Hi TEN Members,
Over the past few months, we decided to explore some useful tips and techniques designed to help improve your interview experience. Some of these newlsetter topics included:
- “The 3 Questions That Matter Most When Interviewing For A Job“
- “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask These 5 Tough Questions In A Job Interview“
- “10 Good Ways to ‘Tell Me About Yourself‘”
- “17 Tips to Ace Your Next Phone Interview“
- “Nobody Hires Between Thanksgiving and New Year…Right?“
- “New Job for the New Year: How to make it happen“
- “Top 10 Interview Mistakes“
- “Tips for Successful Video Interviewing“
If you didn’t get a chance to review any of these articles, or if you would like to review them again, please click on the links above.
Below our job openings section is this month’s featured article “Tips to Improve Interaction Among the Generations”.
We’re displaying the most relevant excerpts from two great articles that we came across, mainly showing the general characteristics of each group as well as their general preferences with regards to communication styles. For access to the entire articles, please see the citations section near the end of this newsletter. As always, we hope you enjoy reading the article below as much as we did.
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Tips to Improve Interaction Among the Generations
A core challenge over the next decade will be to attract and retain a skilled work force as the labor market continues to tighten, technology continues to evolve, and fewer foreign students immigrate to America for job opportunities. This situation is exacerbated as companies find themselves managing four generations of American workers:
- Traditionalists (Born between 1925 and 1946)
- Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964)
- Generation Xers (Born between 1965 and 1980)
- Generation Ys or Millennials (born after 1980)
Traditionalists. Traditionalists are considered among the most loyal workers. They are highly dedicated and the most risk averse. Their values were shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar boom years. Traditionalists possess a strong commitment to teamwork and collaboration and have high regard for developing interpersonal communications skills. Traditionalists now consist of the most affluent elderly population in U.S. history due to their willingness to conserve and save after recovering from the financial impact of the postwar era.
- Privacy: Traditionalists are the private, silent generation. Don’t expect members of this generation to share their inner thoughts.
- Hard Work: They believe in paying their dues and become irritated when they perceive others are wasting their time. Members of this generation often feel that their career identifies who they are.
- Trust: A traditionalist’s word is his/her bond.
- Formality: Whether written or in oral communication a formal communication style is preferred. This generation values formal dress and organizational structures.
- Authority and institutional leadership: Traditionalists have a great deal of respect for authority.
- Social Order: Other generations may view this desire for social order and placement as bias, prejudice or even racism or sexism.
- Things: This group loves their stuff and they won’t get rid of it. Some may call them pack rats but others would argue that they remember the depression days and going with out. You never know when you might need it.
Supportive Behaviors and Tips For Communicating with Traditionalists
- By nature Traditionalists are private, the “silent generation”. Don’t expect members of this generation to share their thoughts immediately.
- For the Traditionalist an educator’s word is his/her bond, so it’s important to focus on words rather than body language or inferences.
- Face to face or written communication is preferred.
- Don’t waste their time, or let them feel as though their time is being wasted.
Baby Boomers. Boomers are the first generation to actively declare a higher priority for work over personal life. They generally distrust authority and large systems. Their values were shaped primarily by a rise in civil rights activism, Viet Nam, and inflation. They are more optimistic and open to change than the prior generation, but they are also responsible for the “Me Generation,” with its pursuit of personal gratification, which often shows up as a sense of entitlement in today’s work force.
Baby Boomers Value
- Competition: Boomers value peer competition and can be see by others as being egocentric.
- Change: Boomers thrive for possibilities and constant change.
- Hard Work: Boomers started the “workaholic” trend. The difference between Traditionalists and Boomers is that Boomers value the hard work because they view it as necessary for moving to the next level of success while Traditionalists work hard because they feel that it is the right thing to do.
- Success: This generation is committed to climbing the ladder of success.
- Body Language: Boomers are the show me generation and body language is important.
- Teamwork: This group embraces a team based approach to business-they are eager to get rid of the command and control style of their Traditionalist predecessors.
- Anti Rules and Regulations: They don’t appreciate rules for the sake of having rules and they will challenge the system.
- Inclusion: This generation will accept people on an equal basis as long as they can perform to their standards.
- Will Fight For A Cause: While they don’t like problems, if you give them a cause they will fight for it.
Supportive Behaviors & Tips For Communicating With Baby Boomers
- Boomers are the “show me” generation, so your body language is important when communicating.
- Speak in an open, direct style but avoid controlling language.
- Answer questions thoroughly and expect to be pressed for the details.
- Present options to demonstrate flexibility in your thinking.
Generation Xers. Generation Xers are often considered the “slacker” generation. They naturally question authority figures and are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept. Born in a time of declining population growth, this generation of workers possesses strong technical skills and is more independent than the prior generations.
Because Gen Xers place a lower priority on work, many company leaders from the Baby Boomer generation assume these workers are not as dedicated; however, Gen Xers are willing to develop their skill sets and take on challenges and are perceived as very adaptive to job instability in the post-downsizing environment.
Generation Xers Value
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: Xers believe in investing in their own development rather than in their organization’s. While others may see them as disloyal they are cautious about investing in relationships with employers because experience has shown that these relationships are not reliable. Cavalier as it may sound, one Xer told a Boomer that if you want loyalty get a dog.
- Loyalty: To an Xer, this may mean two-weeks notice.
- Independence and Creativity: Xers have clear goals and prefer managing their own time and solving their own problems rather than having them managed by a supervisor. Information: They value access to information and love plenty of it.
- Feedback: This group needs continuous feedback and they use the feedback to adapt to new situations. This generation is flexible.
- Quality of Worklife: This generation works hard but they would rather find quicker more efficient ways of working so that they have time for fun. While Boomers are working hard to move up the ladder, Xers are working hard so that they can have more time to balance work and life responsibilities.
Supportive Behaviors & Tips for Communicating With Generation X
- Use email as a primary communication tool.
- Talk in short sound bites to keep their attention.
- Ask them for their feedback and provide them with regular feedback.
- Share information with them on a regular basis and strive to keep them in the loop.
- Use an informal communication style.
Millennials or Generation Ys. This group is the first global-centric generation, having come of age during the rapid growth of the Internet and an increase in global terrorism. They are among the most resilient in navigating change while deepening their appreciation for diversity and inclusion.
With significant gains in technology and an increase in educational programming during the 1990s, the Millennials are also the most educated generation of workers today. Additionally, they represent the most team-centric generation since the Silents, as they have grown up at a time where parents programmed much of their lives with sports, music, and recreational activities to keep them occupied while their Boomer parents focused on work.
If you think that Generation Xers were challenging for Traditionalists and Boomers to teach, just wait until Generation Y arrives. Generation Y represents people who have grown up during the high tech revolution. They have never known a world without high speed video games, speed dial and ATMs. The secret to motivating this group is to provide systematic and frequent feedback – as it happens.
Generation Y Values
- Positive Reinforcement: Members of this cyber generation value positive reinforcement at accelerated rates compared to older generations.
- Autonomy: This group wants more input into how they are learning and the independence to do it.
- Positive Attitudes: This group grew up during tranquil times and as a result have a very optimistic outlook on life in general.
- Diversity: This group grew up with more diversity than their predecessors and if not exposed to it in their community then they were introduced diverse people and cultures through the media.
- Money: This group is used to making and spending money.
- Technology: Technology is valued and is used as a tool for multi-tasking.
Supportive Behaviors & Tips for Communicating With Generation Y
- Use action words and challenge them at every opportunity.
- They will resent it if you talk down to them.
- They prefer email communication.
- Seek their feedback constantly and provide them with regular feedback.
- Use humor and create a fun learning environment. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Encourage them to take risks and break the rules so that they can explore new ways of learning.
Bridge the Gap
Remember to do the following to effectively communicate between generations:
- Know each other’s preferences
- Spend time with each other
- Be open to talking things out
Generational differences can be tough. However, when you are open and honest and take the time to really listen to each other, you can overcome any perceived differences – real or otherwise. A little generational understanding can go a long way to boosting the company’s bottom line.
Your eNamix Strategic Staffing Team
© eNamix 2016 | 15707 Rockfield Blvd., Suite 150 | Irvine, CA 92618 | 949.916.9810Citations http://old.biz.colostate.edu/mti/tips/pages/InteractionAmongTheGenerations.aspx http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/leading-the-four-generations-at-work.aspx