Multi-Generational Engagement

Companies and organizations, both large and small, public and private — have something in common — they face the challenge of leading and engaging multiple generations of workers — Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y (Millennials).  For the first time in American history these multiple generations are coexisting and often times colliding in the workplace bringing new challenges for both business leaders and HR professionals.

Generation Timeline
Veterans, Silent, Traditionalist
Baby
Boomers
Generation X,
Gen X, Xers
Generation Y,
Gen Y, Millennial,
Echo Boomers
1922-1945
1946-1964
1965-1980
1981-2000
*Source: Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees, FDU Magazine, 2005

 

The delicate intersection of these multiple generations impact organizations and businesses — from the shaping of culture, communications, values, innovation — to how work gets done on a daily basis.   No matter where you are along the generational divide, as a leader, your primary mandate is to not only focus on business viability, growth and revenue — but also to keep your employees engaged by connecting their contributions to the financial returns and allowing them greater involvement in the management of their own world of work.

  Workplace Characteristics
 
Veterans
Baby Boomers
Generation X
Generation Y
Work Ethic and Values
Hard Work
Respect Authority
Sacrifice
Duty Before Fun
Adhere To Rules
Workaholics
Work Efficiently
Crusading Causes
Personal Fulfillment
Desire Quality
Question Authority
Eliminate The Task
Self-Reliance
Want Structure and Direction
Skeptical
What’s Next
Multitasking
Tenacity
Entrepreneurial
Tolerant
Goal Oriented
Work Is…
An Obligation
An Exciting Adventure
A Difficult Challenge
A Contract
A Means To An End &
Fulfillment
Leadership Style
Directive
Command & Control
Consensual
Collegial
Everyone Is The Same
Challenge Others
Ask Why
TBD
Interactive Style
Individual
Team Player
Loves to Have Meetings
Entrepreneur
Participative
Communications
Formal
Memo
In-Person
Direct
Immediate
Email
Voicemail
Feedback and Rewards
No News Is Good News
Satisfaction In A Job Well Done
Don’t Appreciate It
Money
Title Recognition
Sorry To Interrupt, But How Am I Doing?
Freedom In The Best Reward
Whenever I Want It, At A Push Of A Button
Meaningful Work
Messages That Motivate
Your Experience Is Respected
You Are Valued
You Are Needed
Do It Your Way
Forget The Rules
You Will Work with Other Bright and Creative People
Work and Family Life
Ne’er The Twain Shall Meet
No Balance
Work To Live
Balance
Balance
*Source: Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees, FDU Magazine, 2005

 

It’s Not the WHAT, But the “HOW”

Imagine for a moment that you’re a Baby Boomer or Gen Xer who has been assigned to lead a large and complex transformation initiative as the last step before becoming a part of the executive leadership elite.

The core team you’ve been assigned to lead is comprised of multiple generations, with diverse life experiences, as well as confidence levels, and vary as much in their “can do attitude”, sense of curiosity, energy and communication methods and styles — as they do on their views about having a “passion for work” versus a “passion for a cause”.   And…your immediate leader is a Millennial.

You know WHAT has to be done, but what leadership capabilities will you have to effortlessly demonstrate daily on “HOW TO BE” to bring people along — even coaching your leader on what you require from them to be the champion and sponsor of the change?

 

Self-Reflection

1] HOW do you lead and engage such a diverse team of individuals who have different needs and expectations to motivate and inspire them to participate in the transformational journey?

2] HOW do you manage and even coach your millennial boss to be the desired leader needed to ensure the success of the initiative?

3] HOW will you model the desired behaviors you seek from others especially during the  challenging times that surely lie ahead in such a complex environment?

4] HOW will you find your inspiration and have your tank refilled to keep you focused on the big picture to protect your reputation and career?

For More Information about the Authors and the BLI Leadership Institute™ www.linkedin.com/in/rhondalfrithlyons/  and  www.linkedin.com/in/tomfehlman/

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