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Generational Differences

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by Dabareh Vowell on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Generational Differences

Generational Differences
Who, What, Why?
What makes us so different?
Generation Y
Generation X
Baby Busters
Baby Boomers
What makes each generation unique?

Significant historical events
Personal life experience
Expectations of culture at the time (norms)
Parent attitudes
Financial resources
Popular culture
Prevalent philosophy
Fun Fact!

The expected lifespan was 46.5 years in 1907 ;

by 1957 it rose to 66.4;

in 2007 it reached 75.5;

in 2010 it wass 78.7.

A person turning 65 today can expect to live until the age of 83.
Colin Powell, Walter Mondale, Woody Allen, Martin Luther King, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley

"The Silent Generation grew up as the suffocated children of war and depression. They came of age just too late to be war heroes and just too early to be youthful free spirits. Instead, this early-marrying Lonely Crowd became the risk-averse technicians and professionals—along with the sensitive rock ‘n rollers and civil-rights advocates--of a post-crisis era in which conformity seemed to be a sure ticket to success.

Their surge to power coincided with fragmenting families, cultural diversity, institutional indecision, and prolific litigation. As America’s newest and most affluent-ever seniors (no longer “senior citizens”), they wonder why just “following the rules” no longer works for their children and grandchildren."
"The Silent Generation was at its peak in the 1950s, an era in American history that many people find interesting as a transition between the war years and the counterculture revolution of the 1960s.

In the wake of the Second World War, this generation had to make amends with Germany and Japan, recognizing these countries as allies and friends less than a decade after the chaos of the war. At the same time, they were faced with the Cold War, a prolonged period of political and military posturing between the United States and Russia."

• Behaviors are based on experiences from the Depression
• Want to feel needed
• Strive for financial security
• “Waste not want not” attitude
• Conformity
• Conservatism
• Traditional family values
• Strive for comfort
• Demand quality
• Simplicity
• Understands the nobility of sacrifice for the common good
• Patriotic
• Patience
• Team players
Grew up during the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War

• Born during a spike in child births after WWII
• Created the term “workaholic”
• The largest generation
• Single largest economic group
• Sometimes referred to today as “Empty Nesters"

George Clooney, Madonna, Oprah, Arnold Schwarzennegar, Bill Gates, Jodi Foster, Steve Jobs, President Obama
Run local, state, and national governments
• Largest workforce
• Believe rules should be obeyed unless they are contrary to what they want; then they’re to be broken
• Experimental
• Individualism
• Social cause oriented
• Free spirited
• Can be less optimistic, cynical, and distrust
• Want products and services that show their success
• Work ethic is measured in hours worked
• Less importance placed on productivity
• Teamwork is critical to success
• Relationship building is important
• Expect loyalty from those they work with
Loyal to employers and expect the same in return
• Possess superb interpersonal skills
• Enjoy flexible arrangements so they can work on their own schedule
• Believe promotions, raises, and recognition should come from job tenure
• Measure work ethic on timeliness, productivity, and not drawing attention
Defined as “slackers”
• They have the “carpe diem” attitude
• First generation to develop ease and comfort with technology
• “X” described the lack of identity that
members of Generation X felt, not sure where they belonged
• Experienced more divorces than any other generation
• Had to learn to fend for themselves
• Quest for emotional security
• Independent
• Very self-reliant
• Informality
• Entrepreneurial
• Expect immediate and ongoing feedback and is comfortable giving feedback to others
• Reject rules
• Mistrust institutions
• Believe friends do not equal family
• “Latchkey” kids
• Multi-taskers
• Suspicious of Boomer values
• Value family time
• Casual, friendly work environment
• Involvement
• Flexibility and freedom
• A place to learn
• Work smarter, not harder
• Want open communication regardless of position, title, or tenure
• Value control of their time
• Look for a person to whom they can invest loyalty, not a company
• Grew up with technology, computers, cell phones, internet,
• Also known as the “Entitlement” generation
• Boomer and late X’er parents raised them to be sheltered and
to constantly build Millennials’ self-esteem
• Plagued with high levels of student debt
• Second largest generation to be entering the workforce under the Boomers
Ambitious yet clueless
• Optimistic
• Patriotic
• Impatient
• Entrepreneurial
• Individualistic yet group oriented
• Want to be like peers but with a unique twist
• Very informal
• Busy
• Short attention span
• Acknowledge and admire some authorities
• More culturally and racially tolerant
• Accept change easily
• Un-trusting of “the man”
• Achievement-oriented
• Financially savvy
• Want instant gratification
• “Everybody wins!”
• Searches for the individual who will
help them achieve their goals
• Want open, constant communication and
positive reinforcement from their boss
• Search for job that provides great, personal fulfillment
• Want to be close to their peers
• Want leadership from bosses and supervisors
• Look for opportunities to learn
• Work to live, rather than living to work
Generation Z
Digital Natives
Born after 1994

Also known as Generation M, Net Generation, Internet Generation

• Grown up with world wide web. (Became
available after 1991)
• Born during minor fertility boom around
US Global Financial Crisis
• The children of Generation X
• Highly connected to the use of communications
• Like instant gratification
• Thrive on acceleration and next, next, next
• Independent people, lacking a traditional community- oriented nature due to social media
• Are very open book with little concern to privacy and personal information. Except for when itcomes to money
• Thrive on small bits of information. Think in terms of online status and Twitter language
• Under a lot of pressure to succeed
Very collaborative and creative

• Will have to solve the worst

environmental, social and economic

problems in history

• Will not be team players

• Will be more self-directed

• Will process information at lightning speed

• Will be smarter
American Generations Through the Years CNN

Meet the Generations

The Generation Gap and Motivation

Generation Z: Rebels with a Cause
Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Michael J. Fox, Michael Jordan, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears
Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Prince William, Prince Harry
Tips for Motivating Traditionalists

(It is unlikely that these people are still part of a workforce, but if they are, here it comes)

Make changes slowly. Don’t surprise them.

Make announcements well in advance

Alert them to your experience and credentials.

Look the part – always aim to be a degree more formally dressed than your team (if the majority comes from this generation).

Use surnames and titles. The Silents and GI’s prefer formality. Ask their permission before you address them by their first names.

They prefer clear lines of command. Stay away from matrix structures and cross functional teams. Ensure that they all report to only one boss.
Tips for Motivating The Boomers

Make rewards and recognition public

They will rely on you to generate energy and dynamism.

They want to be involved in all decisions. They are passionate about transparency and democracy in decision making. Include them at all stages.
Tips for Motivating the Xers

You need to earn their respect, yet they will take a while to demonstrate that respect for you. Act with integrity and you will close the generation gap.

Give surprise rewards for unusual achievements.

Fun is serious business! A little humor, something silly, practical jokes, even a little bit of irrelevance will help to create a stimulating, and productive workplace.

Try a reverse mentoring program in which younger employees are assigned to older executives, to help them get up to speed with technology and to close the generation gap.

Don’t look over their shoulders all the time…it irritates them.
Tips for Motivating Generation Y

Lead. This generation has grown up structured and supervised by parents who believed in boundaries and are active role models. They respond to leadership with integrity.

Provide mentors. They enjoy interacting with older generations, and learning in a hands on manner. It will also help you to close the generation gap.

They like to be challenged. Assign them to projects where they can truly learn.

They like to try new things. Boredom is your, and their, greatest enemy.

Let them work with their friends, as they are sociable and sharing.
Realistic viewpoint of life as opposed to the "dream" life
Concerned about school shootings, world danger, and security
Worried about the cost of college
Wary about money
Partial to dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories (The Hunger Games, zombies, end of world)
So, what about us all working together in the same place?
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