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Managing Across Generations. What is a Generation?.

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What is a generation
What is a Generation?

A society-wide peer group, born over a period roughly the same length as the passage from youth to adulthood (21 years), who collectively possess a common persona that could be defined by the historical and sociological experiences they have shared…

Howe & Strauss, Millennials Rising

Are you connected with all generations in your workplace
Are you Connected with all Generations in your Workplace?

How do I engage and

retain my Employees?

What do my Employees

want and need?

How do I manage my

Diverse workforce?

Challenges in today s diverse multi generational workforce
Challenges in today’s diverse Multi-Generational Workforce

  • For the first time, we have four different generations in the workplace.

  • There will be a mass exodus of Baby Boomers in the next five years which will result in a huge loss of work experience.

  • New generations cause rapid culture changes that require agile, flexible management.

  • Two experienced workers leave the work force for every one inexperienced worker we hire.

Shifts in the labor force
Shifts in the Labor Force

  • Baby Boomers are retiring: 30 to 40% of workforce are eligible or will retire over the next 5 to 10 years.

  • Generation Y/Millennials are expected to produce the largest # of employees in the history of America: 80 to 100 million new employees!

Current percent of total workforce per generation in millions
Current Percent of Total Workforce per Generation (in Millions)

Projected percent of total workforce per generation in millions by 2015
Projected Percent of Total Workforce per Generation (in Millions) by 2015

A company s 2013 challenges
A Company’s 2013 Challenges

  • Changing Demographics

    • Greater Employee Diversity

    • Workplace impact

      • Performance and Productivity

  • Competition for Critical Talent

    • Engagement

    • Retention

  • Workforce Planning

    • Turnover

    • Recruiting

Events and experiences
Events and Experiences


  • World War I

  • Typical work week was reduced from 60 hours to 45 hours

  • World War II

  • Great Depression

  • Baby Boomers

  • Cold War Begins

  • Civil Rights Movement

  • Space Exploration

Events and experiences1
Events and Experiences

Generation X

  • Civil Rights Movement

  • Shift from Blue Collar to White Collar Occupations

  • Energy Crisis

  • Watergate

  • Generation Y

  • Desert Storm

  • Oklahoma City Bombing

  • Columbine School Shooting

  • War in Iraq Technology

Personal values
Personal Values


  • Hard Work

  • Dedication & Sacrifice

  • Respect for Rules

  • Duty before Pleasure

  • Honor

  • Baby Boomers

  • Optimism

  • Team Orientation

  • Personal Gratification

  • Involvement

  • Personal Growth

Personal values1
Personal Values

Generation X

  • Diversity

  • Techno Literacy

  • Fun and Informality

  • Self-reliance

  • Pragmatism

  • Generation Y

  • Optimistic

  • Techno Literacy

  • Feel Civic Duty

  • Confident

  • Achievement Oriented

  • Respect for Diversity

Matures traditionalists characteristics
Matures/Traditionalists Characteristics

  • Generational personality

    • Consistency, uniformity, law & order

    • Dedication, sacrifice

  • Work ethic

    • Detail-oriented, stable

    • Obedience over individualism

  • Leadership style

    • Command & control

    • Non-participative decision-making

  • Teaming style

    • Civic minded

    • Used to strong leadership in teams

Baby boomers characteristics
Baby Boomers Characteristics

  • Generational personality

    • Optimistic, star of the show

    • Personal gratification, spiritual

  • Work ethic

    • Workaholics

    • Competitive

  • Leadership style

    • Collegial, fair

    • Participative

  • Teaming style

    • Play nice

    • “Pick me, pick me!”

Generation x characteristics
Generation X Characteristics

  • Generational personality

    • Self-reliant, nontraditional

    • Skeptical, risk-takers

  • Work ethic

    • Flexible, informal

    • Multitasking, balance

  • Leadership style

    • Egalitarian, fair, competent

    • Thrive on change, challenge

  • Teaming style

    • Independent, cooperative

    • Virtual

Generation y millennials characteristics
Generation Y/Millennials Characteristics

  • Generational personality

    • Savvy

    • Confident, optimistic

  • Work ethic

    • Flexible, resilient

    • Salary not important

  • Leadership style

    • Used to being in authority

    • Individualistic, entrepreneurial

  • Teaming style

    • Cooperative

    • Can-do attitude

Generations on the job
Generations On-the-Job

Matures traditionalists


  • “Okay, I’ll do what you tell me to do”


  • “There is a time and a place for feedback”

    Time Management

  • “I’ll give you an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay”

    Work-Life Balance

  • “Gimme flextime!”


  • “I’ll get my training on the job, thank you!”

Baby boomers
Baby Boomers


  • “You don’t need to tell me that. I know it already!”


  • “Tell me more”

    Time Management

  • “I’ll work until I drop!”

    Work-Life Balance

  • “Is this workaholic life worth it?”


  • “Hey, skills are important but my success comes from my work ethic!”

Generation x
Generation X


  • “What? I’m listening. I can listen and do something else at the same time”


  • “Give it to me immediately and honestly so I know I’m on the right track”

    Time Management

  • “What does it matter when I work, as long as I get the job done!”

    Work-Life Balance

  • “I’ll do overtime only when necessary!


  • “I’m gonna get skills left and right; my next job will be from this collected set!”

Generation y millennials
Generation Y/Millennials


  • “I don’t need another meeting to learn about the new policy, just send me an email”


  • “I want praise; if I don’t hear from you, I’ll think you hate my work”

    Time Management

  • “It’s 5pm; I’m outta this gig!”

    Work-Life Balance

  • “Decisions-decisions. Do I want a life…or a promotion?”


  • “I want new skills as I don’t have the time to gain them…”

What does each generation want
What Does Each Generation Want?

  • Continuous development

  • Control of time

  • Synergy

  • Incentives

  • Flexible leadership

Work performance expectations
Work Performance Expectations

  • Every employee should be held to the same standard.

  • No exceptions should be made that compromises the integrity of the job or diminishes the effectiveness of your department to carry out its mission.

  • All employees should comply with policies and procedures set forth.

Valuing differences
Valuing Differences

  • The most successful leaders find a way to let every generation be heard.

  • Leaders recognize that no one person has all the answers.

  • Appreciation of diversity allows each group to contribute and be a part of the growth of a department or organization.

Matures traditionalists1

  • Break through stereotypes and earn trust.

  • Give a chance to learn at own pace.

  • Respect experience; ask to help transfer that accumulated knowledge.

  • Give reasons to be loyal; gain their confidence by demonstrating compassion and understanding.

Baby boomers1
Baby Boomers

  • Show appreciation for energy, hard work and contributions.

  • Acknowledge influence as important members of the team; challenge them to contribute.

  • Involve them in helping to set the organization’s direction and implementation of change.

  • Support work/life balance.

  • Offer opportunities to be a coach.

Generation x1
Generation X

  • Serve as role model.

  • Understand they are not “company people,” they’re selling you their talents.

  • Reward with time and learning opportunities.

  • Clearly communicate that repetitive tasks and quality checks are part of the job.

Generation y millennials1
Generation Y/Millennials

  • Take time to orient to organizational culture.

  • Take an active role in plotting future; spend time talking about them, not work.

  • Give lots of visibility.

  • Celebrate team successes with individual rewards as well.

  • Provide structure and strong leadership.

Adapting programs to a multi generational workforce
Adapting Programs to a Multi-Generational Workforce

Managing across generations

Q & A

SCC Services Group


Phone: 954-444-3668