Here’s a chart of generational lifestyle characteristics that you may find interesting when you are thinking about your employees’ priorities. If there is more than a ten-year age gap between you and the majority you may not share as many expectations as you believe. For example, the youngest group — sometimes called Millennials — “are on the road to” some place. They are just passing through your organization. Life so far has taught them that permanence is a unatainable work-related goal.
For managers that means you have to see every day as self-contained. While you are thinking about next year your employees are thinking about this evening. While you want to go to the gym after work if you get everything done your employees will put work on hold to get there. It’s not negotiable. They may return later in the evening or work at home but exercise is a must, not an option.
We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: The younger the employee the more defined his/her lifestyle. I know many Boomers who can’t describe what their lifestyle choices are — but no twentysomethings. If a young person believes a boss’s expectations “violate” her lifestyle she will job hunt immediately.
We have been tracing the young into their thirties and early forties and they are still talking about lifestyle. That’s the ultimate test of sincerity.
See also an earlier post in this series:
Generational Differences in Social Values – Take-Aways for Managers
Ask Marilyn to Speak to Your Group
Confused about how to manage an age diverse team? Marilyn can supply successful strategies to your group! Winter and spring dates are going fast. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy with a speaking date today!