|Socialization||Workers are separate from the boss||Don’t respect position alone||Don’t trust corporations, can be skeptical||Embrace diversity, multiculturalism|
|Expectations||Loyalty for hard work||Work centric. Want flexible route into retirement||Care less about advancement than about work/life balance||Looking for meaningful work and innovation|
|Technology Know-How||Adapted, personal and written communication preferred||Acquired, written & email||Assimilated, email||Integral, email,|
IM and texting
|Contributions||Experience, organization, discipline||Goal oriented, independent||Objective and will tell you what they think||Well educated, sociable, optimistic|
|Motivators||Recognition and respect for their experience||Being valued, needed||Flexibility in scheduling||Flexible schedule, working with bright people|
|Communication Style||Quiet, respectful of authority||Respectful, open, direct style||Direct and immediate||Wants lots of praise and feedback|
|Leadership Style||Hierarchy, Command-and-control||Consensual, collegial||Competence, Everyone is the same, Fairness||Achievers, Future leaders TBD|
|Top developmental areas||Skills training|
Problem solving, decision making
|Work is…||An obligation||An adventure||A challenge,|
|A means to|
A Common Purpose
Often the terms and jargon ‘native’ to one generation are not shared by others. Out of necessity, organizations must identify and support the implementation and integration of common approaches to change management and issue resolution to build a commonality of purpose across the organization.
For example, in the case of change management a common set of accepted standards exists in the practice of project management. Yet many organizations lack standards for setting priorities, using information, and taking meaningful action. The better performing organizations recognize that a commonly shared approach to issue resolution is needed to cross generational divides. After all, resolution of issues is not governed by who people are, but by what data they face.
A Cross-Generational Language
The integration of a common approach to issue resolution that spans generations can ensure continuity of performance towards common goals.
In response to these cross-generational challenges, Kepner-Tregoe provides time-tested rational and data-driven thinking processes that are the basis for effective leadership. They significantly increase the ability of people to think clearly in resolving complex organizational issues when under pressure. They include four distinct processes:
• Situation Appraisal: To identify and manage concerns so that the important issues are clearly understood, prioritized and addressed appropriately.
• Problem Analysis: To resolve critical problems with structured logic that effectively uses data, expertise, and knowledge to identify and eliminate root cause.
• Decision Analysis: To make key decisions using weighted objectives in a way that builds commitment to the outcome, despite competing expectations.
• Potential Problem I Opportunity Analysis: To protect plans by minimizing risks, planning contingent actions, and seeking potential opportunities.
A common language for issue resolution bridges the gaps between generations and builds the infrastructure to support the transition from one generation to the next. As the Baby Boomers retire over the next 15 to 20 years, the greatest shift in workplace demographics ever seen will take place. Industries, such as energy and aerospace, estimate that as much as 50% or more of their respective workforces will retire over the next 20 years. As a result, potential labor gaps and a widespread loss of institutional knowledge will be critical issues that will need to be addressed.
By working in concert and not at counter-purposes through a shared, consistently applied and repeatable ‘language,’ the total workforce is prepared to perform in the face of new challenges and achieve organizational objectives.
FDU Magazine, Winter/Spring 2005: The Generational Gap at Work – http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/05ws/generations.htm
University of Minnesota, Generational Differences in the Workplace, August 16, 2008 – http://rtc.umn.edu/docs/2_18_Gen_diff_workplace.pdf
WMFC.org Generational Differences Chart – http://www.wmfc.org/GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf
Report for US Department of Energy, Workforce Trends in the Electric Utility Industry, August, 2006 – http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/oeprod/DocumentsandMedia/Workforce_Trends_Report_090706_FINAL.pdf
A Special Report: Launching the 21st Century American Aerospace Workforce, December, 2008 – http://www.aia-aerospace.org/assets/report_workforce_1208.pdf
Kepner-Tregoe provides consulting and training services to organizations throughout the world. Since 1958, Kepner-Tregoe has studied how effective business leaders manage difficult business challenges. Kepner-Tregoe processes are also used in school districts and classrooms. Through the efforts of the Tregoe Education Forum, a non-profit organization, educators and students in the U.S. and Canada are using these processes to resolve critical issues, enhance active learning, and use information effectively.