Building a Strong Multigenerational Workplace

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Information about Building a Strong Multigenerational Workplace

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: MCB_group



For the first time ever we have 3 different generations in our workforce working together side-by-side: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials (Gen Y).

HUMAN  RESOURCES     Building  a  Strong    Mul/genera/onal  Workplace     Eddy  M.  Jolicoeur   HRDC    -­‐  Let’s  Talk  HR   21st  February  2013    

What  is  this  all  about?   For  the  first  4me  ever  we  have  3  different   genera4ons  in  our  workforce  working   together  side-­‐by-­‐side:       !  Baby  Boomers  (born  1946-­‐1964)   !  Genera4on  X  (born  1965-­‐1980)   !  Millennials  (Gen  Y)  (born  1981  to  1995)    

What  is  this  all  about?   !  Each  of  these  genera4ons  have  been  impacted  by   various  events  that  shape  who  they  are  and  how   they  work   !  We  need  to  understand  what  mo4vates  the   various  genera4ons  and  how  we  can  work   together   !  Stereotypical  experiences  and  percep4ons  of  each   genera4on  help  us  to  understand  perspec4ves  

Looks  familiar?  

Different  PercepCons   Percep4ons  frequently  have  genera4onal  issues  as   their  cause   !  !  !  !  !  “He  is  not  commiVed  to  his  job”   “She  has  a  poor  work  ethic”   “He  does  not  respect  experience”   “I  can’t  believe  the  way  she  dresses”   “Who  cares  that  we  have  always  done  it  that  way,  with   technology  we  can  do  it  beVer  this  way”  

The  Challenge      "Managing  mul4genera4onal  workforces  is  an  art   in  itself.  Young  workers  want  to  make  a  quick   impact,  the  middle  genera4on  needs  to  believe  in   the  mission,  and  older  employees  don't  like   ambivalence.  Your  move."              Harvard  Business  School  "Working  Knowledge“  newsleVer,  April  2006:  "Can   you  manage  different  generaCons?"  

A  New  GeneraCon  Gap     “The  term  Genera4on  Gap  was  used  mostly  to   describe  conflicts  between  parents  and  children.   Today,  the  “Gap”  has  more  of  a  presence  in  the   workplace,  where  employees  from  different   genera4ons  are  finding  it  difficult  to  work  side   by  side  because  their  experiences,  goals  and   expecta4ons  are  different”.          

What  about  us?   Baby   Boomers   12%   Millenials   52%   Gen  X   36%   THE  MCB  WORKFORCE  

They’re  HEEERRE!!  

The  Business  Case…   Recruitment/Compe44on  for  talent   Reten4on   Reward   Produc4vity  and  business  results  linked     to  work  environment   !  Employee  Sa4sfac4on   !  Customer  Sa4sfac4on/Customers  from  all   genera4ons   !  !  !  ! 

Benefits  of  the  MulCgeneraConal  Team   !  Can  aVract/retain  talented  people  of  all  ages,  more   inclusive   !  More  flexible   !  Can  gain/maintain  greater  market  share  because  reflect   mul4genera4onal  market   !  Decisions  are  stronger,  more  broad-­‐based  with  mul4ple   perspec4ves   !  More  innova4ve  and  crea4ve   !  Can  meet  needs  of  diverse  public  and  can  relate  more   effec4vely   11  

What  Shaped  You?   !  !  !  !  !  !  !  Na4onal  Events   Music   Technology   Values   Rela4onships   Parental  Expecta4ons   Other?  

Pickings  from  the  focus  group   !  14%  of  the  Boomers  agreed  that  a  person  should  build   their  career  with  one  employer,  compared  to  11%  of  Xers   !  When  asked  “Which  genera4on  is  the  best  at  finding   work-­‐life  balance?”,  all  genera4ons  picked  Millennials   !  Millennials  indicated  that  flexible  workplace  and   opportunity  for  promo4on  were  more  important  than   salary                      

Characteristics Baby Boomers Born 1946-1964 Generation X Born 1965-1980 Millennials Born 1981-1996 Age Span 50 to 65 years old 34 to 49 years old 19 to 33 years old Traits Idealistic Break the rules Time stressed Politically correct Pragmatic Self-sufficient Skeptical Flexible Media/Info/Tech savvy Entrepreneurial Confident Well-educated Self-sufficient Tolerant Team builders Socially/politically conscious Defining Events Vietnam War/Cold War Mai 1968 Independence Liberal subjects Recession Free education Computers in schools Globalisation Terrorism Corporate scandals China To Them Work Is An exciting adventure A difficult challenge To make a difference Work Ethic Driven Balanced Eager but anxious Employment Goals Second career Work/life balance Unrealistic Education Birthright Way to get to an end A given Communication Telephone Email IM/Text messaging Time at Work is defined Visibility Why does it matter if I get it done today? Is it 5 PM? I have a life…TGIF Need most in the workplace Recognition! ‘Stop ignoring me!’ More information ‘Nobody tells me anything!” Praise and fun; or is that fun and praise?

Baby  Boomers’    generaCon  

Baby  Boomers   !  The  “Me”  genera4on   !  More  hours  equals  beVer  performance;  now   regret   !  They  are  the  managers  who  are  running  our   organiza4ons  today     !  Career  oriented   !  “Love  the  good  life”   !  Love  job  performance  feedback  

Managing  the  Baby  Boomers   !  Help  them  explore  their  next  set  of  workplace   op4ons,  and  demonstrate  how  your  organiza4on   can  con4nue  to  use  their  talents   !  Walk  the  talk  on  work-­‐life  balance  by  redesigning   their  jobs  to  accommodate  mul4ple  life  demands   !  Encourage  them  to  enrich  their  present  job  and   grow  in  place  if  they  need  to  slow  their  career   pace  

GeneraCon  X  

GeneraCon  X   !  The  next  genera4on  of  leaders   !  The  most  well  educated  genera4on   !  Goal-­‐oriented   !  Free  Agents  vs.  Company  Loyalists   !  Thrive  on  independence   !  Want  to  be  challenged   !  Led  boom  

Managing  GeneraCon  X   !  Talk  to  them  about  their  reputa4on,  not  just  job   tasks;  they  want  your  candid  perspec4ve  and   feedback  (Trust)   !  Acknowledge  their  ability  to  work  independently   and  encourage  them  to  leverage  their   entrepreneurial  abili4es   !  Help  them  get  the  most  out  of  every  job  posi4on   by  discussing  what  the  job  can  do  for  them  and   what  they  can  learn  from  it  


Millennials   !  Value  independence  but  need  some  supervision     !  Look  for  new  challenges   !  Challenge  the  status  quo   !  Want  the  job  of  their  dreams  not  a  good  job   !  Want  the  opportunity  to  make  an  impact     !  Fear  boredom  more  than  anything  else  

Managing  the  Millennials   !  Demonstrate  the  stability  and  long-­‐term  value  of   your  organiza4on,  and  also  show  how  your   organiza4on  is  flexible  and  filled  with  learning   opportuni4es  for  them   !  Provide  work  schedules  that  help  them  build  careers   and  families  at  the  same  4me   !  Make  groups  and  teams  part  of  their  job  

Summary  of  Work  CharacterisCcs  

The  differences  exist  so....     DEAL  WITH  THEM!    

3  Strategies  to  Manage  by:   1)  Communica4on   2)  Delega4on   3)  The  Giq  of  Feedback    

CommunicaCon   •  What  do  your  employees  want  from  a  work  environment?   –  Forget  exit  surveys;  why  do  people  stay?   –  What  do  you  want  from  your  work  environment?     •  Talk  about  peoples’  differences  amongst  your  team     •  Develop  an  ac4on  plan  specific  to  your  team     •  Talk  about  conflict  –  do  not  brush  it  under  the  carpet    

DelegaCon   !  Boomers  want  teamwork,  Xers  want  independence,   Millennials  want  more  responsibility     !  Delega4on  can  be  the  answer  to  everyone’s  needs   !  Prepare  Xers  for  the  next  role,  challenge  Millennials,  give   Boomers  some  much  needed  balance   !  Requires  accountability  and  feedback       P.S.  Forget  how  long  it  took  you  to  reach  the  point  where  things  were  delegated   to  you…those  days  are  gone!!  

The  Gi]  of  Feedback   Keys  to  providing  effecCve  feedback:     •  Immediate  feedback  –  to  recognize  good  performance,  and   address  performance  issues  as  they  arise   •  PosiCve  and  construcCve  feedback  –  direct,  non-­‐judgmental,   ethical  and  based  on  values  governing  the  policy   •  Specific  feedback  –  the  feedback  should  pinpoint  targeted   strengths  and  areas  for  improvement     •    Give  feedback  OFTEN  –  keeps  employee  on  course,  prevents   work  from  going  “off  track”  for  long  periods  of  4me,  and   reduces  the  s4gma  of  giving  feedback  

Keys  to  Providing  EffecCve  Feedback:       •  Spend  Cme  with  your  employees  to  discuss  the  work  and   see  how  they  are  doing   •  Explain  how  the  employee’s  work  contributes  to  the  big   picture   •  Delegate  based  on  employee  workload  and  capabiliCes   •  Show  your  commitment  to  their  objec4ves  by  providing   needed  support  and  direc4on    

STAR  Model  for  Giving  Feedback   •  S      SituaCon  –  describe  the  SITUATION  where  the  behaviour  occurred   •  T      Task  –  describe  the  TASK  the  employee  performed   •  A      AcCon  –  describe  the  ACTION  the  employee  chose  in  this  situa4on   •  R      Result  –  describe  the  outcome  that  occurred  as  a  RESULT  of  the   ac4on   If  it  is  construc/ve  feedback  add  an  addi/onal  AR:   •  A      AlternaCve  AcCon  -­‐  suggest  an  ALTERNATIVE  ACTION  the   employee  could  have  chosen  in  this  situa4on   •  R      AlternaCve  Result  -­‐  describe  the  likely  outcome  that  would  have   occurred  as  an  ALETERNATE  RESULT  of  the  alternate  ac4on  


What’s  Next?   •  Digital  Na4ves  (born  1996  or  aqer)  enter  the  scene  star4ng  in   2014:   –  More  ‘knowledgeable’  about  technology  than  instructors   have  been   –  Technology  is  how  they  connect  with  their  friends,   perform  research,  and  feel  at  home     –  When  combined,  Millennials  &  Digital  Na4ves  out  number   Baby  Boomers   –  Mul4-­‐tasking  isn’t  a  concept  –  it  is  the  only  way!  

Thank  You!   Ques4ons?  

Sources  and  references   •  Harvard  Business  School  "Working  Knowledge“  newsleVer,  April  2006:   "Can  you  manage  different  generaCons?    hVp://   •  The  Economist  “Winning  the  genera4on  game”  September  2013    hVp://   •  McGee  Jr.,  Paul  E.  “A  New  Genera4on  at  Work:  Y  and  How  to  Manage  It.”   The  Washington  Business  Journal.  May  10,  2004.   hVp://   •”  Understanding  and  managing  different  genera4ons”    hVp://    

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