Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Managing Across Generations

Many months ago, I wrote a post regarding inter-generational management. I had actually hoped to do a number of posts on inter-generational management issues, and it slipped away.The issue has returned to my radar screen in recent months. What issues are facing your organization in terms of managing across generations?

Today's workforce is comprised of several distinct generations, each with their own work, leadership and communication style. The three main groups are the Baby Boomers (many set to retire in the next five to ten years, leading to what many researchers dub a massive looming talent shortage), the Gen Xers (my generation) and Gen Y.

The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) has completed a 7 year study on generational conflicts at work and have found the following truths about them. Jennifer Deal has an excellent article on the Ten Truths for Working Across Generations. You can read her article at the link, but she raises some excellent points:

  • All generations have similar values. The CCL study found that the generations were very siilar in their values priorities, including family, balance, achievement and others. What differs is the behavior.

  • Trust is essential for all generations. Trust in uppper management and the people they work directly for.

  • Loyalty depends on the context, not the generation. As a GenXer myself, I really like this one. The study found that younger generations were not more likely to change jobs than the older generations at this age.

  • People of all generations have the same ideas about what oragnizations can do to retain them, including: opportunities for advancement, learning and development, respect and recognition, better quality of life, better compensation.

  • Everyone wants a coach -- the younger and older generations. Where are you investing your support for coaching in the organization. Is it only at the C-Level? What about younger, emerging leaders? As I do quite a bit of work in this area, through group, team and individual coaching, I would be very interesting in speaking with you about how coaching initiatives could sustainably be implemented to lower levels and with younger generations.

I hope that you will check out Jennifer's article here, and review the CCL study --- very interesting findings. Does it turn any of your "truths" about inter-generational management on its head? For me, it once again underscores the reality that people are people, are people. Regardless of culture and age, we all want the same thing, just its' appearance may look at little different.

I'd welcome your thoughts, and hearing from you, particularly on coaching intiatives for the younger generations.

With best wishes,


Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT

Potentials Realized ~ Group Coaching Essentials

Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

No comments: