Experienced Gens Lead by Example

We are NOT all equal

gens shaking handsHere’s a thought for the older generations in the workplace today, and I refer to mostly Veterans and Baby Boomers: You are NOT equal to your millennial and Gen-Xer coworkers. It is my contention that when it comes to experience on-the-job, or just life experience in general, one cannot deny that “we should know better” so to speak when it comes to certain matters at work. Therefore, it is up to us to be the mature leaders that our younger counterparts will want to look up to. You do not have to be a manager or VP to be this kind of leader. Simply by virtue of your age, you are automatically a leader. HOWEVER, WE OLDER GENS LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

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Generations United in the Workplace

Lunch Meeting

The future of the workplace will eventually be, if not already, filled with at least 4 generations at one time: Veterans, Baby-Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials. Can you imagine a team comprised of all four gens?

More and more veterans are coming out of retirement to survive the ’08 housing crash just to be able to pay their taxes. They are still allowed their social security, but it’s not enough to live happily ever after. USA TODAY reports “just last week that more people are delaying retirement and continuing to work past 65 mostly because they need the money. According to 2010 Census data, the share of workers 65 and older in the labor force rose to 16%, up from 12% in 1990.”

A vast majority of Boomers aren’t likely to retire any time soon with reports that most of them aren’t even close to saving for retirement – let alone a rainy day. According to USA TODAY, the average social security check for Boomers is $1,230 a month. Many Boomers are just resolved to working for the rest of their lives. Gen X isn’t far behind the Boomer Blues, but will have to learn to save, save, save, while trying feverishly to pay off their student loans. Many Millenials are graduating colleges with no less than a master’s degree, and some are going straight to getting Ph.Ds in order to earn the big bucks right out of the gate. Student loans outweigh the national credit card debt to the tune of a cool trillion dollars! And that’s not all, you cannot default or go bankrupt on student loans. You have to pay those loans off after death.

For whatever reason, many Americans of all ages will be in the work force at once for the first time ever.

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Millenials Managing Baby Boomers: Can It Work?

I am in a somewhat unique situation at work in which I sometimes supervise and direct the work of employees who are much older and more tenured than I am. However, it should be noted that this is becoming increasingly common as Millenials are finishing their education and advancing through their organizations at a fairly quick pace. While I am confident in my knowledge and ability to do my job well, I do still stumble when I find myself having to explain to a more tenured employee. That is, some individuals I interact with have been working in the organization for longer than I have been alive! Clearly, this makes for a somewhat strange dynamic. Continue Reading →

On Retaining Millenials

Whether you subscribe to the idea that there are or are not generational differences in employees, it is important to make an effort to try new methods for retaining employees of all ages. However, when considering the massive ambition that Millenials are said to have, it is hard to ignore that employers are looking for ways to hold onto younger talent that may be likely to leave for advancement opportunities. The following are a few quick tips for communicating with Millenial employees in such a way that they feel valued and empowered to achieve great things at your company. Continue Reading →

Millenials in Hospitality

Just as any other industry, the hospitality industry faces many of the same challenges with multiple generations in the workforce. However, some admit that finding great talent within the Millenial (or Generation Y) group can be difficult. One might think that many positions in the hospitality industry would be a great fit for a young adult as it is common to begin with little experience and to receive on-the-job training (except for upper level positions). It could also be beneficial for college students to work in the hospitality industry as seasonal employees during breaks from school while gaining business experience. So why is it still so hard to find and, more importantly, keep Millenial employees?

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