Tim J. Dean is founder of Coaching Dean, a global certified coach, recognized trainer and sought after keynote speaker with a passion for empowering others to realize their full potential. A published author and motivational speaker, Tim also possesses an in-depth knowledge of the five working generations and currently teaches “Leveraging Generational Diversity” as an adjunct professor for the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University. With extensive business experience across several industries, Tim brings a unique balance and powerful mix of strategy, empathy and real-world insights to every speaking engagement. Tim’s published work, Coaching Millennials, is available on Amazon in Coaching Perspectives V.
When it comes to making a career change, if you’re already thinking about the process you’ve already made the mental shift. But this transition doesn’t need to be feast or famine and it can be as slow and controlled as you’re comfortable with.
When the fear of not making a change has finally surpassed making the change, you’re ready. The process though will never be about discovering something new it will always be rediscovering something that’s been missing in your life.
Within six months there will be five generations in the workplace. These generations and their characteristics are based on the social, political, economic and technological events that occurred when the individuals were between the ages of eight and twenty.
Negative stereotypes are what often prevent effecting interactions between the generations and cause conflict so its import to remove the stereotypes from the beginning.
Some unique strengths across the generations:
- Traditionalists – practical, loyal, incredible work ethic, a feeling of civic duty
- Baby Boomers – workaholics, educated, great mentors, value formal training, competitive
- Gen X –staunchly independent, value work/life balance and the results of their work
- Millennials – incredibly collaborative, crave input, multi-taskers, connected, first global generation
- Gen Z – pragmatic & realistic
In general you can always find stereotypes represented in every generation but but the goal is to focus on the individual not the stereotype or the generation as a whole.
3/4th of every communication we experienced as a child was negative.
One strategy to use is reverse mentoring. Find another generation and form a reverse mentoring relationship. Because of technology, for the first time ever, the older generation is going to younger generations to learn things.
Thus far, there is no proof that any generation has not been able to do what they needed to get done. Regardless of showing up on the cover of Time magazine, no generation has “failed.”
Some of the core values that make up each generation are:
- Traditionalists – Their word is their bond, they’re committed, respect authority
- Boomers – Live to work, optimists, value personal growth, authenticity, compensation
- GenX – Self-reliant, techno-literate, resourceful, savvy, flexible
- Millenials – Interest in work-life integration rather than work-life balance
- GenZ – Open to many options; not just those used by previous generations
The mutual years of loyalty to a single company are never company back but millennials may be willing to stay longer if they’re treated like family
The reality is there are not enough GenXers to fill all the open position so employers will need to attract, develop, coach & retain younger generations.
Because millennials have grown up with so much social media it has created some hesitation to become 100% individualistic. As a result, 70% of millennials will make a decision when they know their friends will agree and validate that decision.
For younger managers managing older employees:
- Get the stereotypes out of the way and then focus on the goals
- Figure out what that individual values for their contribution
- Recognize that communication is key and that each generation communicates and learns in a different way
For older managers managing younger employees:
- Throw out the labels and the stereotypes
- Focus on why you brought that person on in the first place
- It’s your role to coach rather than manage
- Stay in regular contact and give frequent feedback
- Treat them more like family; stay in touch, gather their input
- Give rewards based on accomplishments
While it’s not mandatory to have a multigenerational workforce there’s no disadvantage. Possibly having a multiple generational advisory committee would prove valuable.
When it comes to work-life balance, you need to ask yourself how comfortable are you with working the number of hours you’re working. This is based on your priorities at the time. Though it’s a different problem when an individual finds themselves in a situation that is very different than they expected.
If you think work life balance is becoming a problem begin ask yourself all the things you want in your life; both inside and outside of work. Once it’s all down on paper you have a great starting point to begin prioritizing and making those things happen.
Make a plan to achieve one or all of those things over the course of seven days without judgment or self-evaluation. Look back over the week and determine your successes and as well as what you could have done better.