Friday, January 11, 2008

Transitioning the Workplace from Baby Boomers to Generation Y

Although I don't like stereotyping, I do believe that in general different generations view work in a different ways.

A good job: Baby boomers like to "complain" how they took work home all weekend, worked thru the holidays and put in extra hours. In their mind it shows how committed they are, how important their job function, how crucial they are to the overall workings of the organization. "Oh it's really busy at work, I'm really busy, but wouldn't want it any other way."

On the other hand, when the Generation Y group (Milleniums?!) talk about work, it's more about what work enables them to do on their time off. It's not live to work... it's work to live.

I read an interesting article about how to manage Gen Y at work... because baby boomers sometimes don't understand the motivations and what's viewed as a reward to one generation will be seen as a punishment by another. I think the more individuals within the same organization but in 2 different generation groups understand where each other are coming from, it will be a smoother transition into a stronger, happier workplace.

Here's some insights the article offers -- do you agree?

Communication style: Gen Y employees speak a different language, so hiring and department managers need to practice a new style of communicating. Gen Y employees respond to humor, passion and the truth: don't even think of "spinning" a message with this audience. As Gen Y employees increasingly dominate the workforce, people who work with them should also realize how important direct and timely feedback, frequent encouragement and recognition of efforts are to 18-30 year olds. While this may feel like pampering to some, the outcome is a set of employees who are engaged and motivated to show their best work.

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