In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, tackles the topic of different generations working together. Doug says he is not crazy about how generational issues in the workplace are being reported and presented.
His beef with generational analysis is that the results tend to broadly characterize members of one generation possessing the same characteristics, and this can lead to helpful and harmful stereotypes.
Doug gives an example of a typical stereotype for Millennials—members of this generation want to work how, when and where they want, but lack loyalty and communication skills. He says this generational phenomenon is not a new thing. This isn’t the first time a younger generation has challenged the status quo, and in the video, he lists several examples.
Doug wants employers to be mindful that there are as many differences in attitudes, values, behaviors and lifestyles within a generation as there are between generations. He advises managers to be careful to not write off an entire generation due to general characteristics they hear. Doug says that employees, regardless of generation, should be managed in a respectful and supportive manner to maximize their possibility of achieving success.
Employees of all generations look to their company leaders to set the values and beliefs that drive the company. Doug says your company values should be developed independent of any particular generation. Instead of catering to a specific generation, define the characteristics that you find important in an employee and find people of all generations, cultures, ethnicities and so on who have those characteristics. People are attracted to a clear vision and clear values regardless of their age.
If you have questions about managing different generations at your workplace, please call CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.