Workshop: Managing the Generation Mix

I recently attended a workshop on Managing the Generation Mix. We had a phenomenal Speaker and it was great to be with people from all different generations. The people from the diverse age groups brought in their perspectives on the current reality of the generational challenges experienced by them at their place of work. The following includes some of the important lessons learned from the above.

To begin with, the following table gives us a picture of the important generational differences. Please note that some authors do not distinguish between Generation Y and Millennials, and hence Gen Y is the same as the Millennials.

Image: Link given below

The Speaker at the workshop made us ponder on some of the TV shows, commercials, and/or news events that we remembered as kids and how they affect who we are today. The various responses from the audience actually made me think of how the past events/TV shows/news etc. have actually shaped and impacted our thinking and the persons we are today.

Next, she moved on to distinguish clearly between the terms ‘stereotypes’ and ‘generalizations’, and said how we can only generalize about a particular generation but not stereotype the individuals in each of the respective generations.

We were then introduced to the areas of generational differences at the workplace, which were as follows:

· Communication/Feedback

· Work Style

· Work/Life Balance

· Etiquette/Grooming

· Motivation & Rewards

· Respect & Loyalty

· Leadership

· Technology

Another interesting point made was how the generational mix actually impacts our workplaces on issues such as motivation, retention and conflict. The Speaker then mentioned that thus organizations should ask themselves if they feel the need to update their processes depending on their generational mix.

Finally, we saw the Do’s & Don’ts for each of the generations (information given to us by our Speaker), stated as follows:

Baby Boomers:

· Do’s: Honor the commitments made, build consensus and to direct by example

· Don’ts: Avoid being indifferent or untrustworthy

Gen X

· Do’s: Give them flexi time, be friendly and to challenge them in new ways.

· Don’ts: Be bureaucratic or micro manage

Gen Y/ Millenials:

· Do’s: Get to know them personally and show them recognition for their achievements

· Don’ts: To ignore their ideas because of their age and do not forget to say thank you

And finally, we were told about the Titanium Rule:

“Treat others how THEY want to be treated, NOT how YOU want to be treated.”

Links/Downloads:

Here’s a link to a Presentation that I found online on The Multigenerational Mix: saweb.memphis.edu/mimsac/downloads/Mulitgenerational%20Workplace.ppt, August 28th 2008

Here’s the second link to a video (series) on YouTube by Karen McCullough on Generation Mix. She highlights the characteristics of the different generations as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-LA9JPIsLo, August 28th 2008

The image above has been taken from the following online article: http://newlearningplaybook.com/blog/page/2/, August 28th 2008