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There is a serious new problem in the workplace, and it has nothing to do with downsizing, global competition, pointy-haired bosses, stress or greed. Instead, it is the problem of distinct generations — the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y — working together and often colliding as their paths cross. Individuals with different values, different ideas, different ways of getting things done and different ways of communicating in the workplace have always existed. So, why is this becoming a problem now?

The Passage of Four

This is the first era in American history that we have had four different generations working side-by-side in the workplace. Remember (if you are old enough--like me) when older workers were the bosses and younger workers did what was asked of them, no questions asked. There were definite rules

as to how the boss was treated and how younger workers treated older workers.

That is the case no longer. In many companies, the roles today are all over the place and the rules are being rewritten daily.

Cam Marston - Generational Dynamic Expert

Cam Marston has spent more than a decade studying workforce dynamics, with a keen focus on how generational biases play out from the stock room to the boardroom. One of a handful of experts dedicated ...

At work, generational differences can affect everything: including recruiting, building teams, dealing with change, motivating, managing, and maintaining and increasing productivity. Think of how generational differences, relative to how people communicate, might affect misunderstandings, high employee turnover, difficulty in attracting employees and gaining employee commitment.

Generation conflict costs billions of dollars in lost productivity to organizations like yours worldwide - not to mention the incalculable effects on motivation and morale.

Each of these age groups has different expectations and different demands, and employers who ignore the differences could lose their best employees and see their workplaces in disarray.

I use parts of both the following programs, combined with group activities and games to show generational differences. But more importantly I stress in my training how common goals and values bring people together, despite their differences.

Mixing Four Generations in the Workplace.

A Cam Marston DVD

This program educates and stimulates positive interaction among your people. It will also dramatically reduce workplace conflict and provide managers and supervisors with strategies for dealing with recruiting, retaining, and motivating, using the generational differences in a positive way.

Key Learning Points:

  • Generational context is not about age, but common experiences.

  • Acknowledge your team's expectations, not just your own.

  • Different is neither right nor wrong, just different.

  • Age-ism is the death of any coaching strategy.

  • Generational understanding does not take the place of concern for the individual.

  • Different generations care about different approaches to the same problem.

  • Technology is not universal - assess your team members' affinity level before making communication assumptions.

Mixing Four Generations In The Workplace

Available at Learning Communications presents expert Cam Marston on the Power of Generational Insight. This program will educate and stimulate positive interacti...

Managing Four Generations in the Workplace.

A Cam Marston DVD

In this scenario-based sequel to the best-seller Mixing Four Generations in the Workplace, supervisors and managers learn the techniques needed to handle cross-generational communications problems, avoid conflict, and maximize performance.

This program will teach you how to "Gen-Flex" or move into another generation's comfort zone. Do you remember the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" The golden rule would be great if we were all the same generation. But because people are different they need to be treated differently. This is the basis for what we call Gen-Flexing, operating in another generation's world. Treat them as they want to be treated. Gen-Flex out your comfort zone into theirs.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics, attitudes, and values of each generation

  • Identify specific actions a manager can take to coach, motivate, and get results from each generation

  • Determine how your management approach may need to change when coaching, managing and retaining employees of different generations

  • Discover ways to Gen-Flex™ in order to solve generational problems in the workplace.

Managing Four Generations in the Workplace

Available at This program will teach you how to "Gen-Flex" or move into another generation's comfort zone. Do you remember the golden rule, "Do unto others as ...

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