New Leadership Challenges In The
We are almost at the point where will have four distinct generations
in the workforce at one time
Jason is an
entry level manager/leader and he was interviewing several
candidates for front line position in the bank. As he reviewed the
next e-application, Jason was shocked at what he saw. This applicant
had attached a letter of recommendation. Normally this would not
necessarily seem rare or unusual but in this case it was. You see
the letter of recommendation was from the applicants parents. That’s
right, the parents.
known as Generation X this is going to drive you crazy - and it is
happening more than you might think. Carol recently had to
discipline an employee for poor performance. She did everything by
the book, in a private and in a neutral location. The employee
seemed to take it in stride. The next morning Carol received a call
from the employee’s father requesting a conference. What is
happening? Have we raised a generation of cry babies? Maybe!
part is that this is just the beginning. We are almost at the point
where will have four distinct generations in the workforce at one
Baby Boomers: Born between 1946-1963
Generation X: Born between 1964-1980
Generation Y: Born between 1980-1990
Generation M: Born between 1991 to present
Y is the first generation to have grown up with computers throughout
all of their school life. Many do not even have land line phones -
they only have a cell phone. They prefer to communicate
electronically, either email or text messaging.
M (Millennium or mobile) is the first generation to have everything
in their life basically mobile. This generation prefers to
communicate via text messages. I asked a 14 year old young girl one
day about how much she emails and her response was, “Emailing is so
to your childhood. At the age of 13 how far did you ride your bike
from home? Most baby boomers came home from school and took off on
their bike and came home for dinner. In between they could have been
3-5 miles from home and no one worried about them. Today parents
will not allow their children off the street until they hit 13. Are
they overprotective? In many cases the answer is no - it is just a
part of society today. Yet it brings up what those late Generation Y
employees and the new Generation M employees think.
X was considered the first latch key generation. They came home from
school and did homework, even completed chores and maybe even
started dinner. They truly were self sufficient. This makes it
difficult for them to understand the behavior of the new generation.
This generation has expectations different from any generation in
the past. They expect to be shown how to do everything where
Generation X just figured it out. Do you see the challenge here?
this even more bizarre is that the Baby Boomers will sometimes side
with and want to help the young ones out. Why? Simple, they see
their children here. This makes for a tight squeeze on Generation X.
What can we
all do? It all comes back down to the leader setting expectations or
setting the ground rules for the team right up front. Employees of
all ages typically want to do a good job and will usually play by
the rules as long as they know them. Unfortunately many
organizations fail to set ground rules.
What is the
difference between ground rules and regular rules?
rules can be different for each and every team where regular rules
are the rules set by the organization. Ground rules need to be
congruent with regular rules yet can differ from team to team within
an organization. Ground rules are your expectations of the employees
as it relates to every aspect of his/her job.
they are a-changing, and we can either change with them or get left
behind. If you are a Baby Boomer let me ask you - other than to your
kids, how many text messages did you send last month? Now ask
someone in Generation Y how many he/she sent.
Are you ready?
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