Tag Archives: generations

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team growth

Team Growth May Start With Experiential Learning

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Working across the generations that are currently active in our workforce has its share of challenges. Team growth often develops through experiential learning. Are you encouraging new experiences?

What creates more knowledge? Perhaps, many would quickly suggest more experiences are helpful.

Those that have been in the workforce the longest, the traditionals and baby boomers, often consider that they have vast experience.

Of course, on one hand, that is hard to argue. On the other, we may question how deep their experiences are with the latest technologies.

When we jump to the other end of the spectrum, we may decide that the most recent generations, the millennials and Gen Z, lack general workforce experiences. The stereotype is that they are well educated, but come up short on navigating workplace politics, etiquette, and soft skills.

Team Growth

Perhaps the key for everyone in the workforce is to consider that the best way to gain more experience is to engage in different experiences.

In training and development circles there are many different tools or vehicles for creating a learning experience. While there is lecture, video, and even storytelling, one of the best tools is often labeled, experiential learning.

Is that hands-on learning?

It’s true that hands-on learning is certainly a form of experiential learning. However, we can’t forget that soft skills can also be taught through forms of reflection, often known as experiential learning.

Reflection and Learning

Learning and development professionals will use tools such as assessments and case studies to drive subgroup and whole group reflections. Properly executed they can simulate (a form of hands on) real-world scenarios to create a more immersive learning experience.

Are you interested to harmonize your workforce?

Regardless of the generation and regardless of the organizational hierarchy. When you want team growth you are going to have to introduce new experiences.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Generation alpha photo

Who is Generation Alpha? Gen Z Gets Framed.

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Much of the talk is still about millennials. Millennials this, and millennials that, but much of the chatter is often misidentified. Unknowingly, they’re often talking about Gen Z. Now trends are emerging to define the next generation, generation Alpha.

It seems like just yesterday, but in 2008, I published some of my first work related to workforce generations. In 2015, I released, Forgotten Respect, a book committed to helping ease some of the pain.

What is new with workplace generational challenges? A new generation is emerging, that is what is new. However, they won’t be hitting the workforce until around 2028.

Step Aside Gen Z

In January 2016, just four months after the release of my generations bookI delivered a conference opening keynote in upstate New York. The keynote was about navigating workforce generations.

Following the keynote, the floor was open for a few questions. One of the questions asked was, “What is the next generation and when will it start?”

Keep in mind, that it is January 2016, and in this group, many are hearing for the first time that the millennials are not the youngest in our workforce. When I wrote my 2015 book, the framework and definition of what we now know as Gen Z was still in its infancy.

In fact, as I researched and applied my own experiences to the generations, this new generation barely had an identity. It has had struggles with the labels of Gen Z, iGen, and Generation 9/11.

Today, three plus years later it seems much of society has settled on Gen Z. Great!

Generation Alpha

Back to the question at hand, “What is the next generation?” I really wasn’t prepared to answer, but I applied the logic I’ve believed in for more than a decade. There are three factors that shape the generations, and on the spot, in front of 250 professionals, I gave my best guess.

My estimate was that the next generation, the one beyond Gen Z, would have birth dates starting somewhere between 2008 and 2010. The reason is simple, in the United States we had the great recession of 2009, and in 2010 we had the introduction of the iPad.

At the time, I had no idea what this next generation would be labeled. However, I felt confident about my opinion.

It seems now, other generational experts, such as Mark McCrindle, may have also taken a position as far back as 2015-16. Mark is receiving some credit for the new label, generation Alpha, or Gen Alpha. Hat tip to Mark!

Here is where we stand:

Millennials, Born 1977-1994

Gen Z, Born 1995 – 2009 (2009-ish)

Generation Alpha, Born starting around 2010

What is shaping this new generation?

Of course, technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence will play a role. Keep in mind where these kids are starting. Toy blocks and Barbie dolls won’t be the same. They haven’t been for generations. What happens next will be stimulated by what’s happening online.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workforce trends

Workforce Trends Connected To Generational Differences?

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The recent newsflash is that GM is planning to layoff 14,000 US workers. Is this capitalism at its finest? Could it be a sign of uncertainty in the economy? Is this disruption in workforce trends somehow connected to generational differences?

The safest answer may be to consider that all the above apply.

There are plenty of news articles and video clips addressing the speculation about why. So far, I haven’t seen any material connected to workforce trends shifting because of the more recent generations.

What Is the Question?

My initial question is simple: Have US car sales been flattening or perhaps declining?

Ask a marketing or demographic expert involved in the automobile industry and they may confirm or deny.

I believe there may be a linkage to our generational differences. Many traditionals, the baby boomers, and even generation X, lived largely on the premise that coming of age meant getting a car.

Want to know the framework for the generations? See the chart.

Today, for the youngest millennials and the generation Z crowd, it may not be the same.

Rural vs Urban Desires

Rural USA has parents wondering why their children grow up and want to leave small town USA.

As a kid, I aspired to cut the lawn, trim trees and bushes, and one day buy a car and a house. That was the dream.

Today, as many millennials leave small town USA and head to major metropolitan areas, they don’t care about the pride of cutting the lawn or raking the leaves. They don’t want to know the basics in home repair or how to change the oil in their car.

Many of them do not want any of that stuff.

Partly perhaps, because it slows them down, puts them in higher debt, and makes their living arrangements less flexible.

Workforce Trends

Is the American Dream changing? Is it shifting workforce trends?

What are the forces applying pressure to see GM cut 14,000 jobs?

Is it just another day in corporate America capitalism? A decline in the interest for certain types of automobiles?

Is it a signpost of the differences in values and beliefs across the generations that will ultimately shift the job market?

I’m curious.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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multigenerational supervision

Is Multigenerational Supervision Required?

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It is often hard to unlearn what we’ve learned. Informal discussions with people across all generations confirm this in my mind. Does your team or organization require multigenerational supervision?

Multigenerational supervision implies that a supervisor must flex his or her style to appropriately navigate and lead across all workforce generations.

Multigenerational Challenges

Ask anyone to put some thought into the problem areas for reaching across all generations. They would probably suggest that communication is one problem. Close runner-ups would probably include change and technology approaches to work.

Why is it that these areas are so problematic? You could argue it is connected to values and beliefs. You could argue it is connected to how we’ve learned, parental styles, educational backgrounds, rural vs urban living, and many other factors.

The truth is that all these factors are in-part a catalyst for generational challenges. So how do we navigate?

Multigenerational Supervision

Supervisors are always challenged with situational leadership. Which to me implies, they must manage situations somewhat differently depending on the circumstances. It does not mean the rules or policies are different for different people. Just the style is different.

There are two main factors to consider here:

  1. Traditionals and baby boomers learned to accept commands from the boss. The youngest millennials and generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen) learned from a more servant style of leadership. True with many parental philosophies. True in their perception of workplace roles.
  2. Communication across the generations has similar aspects. Traditionals and baby boomers are more accustomed to not offering opinions or suggestions. They knew workplace cultures of not playing a role in decision making and problem solving, that was the job of management. The youngest in the workforce expect (and depend on) a more collaborative style.

So, the best multigenerational supervisors (regardless of their own generation) are the ones that can unlearn, adapt, or flex their personal style.

The underlying philosophies of adaptation and respect are required across the entire generational framework.

Are you able to unlearn? Are you flexible?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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digital customer service

Why Digital Customer Service is for You

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You are in a new race: the race for digital excellence. Don’t be alarmed; be happy. Digital customer service is happening for us, not to us.

Things are always changing. We can argue for good, bad, or somewhere in between. Change often makes people feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid. From generation to generation, things are changing.

Generational Differences

Generational shifts happen for a combination of reasons. In our modern history, we can attribute these shifts to some combination of three factors, major socioeconomic shifts, technology, and times of war.

You can clearly see the shifting and weaving of these patterns when you consider the five generations we currently have active in our workforce.

Going Digital

What changes are affecting customer service? One of the biggest may be the digital revolution.

Digital isn’t new, but the rapid rate of implementation is causing a significant shift. Things are going digital. How will digital impact you?

Digital Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, here are three of many areas to consider:

  1. Security. You go through a finger print reader at Epcot, and your boarding pass for airline travel is a QR code on your telephone. The face of security is changing. Not only are video surveillance cameras installed in many public places, but they are also improving the customer experience with speed, safety, and comfort.
  2. World of Mouth. Sales and customer service experts know both the benefits and dangers of word of mouth. Today we have to face the risks and rewards of world of mouth with social media. Accept it or deny it, social media data impacts revenues and success. Ignore it, and get left behind.
  3. Access to Choices. Do you want to engage tech-savvy customers and especially those representing the millennial and Gen Z populations? Start thinking more about mobile technologies, smart phones, and downloadable apps. Fast, easy, and with better features, this is the future of customer service.

Going Digital

Most of all, remember that change is happening all around us. As a result, if you want the best customer experience, you might have to think more digitally. Consider your choices, be innovative, and always consider your target market.

It is all happening for you.

– DEG

custserv book

Buy Now on Amazon

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+

 


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patience

The Principle of Patience

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We want it when we want it, and we want it now. Drive through restaurants, television and music on demand, and online purchases with overnight shipping.

Much of the urgency is often cited as a millennial or generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen) trait. A characteristic that illustrates a lack of consideration for anything other than, “I get what I want when I want it.”

This is not exclusive to the youngest generations and people from every generation have developed expectations built with urgency in mind.

Should workplace teams consider patience as a guiding team principle?

Value of Patience

Consider that teams often experience a lack of patience when the workload is distributed unequally and only a few team members carry a majority of the load. In these cases, the desired short-term goal is achieved but long-term consequences can, and often do, emerge.

The consequences of an uneven balance of workload can destroy employee motivation when team members compare individual contributions and determine they only want to work as hard as the person who is doing less.

It doesn’t end there.

Patience as a Principle

The person who has fallen behind and had their contribution (or portion of distributed workload) completed by a faster moving employee often doesn’t develop the commitment or buy-in since they are not as connected to the work or project.

No buy-in often means a significantly strained, or worse, a failed project or change effort.

Fast, now, or overnight is certainly desirable, as long as the principle of patience guides the work.

– DEG

Originally posted on September 13, 2016, last updated on November 18, 2018.

Challenges with working across the generations? Understanding more about patience and respect are exactly why I wrote this book:

forgotten respect generations book

Buy now on Amazon

 

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Generations of Respect

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Some people believe respect is given and then earned, others believe it is earned before it is given. SHRM’s (Society for Human Resource Management) 2016 job satisfaction report indicates that respectful treatment of all employees at all levels is a leading factor for job satisfaction. Are there generational differences when it comes to respect?

Generational Joyful Group

Respect is desirable across all generations, but how we define respect, or what defines respect, may vary as much from person-to-person as it does from generation-to-generation. Here are two simple guidelines for workplace respect across all generations:

  1. Always think before you speak to any generation, including your own. Keep in mind that when you feel threatened or under pressure, your internal fuse will be shorter.
  2. Fear forms a connection to problems, inspiration connects to goals. Avoid communication that enlists fear as a motivator. United groups are respected groups. Consciously or subconsciously creating a divide across any of the generations through fear will always be counterproductive and will feel disrespectful.

One generation is probably not more challenged as compared to another when it comes to respect, although it is commonplace to blame a generation different from your own.

Give some respect.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Generation Definition Trap

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If you have fallen into this trap, it’s ok, many people have. The generations are not about age, they are about birth year.

Even the first newborn baby brought into the world in 2016 is getting older, but that doesn’t mean that when this baby turns 50 years old he/she will become a baby boomer. Today traditionals in our workforce are those around 71 years old or older. If either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is elected as the next President of the United States they will surpass the 71 year old mark during their tenure, (Donald Trump turns 70 this year – 2016) but they will still be baby boomers. They will always be baby boomers.

People discussing generational differences sometimes fall into the trap of relating generations to age, when in reality what is really important is their birth year. The shaping of the generations is created through many factors, the three most common are:

  1. Major shifts in socio economic conditions.
  2. Major shifts in technology.
  3. Times of significant turmoil, such as war.

Also critical for generational differences are things like rural versus urban living, geographic location, and espoused family values. It is important to understand that for exactly the reasons just described, other countries (here I’m referring to U.S.A.) will likely experience their own differences when defining their generations.

While all of this sounds very simple, it is one of the most common mistakes I hear when discussing generational differences with people. Just because we are all getting older doesn’t mean our generational definition will change.

Let’s get it right, before we get too old.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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