to work now?…these kids will either get with the program or they’ll leave just like they always have

Comments about Generations
comments contd
I don’t get it ….my Captains are barely “technologically literate” yet they’re never open to suggestions on how to improve a process with technology. What’s up with this attitude ?

Don’t they want to go home at night ? They act as if I should want to work 60-70 hours a week year in and year out …I’m not afraid of hard work …but that’s not the only thing I want to do with my life.

Boomers tell me, “I’m older, have more experience and stop asking so many questions.” I want to tell them, “that’s right you are older …older than dirt and you don’t answer my questions either because you don’t know the answer why or you wish you’d asked the same question when you are my age and didn’t have the nerve.”

Comments contd.
the basics
The Basics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

All Generations and Cultures have similarities

These similarities allow the Manager to adapt his/her Organization to the mixed needs of the employees

BUT . . .


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

The behavior of the individual will probably NOT fall perfectly within the behavioral norm predicted by the theory

But, it will fall within a range of behaviors predicted by the theory

what did your dept look like
What did your Dept. look like?

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

describe your department when you first started

Describe your Department when you first started?

What have been the changes we have seen in our careers?

cultural differences

Cultural Differences

The exercise in frustration.

(c) 2005 JMS Associates


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Tattooed Arm of the Law Is Raising

Image Questions

By Stuart Pfeifer

August 21, 2005

Michael Hartley got his first tattoo when he turned 18 and has been hooked on body ink ever since. He now has eight tattoos, including a shamrock on his right triceps and tropical flowers and bamboo shoots that wind down his left forearm. He has tattoos on each arm, his left leg, back and side. In a nation in which tattoos have become increasingly popular – a 2003 survey found one in six U.S. adults was inked – Hartley’s work would hardly

raise an eyebrow.

Except he’s a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.

have you ever had a tattoo
Have you ever had a tattoo?

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

dyed your hair non traditional
Dyed Your Hair Non-Traditional

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

a piercing other than ear lobe
A Piercing Other Than Ear Lobe

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

the goal
The Goal:

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Maintaining an effective Organization

  • Going from Good to Great
  • Maximizing our leadership effectiveness
  • Maximizing our employees skills
  • Learning the pitfalls and landmines.
  • Recognizing Generational Conflict
future of the workforce
Future of the Workforce

The median age rising, youth labor force expected to grow more rapidly than the overall labor force

Older workers may be rehired to meet shortages of labor and expertise

Generational conflict may occur with age diversification of the labor force


future of the workforce1
Future of the Workforce

Continue to be more culturally diverse, ethnic group population increases

More women represented

By 2010 average worker retirement age will be mid - 70's

By 2011, first of the 77 million boomers reach age 65


future of the workforce2
Future of the Workforce

The new workforce will want a more flexible workplace and may prefer flexibility over higher salary

Employers need to find new ways to motivate the new work generation

Some analysts feel there will be an erosion of past work ethics.  


the problem stems from
The “problem” stems from:

Different Learning Preferences

Different Definitions of “respect”

Different Attention Spans

Different Languages

Different Values

Different Sex

Different Generation


the current workforce
The Current Workforce

Age differences (Multiple Generations)

Diverse ethnicity

More women in the workforce

At no time in American history have so many different generations with such diverse worldviews and work philosophies been expected to team up and work together.


how do our generational values form
How do our generational values form?
  • What we witness and directly experience
  • America has changed frequently
  • Our generational values impact our career decisions, lifestyle preferences and social behavior
describe your worst gen x gen y or boomer employee experience
Describe your worst Gen X, Gen Y or Boomer employee experience

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

include the generation of the employee

the actual problem

your reaction

how it was resolved

how you might handle it differently

traditionalists silents

Born 1925 - 1945

baby boomer
Baby Boomer


Born 1946 - 1964

generation x
Generation X

Born 1965 - 1977


'Cuspers': Wedged between two generations

  • Three such groups exist in today's work force:
  • Traditionalist/baby boomer. Born around 1940 until 1945, members of this cusper group value the strong work ethic of the traditionalists. But some of these cuspers are also eager to challenge the status quo, a definite baby boomer trait.
  • Baby boomer/generation Xer. Born between 1960 and 1965, these cuspers witnessed the success of their older baby boomer counterparts, but they themselves experienced the recession that plagued the early generation Xers. Computers didn't come into elementary and high schools until after they graduated.
  • Generation Xer/millennial. Born from 1975 to 1980, these cuspers possess an interesting mix of generation X skepticism and millennial optimism. They're quite comfortable with technology.

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

the generations
The Generations

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

the G.I. Generation: before 1930

the Silent Generation: 1931 – 1946

the Boom Generation: 1946 – 1964

Generation X: 1965 – 1978

Generation Y or

the Bounce Boom: 1979 to 1994

Generation “I”: 1995 to present

generational populations
Generational Populations

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • G.I. Generation and The Silent Generation:

50 million

  • Boomers:

76 million

  • Xers:

44 million

  • Yers:

78 million

the g i generation hero
The G.I. Generation (Hero)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

came of age during the Depression

served in the military

sharpest rise in schooling ever recorded

concerned with security & stability

G.I. Bill expanded home ownership and college education beyond previous generations

worked to ensure their children would not experience what they had

silent generation artist
Silent Generation (Artist)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

came of age too late to be war heroes and too early to be ‘free spirits”

suffered as children through depression and war

lifetime employment with one company

very hard working: risk averse

trusting of government

optimistic about the future

strongly held moral obligations

baby boomers
Baby Boomers

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

generation x nomad
Generation X (Nomad)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

currently in their late 20s to late 30s

very self-oriented, but they want to know what is in it for them

embraces the punk ethic D.I.Y. – Do It Yourself

present oriented – looking for immediate results

no lifetime employment

questions authority

boom generation prophet
Boom Generation (Prophet)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

developed beliefs as part of post-war optimism

strong set of ideals and traditions

conspicuously entered “culture careers” (teaching, religion, journalism, marketing and the arts)

politically active

fairly socially liberal

very family oriented

major life events events that shaped generation x
Major Life Events:Events that Shaped Generation X

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Gen Xers are the children of divorce
    • 40% grew up in single family households
  • “Latchkey” children
    • 12% of elementary and 30% of middle school children were “latchkeys” in the ’70s.
  • Introduction of cable TV – increased channels from 3 to 50.
major life events events that shaped generation x1
Major Life Events:Events that Shaped Generation X

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Loss of Heroes
    • Watergate
    • Reagan Assassination attempt
    • Botched hostage rescue in Iran
    • Jim Jones mass murder/suicide
    • Murder of John Lennon
  • Heroes shown to have faults and to be lacking competence and virtue.
major life events events that shaped generation x2
Major Life Events:Events that Shaped Generation X

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Baby Bust period 1965 – 1975
    • 1975 lowest birth rate of any year in U.S.history
  • 1st generation in history to be controlled by ‘the pill’.
  • For the first time in history adults ranked a cars ahead of children as a necessity in obtaining the “Good Life”.
gen x facts and figures
Gen X Facts and Figures

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

+54% have completed or enrolled in more than one year of college

+8% contribute to a retirement plan

+40% invest in mutual funds

56% have volunteered

political actions contradictions
Political Actions & Contradictions

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • GenXers are active, in spite of the low voting rates,
    • 17% of GenXers contributed to a political campaign in 1996 – over one-half of those who voted!
    • 42% had called a politician in the past year
    • But, they have little faith that politicians will actually be able to help, so they prefer to do things themselves
gen x facts and figures1
Gen X Facts and Figures

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Contrary to the stereotype of Generation X as being “slackers”, 80% of all Americans trying to start their own business are Gen Xers

They would prefer to be entrepreneurs – even within someone else’s organization

generation x characteristics
Generation X Characteristics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

like experimenting

thrive on chaos

embrace diversity

healthy skepticism, cynicism

want creativity and control

feel they carry the burden of the mistakes of prior generations

gen x politics
Gen X Politics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • lowest voting rate of any generation
    • 1996 – less than one-third of GenXers voted
    • 1996 – 67% of the G.I. and

Silent Generations voted

    • 2000 – 36.1% of 18 – 24 year olds (Gen Y) registered to vote voted*
    • 2000 - about 60 of registered voters voted*

* US Census Bureau Reports

the dividing line generation x to generation y
The “Dividing Line”Generation X to Generation Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Generation X’s eldest members have no memory of John Kennedy’s assassination

Generation Y’s eldest members have no memory of the Challenger explosion.

generation y the bounce boom
Generation Y – “The Bounce Boom”

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

these children were the first re-cast as the focus of adult political issues

no lifetime employment

very materialistic, selfish, disrespectful

very technologically literate

very aware of the world around them

lack good role models

trying to grow up too fast

gen y and technology
Gen Y and Technology
  • 97% own a computer
  • 94% own a cell phone
  • 76% use Instant Messaging.
  • 15% of IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week
  • 34% use websites as their primary source of news
  • 28% own a blog and 44% read blogs
  • 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing
  • 75% of college students have a Facebook account [16]
  • 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod.
major life events events that are shaping generation y
Major Life Events:Events that are Shaping Generation Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Reemergence of “Wanted Children”
    • “Baby on Board”
    • Minivan
    • Most watched-over generation in history . . . Children with schedules that almost always have adult supervision.
major life events events that are shaping generation y1
Major Life Events:Events that are Shaping Generation Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Era of Protected Child
    • 1982 “Tylenol” scare create a panic over ‘trick-or-treating’ . . . This effect remains.
    • Sexual abuse hysteria began shortly after “Tylenol”
    • In the early ’80s the well-being of children dominated the national debate.
about gen y workers
About Gen Y Workers

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

High expectations of self: They aim to work faster and better than other workers.

High expectations of employers: They want fair and direct managers who are highly engaged in their professional development.

Ongoing learning: They seek out creative challenges and view colleagues as vast resources from whom to gain knowledge.

Immediate responsibility: They want to make an important impact on Day 1.

Goal-oriented: They want small goals with tight deadlines so they can build up ownership of tasks.

Source: Bruce Tulgan of Rainmaker Thinking

generation y characteristics
Generation Y Characteristics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Cooperative Team Players

Accept authority

Rule Followers



Have a problem with non-structured time

generation y expectations
Generation Y – Expectations

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • They want to:
    • Provide work that really matters
    • Balance clearly delegated assignments with freedom and flexibility
    • Be offered increasing responsibility as a reward for accomplishments
    • Spend time getting to know staff members and their capabilities
generation y expectations con t
Generation Y – Expectations (con’t)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Provide ongoing training and learning opportunities
  • Establish mentoring relationships
  • Create a comfortable, low-stress environment
  • Allow some flexibility in scheduling
  • Focus on work, but be personable and have a sense of humor
generation y expectations con t1
Generation Y – Expectations (con’t)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Balance the roles of “boss” and “team player”
  • Treat Yers as colleagues, not as interns or ‘young adults’
  • Be respectful, and call forth respect in return
  • Consistently provide constructive feedback
  • Reward Yers when they’ve done a good job
learning and generation y
Learning and Generation Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

First generation to really use “e-learning”

2002 – 2.2 million on-line college courses.

What are the training impacts?

genx geny and ethics
GenX, GenY and Ethics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

28% believe that a person could still be a good officer . . . Even with a felony conviction

20% of those surveyed believe that it is occasionally appropriate for a police officer to lie

Source: “The Intergenerational Classroom in Law Enforcement Training”

The Law Enforcement Trainer, ASLET, May/June 2002

jobs schooling economics
Jobs, Schooling & Economics

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

between 1990 and 2005 nearly one in three college grads are expected to take a job that doesn’t require a college degree – up from one in ten in the 1960’s

male college enrollment has dropped so much that in 2002, 56% of all U.S. students receiving BAs were women

this is the first generation in U.S. history that has a distinct possibility of having a poorer standard of living than their parents

recruiting genx and y
Recruiting GenX and Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Benefits, Benefits, Benefits
  • examples of corporate America’s offers to skilled candidates:
    • flexible work schedules
    • cars (BMW sports coupes in one case)
    • free computing (Ford/UAW – all UAW workers get a top-line computer and $5/mo internet access)
recruiting genx and y1
Recruiting GenX and Y

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Training, Training, Training (49% of businesses are increasing training as a strategy to recruit & retain GenXers – HR News)
  • examples of corporate America’s offers to skilled candidates:
    • foreign languages
    • latest computer programs
    • reimbursement for continuing education
    • university degrees

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • The Manager:
    • doesn’t think through his/her reasons for giving the feedback before giving it.
    • addresses too many issues at once
    • over-emphasized unimportant details and matters of preference
    • focused on “what happened” in stead of “what needs to happen next”
    • fails to make sure the feedback was understood
social bases of power
Social Bases of Power

(c) 2005 JMS Associates





  • For the over-parented, over-supervised, over-scheduled employee it makes sense.
  • What were my leaders like?
  • What am I like?
  • Age Cohorts have always been lead by those leaders of the previous generations who communicate with them the best.
are you a dinosaur
Are you a dinosaur?

Those who ruled the earth at one time are now extinct.

the impact of today s emerging leaders
The Impact of Today’s Emerging Leaders
  • More emphasis on life balance
  • Shorter employment tenures
  • Shorter development cycles
  • Greater leaps in levels of responsibility
  • Emphasis on technology for decision-making
  • Less emphasis on protocol
  • Perfunctory communication
  • Less willingness to sacrifice for the organization
  • A more detached style in business relationships
  • An embrace of globalization
new leadership
New Leadership
  • Emphasis on Life Balance
  • Shorter tenures
  • Embrace Diversity
  • Emphasis on Technology in Decision Making
  • Less Protocol
  • Different Communication Styles

Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an enduring habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority. They say to themselves there must be a better way. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they discover that the existing, traditional way is the best. But it is that one percent that counts. That is how progress is made.

Bill Hewlett, Co-founder

Hewlett-Packard Corporation

the new workplace
The New Workplace

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

“Boomer companies attempt to have fun, but almost everything fun has to be planned because they feel it will be too “disruptive”. Fun is disruptive – that’s the point!” Auren Hoffman, Owner,



(c) 2005 JMS Associates

“Then there are other industries, and where they fall on the productivity ladder. Government might be a safe place to work, but it is rarely fun and this ranks low on the productivity cycles.” Auren Hoffman, Owner,

  • When work becomes play you never have to work a day in your life.


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • fast-track yourself
    • learn as if there’s no tomorrow (Life long learning)
    • don’t be afraid to take chances
      • go ahead and make mistakes
      • push yourself to innovate
      • ask if you can put your name on it when you’re done
      • the moment you feel yourself burning out, use the position as a stepping stone to a new opportunity


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • reinvent your role on an ongoing basis
    • look for multiple customers – do not be content to work for one boss
    • juggle multiple responsibilities – do not settle for a narrow set of tasks
    • work in several skill areas at once – do not let yourself be pigeonholed
    • be on friendly terms with everyone – do not join a clique


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

train them continuously – help them train for another job

help them understand goals and responsibilities

give them the ‘right’ kind of feedback: F.A.S.T. – NO 6-month or yearly evaluations

reward them with empowerment and responsibility – give them responsibility for specific projects, them let them perform



(c) 2005 JMS Associates

establish rapport – bridge the gap by sharing memories of world shaping events and your own early career experiences

build trust – open channels of communication, don’t hide information

flextime – implement flexible work schedules, including telecommuting


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

There is such a thing as having too much fun, though. If you finger paint and have nap-time every day like in nursery school, your productivity might go down a bit, but you still might be more productive than if you are working for the government or a Fortune 500 company. Auren Hoffman, Owner, (Bold Italics added)


(c) 2005 JMS Associates

“Most Boomer-led companies have yet to incorporate fun into their culture (and probably never will) and are therefore suffering from productivity and ingenuity losses.” Auren Hoffman, Owner,

and a few more
And . . . A few more

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

pay for performance – don’t reward the ones just getting by

measure performance – focus on output, not on hours worked

discipline – focus on what is right, not who is right

and finally
And finally,

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Personal life premium – don’t begrudge personal lives and don’t resent personal time lost in the past . . .


f a s t feedback gen x evaluating guideline
F.A.S.T. Feedback – Gen X evaluating guideline

(c) 2005 JMS Associates





step one turn evaluation into action
Step one - Turn evaluation into action

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Every instance of feedback is also an opportunity to delegate – it becomes coaching instead of disciplining

step two clarify your exact purpose for giving feedback
Step two – Clarify your exact purpose for giving feedback

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Know exactly what tangible results you want to accomplish by giving this particular person particular feedback for particular time.

step three assign concrete actions
Step three – assign concrete actions

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Take feedback from evaluation to action by delegating specific ‘next steps’. Assign concrete goals and deadlines with clear parameters – concrete action steps.

step four get some feedback on your feedback
Step four – Get some feedback on your feedback

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

Make certain that the person you are giving feedback understands exactly what you expect in the way of ‘next steps’. Ask the person to share with you his or her understanding of the goals, deadlines, and parameters.

causes for genx feedback failure
Causes for GenX feedback failure

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • The manager:
    • hasn’t thought through his or her reasons for giving feedback before giving it.
    • addresses too many issues at once
    • overemphasizes unimportant details and matters of preference
causes for genx feedback failure con t
Causes for GenX feedback failure (con’t)

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • focuses on “what happened instead of “what needs to happen next”
  • fails to make certain that the feedback has been understood

“The problem with most departments is they keep trying to hire us. We (Baby Boomers) don’t exist anymore. If you don’t like what you see out there…get over it. These are our kids that’s how we raised them.”

Karen Amendola

Police Foundation

(c) 2005 JMS Associates

  • Select In Rather than Out
  • Relevant Marketing
  • Opportunity for Interaction
  • True Understanding of Job Needs
  • Qualifications