Thursday, July 30, 2009
Introducing the Four Generations.....
As you think of yourself, your parents, your children or even grandchildren see if you can relate to some of the characteristics given for each generation. As in many things if we understand someone, we are better able to create better relationship with them. As you read this, much like personalities, it takes helps you not to take things personally if there is disagreement or a conflict. You may even begin to appreciate some of the differences that growing up in different time frame has produced and possibly decide to adopt some of their philosophies even if they seem outdated or too modern.
We are going to learn about the generations so you can better understand them and about the challenges that shaped their formative years. Those events impacted their attitudes, perceptions, values and expectations in life and at work.
So let's begin....
"Veterans" or "Silents" range in age from 62-85. This generation values hard work, respect and sacrifice in all areas of life. Veterans are considered among the most loyal and dedicated employees. Their values and work ethics were shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar boom years. Veterans have a strong commitment to teamwork and communication. The Veterans now consist of the most affluent elderly population in U.S. history due to their willingness to conserve and save, after living through the Great Depression and WWII. They pay with cash and save. The communication style of the Silent Generation tends to be formal, focused on the idea of properly putting information into a well crafted letter rather than the “off the cuff” communication style of e-mails and text messages.
"Boomers" range in age from 43-61. They grew up with prosperity and are into status. They have high expectations and want to be fulfilled in every aspect of their lives. They love working for a cause. Boomers are the first generation to actively declare a higher priority for work over personal life. Their values were shaped primarily by a rise in civil rights activism, space travel, Viet Nam, and inflation. They are more optimistic and open to change than the prior generation. The Baby Boomers were the first generation to be raised in front of a television. They are the generation that made L'Oreal and Just for Men necessary. They identified themselves as "youth" and aren't letting go.
"Gen Xers" range in age from 27-42. They value self-reliance and are willing to give up "stuff" to have the lifestyle they want. Their motto is "I work to live, I don't live to work." They naturally question authority figures and are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives. Divorce and working moms created "latchkey" kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. The events that formed their values were Roe vs Wade, Aids, Challenger,and the Clinton Admin. Gen X want people to be honest, straightforward, and to avoid hype with them, just be real.
"Gen Y or Millennial" range in age from 26 and under. The want respect and technology is an expectation not an extra. They use technology to connect with people, text message, instant messaging, cell phones are main sources of communication. They are the "look at me" generation. If it's not interesting or relevant to them they tune it out. They feel no one has a right answer and have a "prove it to me" mentality. This generation was and is defined by 9/11, internet, kids shooting kids, globalization and cell phones. Gen Y respect people who care, respect and build relationships with them. One half of this generation has a tattoo and/or a body piercing somewhere other than their ear lobe. Asked about life goals, this generations top goals are fortune and fame.
If this subject is as fascinating to you as it is to me go to this link for all the information you could ever ask for. http://www.agts.edu/faculty/faculty_publications/articles/creps_generations_chart.pdf