Join Christina Schlachter for an in-depth discussion in this video Avoiding overgeneralizing generations, part of Managing Multiple Generations.
- Wouldn't it be great if everyone knew exactly what you were thinking and interpreted everything you said and did the exact way you meant it? Before you fall off your chair laughing, let's be realistic. In business, we work with other people and for other people, and all of these people are different, and some of these differences come from generations, but others can come from work history, how they grew up, and quite frankly, just different personalities.
While these videos are about generational differences, to treat entire blocks of the population in a one size fits all description does everyone a bit of disservice. Let's look at a few areas when overgeneralizing about generations could be misleading. When you were born impacts your work style, so does where you are in your career and life. Younger employees tend to be jumping at the chance to make change and get in there and run the show.
Many people may remember wanting to run the whole company when they were 25, but older employees may want this too. At 40, many people value a flexible workplace, so that they can be part of their kid's life, or just have more time to enjoy life, but a 25-year-old with a new family may want the same thing. And at 60, people may crave a stable company to finish out their career and bank retirement savings, but a 40-year-old whose wife lost her job or needs to pay for the kids' college may want the same thing.
When it comes to motivating employees, the generation aspect is just one piece of the puzzle. Sure, studies show younger generations value happiness and life balance more than money and success, but that's not always the case. Don't assume that those kids in your office don't care about success, and don't assume that older workers just want to put in enough face time until their retirement day. Individuals in all generations are different.
Use the ideas and tools in these videos as guidelines, and keep in mind you aren't managing a generation, you're managing individual people.
- Observing different generations at work
- Avoiding overgeneralizing generations
- Motivating different generations
- Communicating across generations
- Developing employees
- Changing your management style to fit different generations