Tag Archives: generational differences

  • 0
generational shift

What Causes a Generational Shift?

Tags : 

Generational differences continue to be a hot topic. It seems that nearly anything that is changing or perceived as non-mainstream thinking casts blame on the millennial generation. However, millennials are not our youngest workforce generation. What causes a generational shift?

In a general sense, the definition of each workforce generation is a soft concept. By soft, I’m indicating that it is not an exact science and popular opinions led by experts in the field shape most of the published work which defines the generations.

Generational Framework

In my opinion, and consistent with many opinions discovered through my research on the subject this is our current (2017) framework (Chart):

Traditionals: Born 1930 – 1945

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964

Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976

Millennials (Gen Y): Born 1977 – 1994

Generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen): Born after 1994

What shapes this framework or what causes one generation to end and another to begin?

generational framework

Factors Shape Generations

Three significant factors are likely responsible for an emerging new generation.

Socio-Economic Conditions: This represents a significant shift in values, culture, and issues that impact economic conditions. One example is the Great Depression (Circa 1929-1933).

Major Technology Shifts: Represented as anytime technology drives a significant shift in activities, behaviors, or the economy. Examples could include the space race (Circa mid-1960’s), and the emergence of personal computing devices (Circa late-1970’s, early 1980’s).

Times of War: Unfortunately, a time of war also seems to impact or contribute to shifting the generational framework. Examples could include World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.

generational differences

Generational Shift

Popular wisdom suggests that there may be a blending of these conditions, and if only one condition seems to exist it is unlikely that a generational shift will occur. When two or more of the conditions (factors) exist it is very likely the framework will shift.

For example, the shaping of the next generation, the one beyond Gen Z has likely started around 2007. This is true because of the period becoming known as the Great Recession (2007-2010) and the emergence of shifting technology with the introduction of the iPhone, which is often regarded as the first smartphone.

It is also worth noting that I while I consistently cite Gen Z as having a start year of around 1994; I believe it is closer to 1990. Consider the Gulf War, economic factors, and technology shifts such as those associated with NASA and the emergence of cellular telephone hardware and services.

There are opinions that generational differences are not real, that it is only representative of changing needs based upon age. However, there is strong argument from social philosophers and experts who research this subject.

Differences exists because of age as well as what we label as the generations. Generational differences are not so much about age, but they are about the values and beliefs of people who are grouped together and categorized by their birth year.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
next big thing

Waiting For The Next Big Thing?

Tags : 

When you are living in the present, it is hard to imagine the next big thing. Some people might think about holding on to the lifestyle, traditions, and comfort of the past. Others are invested in the present, a good thing, but do you ever find yourself thinking about what is next? Are you waiting for it?

Historic Perspective

In the mid to late 1800’s they probably didn’t imagine the impact of what we know as the automobile, the superhighways, and how it all impacts the economy. Not so long ago we probably couldn’t have imagined the impact of the personal computer and even more recently the Smart Phone.

It might have been hard to imagine the concept of a 1980’s era shopping mall in 1920. Yet today after enormous popularity, their future might be changing. At least, the future as we once thought it would be.

Workforce Generations

Today, I often talk with people about the workforce generations. I present about generational differences at conferences, and even help businesses and organizations develop a deeper understanding of how to have this work for you instead of against you.

As people we are often holding on to what works, what is comfortable, and what feels smart. We focus on efficiency, doing the right things, and at the deepest level, survival.

In this regard we’re not so much different from a century or two ago, yet much has changed.

Next Big Thing

Futurists want to predict, discover, and connect with the next big thing. The biggest problem is knowing what the next big thing will be.

It might be hard to believe that not so long ago there was a common belief that the internet might be a fad, that social media was only for geeks, and that shopping on-line was cumbersome, a waste of time, and shipping charges made it too expensive.

There will always be some next big thing. Until that time it might be best to focus what is working today, all the while understanding that it has changed from yesterday and that it might be different tomorrow.

One thing that history shows us is that there was not really much success in waiting.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
training recent generations

Onboarding and Training Recent Generations

Tags : 

The workforce has quite a few frustrated supervisors. Often they are frustrated by onboarding and training recent generations. Do we sometimes have to give to get?

The frustration with those representing the youngest in our workforce is not uncommon. It’s why there is so much chatter about the generations. We hear many comments about the millennial and generation Z population and their presence in the workforce. Often they are comments connected with frustration.

Can we all get along? Is there a happy medium, a space where our values and believes can happily work side by side?

Training Recent Generations

Here are a few things to consider if you are frustrated by the most recent generations in your workforce:

  • Expect change. Everything changes and being too forceful about keeping your organizational culture exactly the same might leave you with an average employee age that continues to climb. Worse, it might not mean a future for the organization.
  • Culture is not process. You may have a way that you assemble the widget or pack it into the box. Certainly, that is always a consideration for efficiency. However, your cultural values, not the process might be the real problem. Understand what should be different.
  • Values and beliefs are drivers. The youngest generations might not want a big house payment or a high priced car. Their view of success might be maximizing their free time, traveling, and living small. That doesn’t make them wrong. It might mean you need to understand their personal purpose.

Hiring the right people from any generation can be challenging. Hiring people who don’t fit your culture might not end well. Expecting that you will hire and then change their values and beliefs is probably unrealistic.

The organizations that figure out how to shift will get the best results.

It means you’ll have to give in order to get.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
blame millennials appreciative strategies

When All Else Fails, Blame Millennials

Tags : 

The trend might be, blame millennials. It seems that every workplace problem or business decline somehow is connected with millennial behavior. Is it true?

Who They Are

One of the most important factors to consider is that not every person 35 or younger is a millennial. In fact, the oldest millennials are about to turn 40. The youngest adult population really represents generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen, Gen Z).

Therefore, it seems that the youngest millennials and Gen Z might really be the target. Should they be? Alternatively, you might ask, do the generations that come before them lack foresight and adaptability?

Generational groupings are determined by major shifts. Technology and socio-economic conditions are definitely part of the drivers for these shifts.

Millennial and Gen Z buying habits might be different but are their mindsets? Expanding the question we should probably ask, “Different from what?”

An important factor for assessing generational differences is to consider that there are differences in age but there are also differences in values and beliefs. It is not so much age that creates the generational divide. It is a difference in values and beliefs.

What does this mean when it comes to our workforce?

Blame Millennials

Organizations often find themselves scrambling to find ways to attract and retain the younger segment of our workforce population. They offer incentives, suggest they are the best place to work, relax some policies and procedures, change work hours, and even throw out longstanding dress codes.

If none of those seem to work, they blame millennials, or sometimes the parents of millennials. Often resolving our challenges is not about who is to blame, it is more about how to make it better. You might consider how you will clean things up, change, adapt, and be interestingly different.

There is a philosophy about building relationships and making new connections. It might apply to discovering more about how to work across multiple generations. It goes something like this, “You have to be interested before you are interesting.”

Work With You

Generational differences can be challenging to navigate. They are real. Yes, there are connections to participation trophies, cell phones, and the sense of entitlement. Values and beliefs might be different but not necessarily unrealistic.

From my experiences, the majority of our youngest representations in the workforce don’t believe that they don’t have to work.

They are often just trying to decide if they should work with you.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • 2
boost your career

Boost Your Career With Customer Service Skills

Tags : 

There is considerable chatter about differences across the workforce generations. Many consider respect as problematic. Some connect respect with customer service. Regardless of your generation, one way to boost your career is with customer service mastery.

Many people believe that they know the art of exceptional customer service. No doubt, customer service skills are not hard to know or understand. The real challenge with customer service is more about culture, habits, and traditions.

Boost Your Career

Do you want to boost your career? Do you really, really want to boost your career? One of the best social skills you can master is being a leader with delivering exceptional customer service.

It is simple and here are three steps to consider:

  1. Ask yourself, “How can I give more to this situation?” You need to be thinking things like ease of use, value, or even general kindness. Having good manners, being respectful, and demonstrating that you care will go a long way.
  2. Focus on needs. You have to discover the needs of the person or organization. You do this by asking questions and being an exceptional listener. Then your goal is to make your delivery exceptional and memorable. So much so, they will want more.
  3. Replicate. Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. Remember the concept of customer service is easy. Having exceptional habits of customer service is typically more difficult. Learn and understand the basics. Practice them every time. Make them become habits.

If customer service is so simple, why is there so much turmoil around its delivery? The answer is also simple. Customer service requires thought, action, and a set of behaviors to develop as habits. Many people forget their role or are not engaged enough to care.

Customer Service Mastery

If you want to boost your career, master the concepts and deliver exceptional customer service. Not just on the job, but everywhere.

It is for all generations.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
engage all generations

2 Concepts That Engage All Generations

Tags : 

There is a lot of chatter about workforce engagement. Adding to that, there is the chatter about generations, bad managers, and hiring the right people. What core concepts engage all generations?

Most organizations will spend a great deal of money on productivity tools. They make investments in technology, floor plans, and even furniture and fixtures. All hoping that there will be a good ROI (Return on Investment).

Do these make a difference? Sure, but what if the results are still coming up a little short? Unfortunately, if there is blame being passed around it normally circles back to hiring practices. Hiring the right people is important but is there more to it than that?

Smart organizations are also making investments in developing the right culture.

Engage All Generations

The best organizations focus on commonalities, not differences. There are so many elements connected with organizational culture it is hard to narrow it down to a few simple things, but from my experiences there are two that are critically important.

  1. Purpose. Organizations must focus on understanding their sense of purpose. Often when I ask people about purpose they will make a connection with money or financial responsibility. Fundamentally most formal organizations won’t survive without money but that is not the driving point here. The point is connecting every employee with how their job supports the mission of the organization.
  2. Respect. Ask ten people about respect and probably at least seven or eight will tell you that respect is earned. Respect is a commonality that all generations share. The most important thing to keep in mind is that respect is defined differently by everyone. Conscious efforts to create a respectful workplace will go a long way with employee engagement.

Most organizations connect their success with products, services, and financial responsibility. All of those are important.

Most organizations also connect the concept of technology and tools with productivity, which is also very important.

Don’t forget about culture.

All About Culture

When an organization wants to engage all generations, they need to look closely at their culture.

Keep in mind, your organizational culture is not what you say it is. It is what your workforce feels that it is.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
earning respect appreciative strategies

Earning Respect, Do you Push or Pull?

Tags : 

Ask people how respect is achieved and many will suggest that it is earned. One thing to remember about respect is that much like success, the definition of it varies. What about you, are you earning respect?

As a business consultant I stumble upon some very interesting things from time-to-time.

About eight years ago I was on assignment working with a mid-sized manufacturing firm helping approximately thirty mid-level managers improve their leadership skills. The training project consisted of five different sessions spread across several months.

Before the work began I was cautioned about a baby boomer manager who was a great employee but known to be too tough. The turnover ratio in his area of oversight was much higher when compared with other managers. My warning was that he might get “tough” during the course of the seminars.

I like a challenge and was ready to embrace it. He was easy to pick out. He sat near the front of the group, but close to the aisle. His arms folded across his chest and a scowl look on his face. He appeared engaged but didn’t really participate or ask questions, at least not at first.

Earning Respect

During our second session I was presenting some material on workplace motivation and respect. At one point I said, “In today’s workplace you can’t just ask people to drop and give you twenty.” This of course meant to do twenty push-ups.

Then he spoke, “Exactly how are we supposed to motivate these people then. Tell us, how do we do it?” I was surprised but delighted he spoke up.

My first reaction was to say, “You need to approach them differently. You need to think about motivation differently.”

His response, gruff and perhaps slightly sarcastic, “Well, that sounds good, but how do we do that?”

I thought for a moment, and then said, “What if they get all of their work accomplished according to their goal, then you drop and give them twenty?” Many of his colleagues broke out in laughter and added comments like, “Yeah, how about that! You give them twenty!”

Push or Pull

Here is the greatest part of the story. Not only did we discover new respect for each other, he also understood that respect often is not able to be pushed. Respect is defined differently by each individual and it is largely earned not given. If you want to create mutual respect you are best to do it through pull.

Are you earning respect?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -

Millennials and Gen Z Believe in Making a Difference

Tags : 

If you work in a multigenerational workplace you’ve probably stumbled upon some different perspectives on life. Do millennials and gen Z (Gen 9/11, iGen) believe in making a difference?

Gen Z Believe Appreciative Strategies

Nearly everyone has heard the idea (value) of treating others the way you would like to be treated. It is a decent value to carry. It shows that you care. You typically want the best for yourself and when you deliver that to others it would certainly seem to make the world a better place.

One stumbling block for many organizational cultures today is integrating the knowledge, experience, and talent across all generations. Things often seem to lean towards one end of the generational framework or the other.

When a business or organization really wants to have a supportive culture across all generations they might need to think differently.

Multigenerational Harmony

Trust me when I say, “What I’m about to say rubs some people the wrong way.”

Businesses that have been around for a while insist that those coming on-board must adapt to their culture. After all, their culture is the preferred culture and it is how the business was built. That might be okay, if you don’t plan to hire across all generations.

If you want, or more importantly need (which most businesses do) to start onboarding those representing the two most recent generations you might have to think differently.

You might have to change your philosophy from treating others the way you would like to be treated, to treating others the way they would like to be treated.

Millennials and Gen Z Believe

In the workplace many traditionals, baby boomers, and generation X, are focused on building their professional portfolio and establishing professional recognition.

In contrast, recent studies indicate that 84 percent of the millennials believe that, “making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.”

As with all of the research related to generational differences, it is not everyone, in every sector, or every business.

Considering asking someone if they believe in making a difference. Most will say, “Yes.”

Then you’ll just need to understand what that really means.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -

Millennial Feedback, Do They Need Something Different?

Tags : 

Most employers today recognize the need and value of feedback systems. Should millennial feedback have additional considerations?

millennial feedback

When you ask employers about feedback most will tell you that they give an annual performance review. Other smaller but growing operations might suggest that although they haven’t developed an official process, they are working towards it.

Is something different needed for the millennial (gen Y) generation?

Feedback

When we start to consider the five generations that are active in our workplace today we also might want to consider some stereotypes. In many workplaces supervisory positions are often filled with earlier generation employees. They have more years of experience and often work their way into these positions.

One stereotype is that supervisors (managers, directors, et al) representing the traditional or baby boomer generations don’t give a lot of feedback. They are often described as communicating a message of, “no news is good news.”

The position they might take can also be described as, “When there is a problem I’ll let you know.”

Millennial Feedback

What might be most important for millennials? Formal feedback systems that would include the annual or semi-annual evaluation are still good, but perhaps everyone, including millennials would benefit from something more.

Some suggest that, “80 percent of Gen-Y say they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews…” While I’m not completely sure of the research methods behind that statistical expression, my informal discussions with millennials strongly reflect this trend.

Giving and receiving feedback more frequently might help every employee. Not only does it make their work more relevant it also helps solidify engagement.

Additionally, many people feel anxiety about the formal review process. When feedback is communicated more frequently, it leaves less room for surprises and helps minimize anxiety. After all, when our anxiety levels go up, our listening skills go down.

Are you or your employee teams providing the right frequency of feedback? Have they been properly trained on the best communication methods?

Does your organization need something different?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • 3

Generational Purpose: When Differences Lead to a Commonality

Tags : 

Purpose is critical for organizational success. Is there such a thing as, generational purpose?

Generational purpose

Likely one of the most important yet often unrecognized concepts about generational differences is that each generation may have their own belief (but different) about a similar subject matter.

For example, all generations have a belief about entitlement, respect, and yes, beliefs that drive purpose.

Purpose and Motivation

When you ask ten people what brings them to work each day you’ll probably get at least two or three different answers. Many might suggest some connection with money or providing for their life or family.

The drive for money can certainly be a motivator, but so can fear, or inspiration. What motivates us is usually connected to a purpose, and perhaps sometimes more than one purpose.

At least several stereotypes exist about the workforce generations and motivation. Many believe that some generations are less motivated than others.

Depending on who you speak with it might begin with generation X, but many today are more likely to cite the millennial generation or generation Z as those lacking motivation.

Motivation for your job or work might have a lot to do with money, but it probably isn’t really responsible for the work you do day-in and day-out. Having purpose for your work might matter more than what most people realize.

Some of the most interesting businesses are built around purpose. Have you ever thought about this?

Why does Google, SpaceX, or Macy’s exist? What about Amazon, eBay, or Facebook? How about your local grocery store, the automobile dealership, or the hardware store? What is their purpose?

We might be able to cite numerous differences about purpose related to each of these businesses. How is this related to generational purpose?

Generational Purpose

Many businesses seek answers to managing a multigenerational workforce. They report problems in working with or communicating across five generations. They often cite things such as laziness, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of respect as limiting factors for success.

All of those things might be important and there are many different views about each one. The most successful businesses are finding ways to bring to life the purpose for the work that is done, and as humans we all respond to doing things for a purpose. Purpose is our connection and motivator.

Why do we need Google, SpaceX, or Macy’s? Some might argue that we don’t. Others might believe we can’t live without them. What brings them to life and causes them to exist?

It is about purpose, the best organizations have one or serve one, sometimes both.

Regardless of your generational orientation, one thing we all have in common is that we are all motivated by a purpose.

It’s something we all have in common.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


Search This Website

Trending 5 out of 5 Stars on Amazon

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more

Schedule a Telephone Call

Schedule a 15 minute
(no cost) phone call with Dennis
Click to Schedule an Appointment