Leading the generations in today’s workforce

February 25, 2010 by
In an article in the Quality Journal "How to Lead When the Generation Gap Becomes Your Everyday Reality", the author, Issy Gesell, identifies the four generations in today’s workplace as:
 
"The Silent Generation: The oldest generational group, born between 1925 and 1945, is the Silent Generation. Also called Traditionalists, Seniors, and Veterans, this group values hard work, conformity, dedication, sacrifice, and patience. Members of this generation are comfortable with delayed recognition and reward.

The Baby Boomers: The largest group in the work force is the Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, Boomers are characteristically optimistic and team oriented. They place a high value on their work ethic while also seeking personal gratification and growth.

 
Generation X: The smallest group in size is Generation X, which also is known as the Sandwich Generation because of its position between the two largest groups. These folks were born between 1965 and 1980 and were the first "latchkey" kids. They are self-reliant, global thinkers who value balance, fun, and informality.
 
The Millennial Generation: Millennial were born between 1981 and 2000, and ultimately will become the largest group. Even though less than half of them are presently in the work force, they already are having a significant impact on organizational leadership. Members of this generation exhibit confidence, optimism, civic duty, sociability, street smarts, inclusivity, collaboration, and open-mindedness. They tend to be goal oriented.
Most of today's organisational leaders represent the Silent Generation or Baby Boomers. Over the past 40 years, these two generations have learned to work together. You can begin to raise awareness about the differences among the generations and their implications to your organization by facilitating a dialogue between and among the generations. Current leaders would be wise to assess their leadership style, knowledge of the different generations, and personal attitudes toward the different members of their work force."
Izzy suggests the following questions can serve as a basis for evaluating personal perspectives and approaches:

– What differentiates each generation?
– Which generations are you responsible for leading?
– How do generational differences impact your perceptions and leadership style?
– How do those differences manifest themselves in the organization?
– How can you lead intra-generational and intergenerational groups?
– What can you do as a leader to foster mixedgenerational dialogue and problem solving?
– Which generation has the strongest impact on your organization?
– Is your organization more like General Motors or Google?
– How do the major aspects of your organization's culture ("generation-bias") align more with one generation than the others?
– How does that generation-bias impact inclusion, recruitment, retention, and development of employees?

 
How will you manage?

We also found this clip on YouTube:

"How will you manage in an era of transformative changes in workplace demographics, technology, regulations, and expectations? Kronos and XPLANE present fascinating statistics."

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY3AgpmQ6ZU
 
Kevin McKenna
BPIR
949 Total Views 1 Views Today
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