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Generational differences at the workplace

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Svenja Severin

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Generational differences at the workplace

Leadership and Management

design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Generational differences at the workplace
Step 1: A quick reminder of our 3 generations in the workforce

Born during or after WWII
Raised in an era of optimism, opportunity and progress
Grew up in two parents households, safe schools and job security

Interview 1
"Age is a secondary thing"
Interview 3
20 year old employer
The better we bridge generational differences, the less they are seen as obstacles in the workplace
Henrik Mård
Gloria Besha
Svenja Severin
Sylivia Namukasa
On staff's opinion working in the hotel industry
Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers
Not good at multitasking
slow learners
wait their turn for promotion and rewards
responsible and caring
job security is crucial
Generation X
leave work at work
good at multitasking
tech savvy and great respect for technology
impatient: expect immediate recognition
self-reliant and self-sufficient
expect and demand change
Generation Y / Millenials
prioritize family and friends
best at multitasking
most technologically savvy
little patience
hard working and ambitious, eager to learn, question rules and challenge norms
keep career options open
Generation X
Rapidly changing of social climate and economic recession
Born in two career families and high rate of divorce rates
technology and information age

Generation Y / Millenials
Represent the most high technology adept
Drawn to their families for safety and security
Step 2: Interview Questions
What is your understanding of generational management?

What are the differences between your generation and younger/older generations?

What are the similarities between your generation and younger/older generations?

What are the challenges that the different generations face in the workplace?

What are the benefits you see in working with different generations?

How can a leader bridge the generational differences?

30 year old service manager
"It's good to have different generations as a managers, as all their knowledge and experience can be combined."
Comparing Generation Y with Generation X:
Y have higher ambition and want to "show off" their skills while X are more relaxed and calmed down. Y tend to want everything NOW

Comparing Generation Y with Baby Boomers:
BB more customer oriented. Have more experience, better knowledge of personality-types
between generations: same kind of thinking, humour and mentality "co-workers are 'easy going'"
Interview 2
a good work team
to mentor each other
using each workers resources
60 year old service manager
between younger generations:
BB have more experience in the field
big change: manual->technical
need more time to adapt to changes, but not against changes
less good with technical things
less flexible
"over all those years, customers have stayed the same."
to get to know each other
less visible if managed well

Bridging the gap:
create good team spirit
to understand that everybody has sth. to give
not tolerating age discrimination
Baby Boomers take their work more seriously, and have a more respectful way of meeting customers. Salary is important

Generation Y has more energy, wants to develop the workplace, challenge norms, have more humour and seek to develop themselves in their workplace
different language and vocabulary, ways of expressing oneself
prefer different kinds of recreation
to combine work experience and life wisdom of Baby Boomers and X with new and fresh knowledge of the Y
older generations "don't slander"
Bridging the gap:
"get together" times, getting to know each other, mixing generations in work teams
training days for Baby Boomers to educate them in fresh knowledge and technical skills
Part 2: Project wo
managing older generations, trust building
being patient with progress
teaching technology to older generations
learning things from their work experience that cannot be found in textbooks
Bridging the gap:
activities outside work, multigenerational meetings via the association Les Clefs d'Or Finlande, sharing knowledge, finding good friends, matching work-wise, to benefit from each other
Whilst the concept of "Generational management" was not known as such, differences between generations (between different ages) were visible
Generational differences? Or Age differences?

Study was collected through a series of in-depth focus group discussions.

Baby boomers respect authority and hierachy, live to work, are willing to wait for their promotions and rewards and are very loyal
Generational x-ers rebel against authority, work to live, expect immediate recognition through title, praise, promotion and pay

Gursoy D.
Maier A. T.
Chi G. C.

It was conducted at Washington State University School of Hospitality and Business Year 2008
It was a qualitative study

Article 1: Generational differences : An examination of work values and generational gaps in the hospitality workforce
Zopiatis A.
Kapardis K. M.
Varnavas P. A.
Pavlou I.

Study was conducted in Limassol, Cyprus University of Technology.
Year 2011
It was a quantitative study

Article 2:Generational Differences in the Hospitality Industry: An issue of concern?

to further explore the occupational similarities and differences of 2 prevailing generations X &Y currently active in the workforce

to investigate the effects of the perceptual generational differences on managing the diverse hospitality workplace and recommendations for stakeholders

The investigation of three- phase empirical study, exploratory in nature, was designed.
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Research Methodology
Aim: to enhance the understanding towards generational similarities and differences in relation to work values and beliefs of the three generations.

Revealed that Baby boomers and Xs share similar views with regard to their generational cohorts and Generation Y has a much different perception for both and their own.

Phase 1
More resistant to change
Have the experience to work more efficient in the workplace
Respect authority more
More proud of working for a particular company
In the long run X-ers respect recognition more
Not resistant to change if they are convinced that changes will have positive effects
Expect more respect
Work harder
Have a higher sense of organizational loyalty. They will not sell the company for 50 euros more

Phase 1: Perception of Interviewers towards Generation X
Better use of time ( mainly due to experience)
Were raised with more values and a sound moral/ethics code
Are more willing to make that “extra mile ”needed
Task oriented
Have more expectations from the company
More mature – career oriented
Will first reflect on the consequences and then act
Individuals with more social obligation, thus less willing to risk career moves
More conscientious in working for this industry
Create a comfort zone between then and the organization
Disagreeing in different than disrespecting

Phase 1: Perception of Interviewers towards Generation Y
Embrace innovation and change easier
Prefer work-life balance schedules
Aware of the new trends of the market
Entering the industry considering its as something temporary – the stepping –stone towards something better
Easier to motivate – self motivated
Less focus on work- need of constant supervision
More spontaneous
Experimenting till they find the perfect workplace  

Value tangible benefits more
Technology -savvy
Will not think twice before leaving a job for better tangible benefits
Work more for themselves rather than the company
More energetic and more productive than older employees
Fill less obliged to the organization
Less loyal towards the organization
More flexible
See things more superficially
Phase 2
Investigated the perception of these generations of hospitality professions and the negative effects that arise from the perceptual differences .
3 questions were formulated to help with the investigation

1. How is the multi- generational symbiosis in the Cyprus hospitality industry perceived by prominent industry stakeholders?

2. If a generational “gap” exist, which are its primary causes and effects?

3. Which are the biggest challenges of managing a mutigenerational workforce in the hospitality industry of Cyprus?


Major disagreements were identified into two variables: motivation and resistance to change

Major changes in the life style of the people which result in life experiences
Cypriot society adopting more westernized standards
Changes in the family structure with today’s two working parents
Major advancements in technology
The unique socio-political status of the country and
The major changes is the country demographic and psychographic profiling

Clarifying the causes of the gap, causes cited included:

Major disagreements were identified into two variables: motivation and resistance to change
Interviews also stressed the importance of positive working environment
“A gap will exist, we cannot eliminate it and there is nothing you can do about it. It’s a universal phenomenon.”

Phase 2: Findings
Phase 3
was to investigate the impact of inter-generational differences on the provision of customer service. This phase was to be conducted at a later.

Aim of the study:
Centered on hospitality industry and interviews/studies conducted in English.
Participants in the studies were selected randomly to specific individuals within both hospitality industries.
Characteristics and perceptions attributed to these generations are similar
Views on authority, motivation, recognition, loyalty, work-life balance, change, technology, supervision and preferred work schedules were key areas of investigation .
Use of term “generational gap” to mean differences
G.gaps exist as long as there is comparison of generational cohorts.

In the 1st study the number of participants was limited to 15 people. That makes the sample size and the input to be small.

2nd article the research team acknowledged that the sample size was small (n=17) hence limiting the generalizability of the findings.
Emphasize the need to develop specific strategies that meet the perceived needs of each of the generations as regards to recruitment, selection and retention.

Further studies need to be conducted on large sample of hospitality employees to facilitate the generalization of study findings.

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