Tad Dickel recently presented at the AAF-CRC (American Advertising Federation Central Region Conference on the topic “Building Effective Teams Across Generations.”
Here are some highlights from the presentation:
There are currently five generations in the workplace:
Millennials are now the largest generation in the workplace:
In the book Sticking Points, Haydn Shaw (2013) identified twelve common challenges for different generations to navigate:
- “Communication: What is the best way to interact with my coworkers?
- Decision Making: How do we decide what to do?
- Dress Code: How casually can I dress?
- Feedback: How often and in what ways do I want input?
- Fun at Work: How much fun at work is allowed?
- Knowledge Transfer: How do we pass on critical knowledge to new employees?
- Loyalty: When is it okay to move on?
- Meetings: What should happen in our meetings?
- Policies: Are policies rules or guidelines?
- Respect: How do I get others to respect me?
- Training: How do I learn best?
- Work Ethic: How many hours are required, and when must I work them?” (p. 30)
Shaw (2013) also developed a five step strategy for working through these “sticking points”:
- “Acknowledge: Talk about generational differences.
- Appreciate: Focus on the “why,” not the “what,” and the common needs.
- Flex: Agree on how to accommodate different approaches.
- Leverage: Maximize the strengths of each generation.
- Resolve: Determine which option will yield the best results (when flexing isn’t enough.” (p. 31)
When we talk about generational differences, this is often done in a negative manner. We need to:
- Show respect
- Appreciate differences
- Be careful about stereotypes
- We are more similar than different
We provide training on building effective teams across generations and also help facilitate these important conversations related to these differences.