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RINKER ASSOCIATES MASTER SERIES presented by Lorraine Rinker Practical Effects Manifesto: Team Building Across Generations

Team Building Across Generations

Jan 17, 2015



Lorraine Rinker

Today’s economic situation may have leveled the playing field in terms of the impact rising unemployment is having across all the generations, however, this does not diminish the fact that each generation brings its own unique way of dealing with the world and its ever changing terrain. This manifesto addresses the uniqueness and similarities of the four generations known as the: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials with regards to workplace teams.
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  • 1. Practical Effects Manifesto:Team Building Across Generations

2. Although every effort has been made to ensure this guide is free from errors, this publication is made available with the understanding that the authors, editors, and publisher are not responsible for the results of any action taken on the basis of information in this work, nor for any errors or omissions.The publishers, and the authors and editors, expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person, in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether whole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication.If expert advice is required, services of a competent professional person should be sought.
Additionally, the author relies on a combination of published data AND real-world first-hand interviews with people and organizations managing actual transition, therefore, this publication is considered a living document and may be followed up with future re-releases.
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important disclaimer
3. introduction
Todays economic situation may have leveled the playing field in terms of the impact rising unemployment is having across all the generations, however, this does not diminish the fact that each generation brings its own unique way of dealing with the world and its ever changing terrain.This manifesto addresses the uniqueness and similarities of the four generations known as the: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials with regards to workplace teams.
Not everyone in the workplace is motivated by the same things anymore.To get the most out of each generation in the workforce, you have to be willing to be more flexible.When managers and companies learn to do this, it will be incredibly rewarding. - - Harvey Mackay (Foreword from When Generations Collide)
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4. four generations in todays workforce
Traditionalists (born 1900-1945)
Baby Boomers, aka Career Makers (born 1946-1964)
Gen X, aka Career Builders (born 1965-1980)
Millennials, aka Career Changers (born 1981-1999)
We all go through similar life stages, but we do not all approach them the same way.How each generation goes through these stages distinguishes one generation from another.
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5. workforce at a glance
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Source: Delta College Corporate Services
6. career goals
Traditionalists - Build a legacy.
Baby Boomers- Build a stellar career.
Gen Xers - Build a portable career.
Millennials - Build parallel careers.
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Source: When Generations Collide - Lancaster & Stillman
7. fyi: market fact
So much for the notion that young workers prize career growth more than cold, hard cash. Half of new college graduatessay they would rather have high-paying jobs, even if it means less-satisfying careers, according to an Experience Inc. survey. More than one-quarter cite student loans as a big factor. WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT | 12.23.08
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8. fyi: real-world fact
Theres never a day when Im not learning something new! Derek
A few recentcollege graduatesshare their first-hand perspectives at aSacramento CEO Round Table.Heres how these successfully employed Millennials describe the ideal job:

  • Creativity and innovation

9. Approachable, open-door management 10. Technology and pace that matches our individual strengths 11. Relaxed dress-codeNow, my fellow Boomers, doesnt this list sound familiar to our own early aspirations?
Actual Panel Discussion CEO Round Table CSUS Alumni Center| April 2009
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12. rewards
Traditionalists The satisfaction of a job well done.
Baby BoomersMoney, title, recognition, the corner office.
Gen XersFreedom is the ultimate reward.
MillennialsWork that has meaning for me.
Source: When Generations Collide - Lancaster & Stillman
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13. balance
TraditionalistsSupport me in shifting the balance.
Baby BoomersHelp me balance everyone else and find meaning myself.
Gen XersGive me balance now, not when Im sixty-five.
MillennialsWork isnt everything, I need flexibility so I can balance all my activities.
Source: When Generations Collide - Lancaster & Stillman
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14. retirement
Traditionalists Reward
Baby Boomers Retool
Gen Xers Renew
Millennials Recycle
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15. recruiting
Traditionalists Talk about history and the future.Tell them how they can help the customer.Flexible schedule.
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Boomers - Emphasize companys values, people-focus, communicate how they can contribute to product/service, status (corner office, parking space), flexible schedule.
16. recruiting (contd)
Gen Xers - Talk about creative environment.Offer diverse work experiences.Emphasize future plans and how they can contribute to them.Flexible schedule.
Millennials - Opportunity to learn new things.Diverse work experiences.Mentor them.
17. retaining
Traditionalists Tend to be loyal.Many have reached financial security, enough to consider making a move if unhappy.Turnover among Traditionalists may be a barometer as to how bad retention problems really are. Let them mentor your less experienced employees.
Boomers - Show theyre making significant contributions.Provide challenging work.Publically recognize their accomplishments.
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18. retaining (contd)
Gen Xers - Do not micromanage.Give candid, timely feedback.Encourage informal, open communication.Use technology to communicate.Provide learning opportunities.
Millennials - Provide good supervision and structure.Communicate clear objectives.Emphasize their ability to make a difference.Use technology to deliver information.Provide interesting, meaningful work.
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19. much in common
Flexible schedules.
Provides no long term commitment.
Expects their organizations to meet their needs.
And, most importantly, all generations value trust and want respect.
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20. bringing them all together
Building multi-generation teams may be new to many but early adopters of diversity in the workforce leveraged multi-generational perspectives decades ago, long before it reached the four-generations-workforce stage of today.Early in my career in the 1980s, I learned the value of creating teams of true diversity - - crossing all lines and blurring the boundaries.
-- Lorraine Rinker
Bridging the generations takes a savvy management and leadership team; one capable of walking the talk and following through to allow the differences and similarities of each generation shine in the work environment.
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21. 3 huge benefits of multi-gen teams
Active engagement reduces the risk of group think by encouraging dynamic thinking whereby everyone openly questions and validates the teams thought process.
Increased innovation and creativity a diverse mix of perspectives will foster new ways of looking at solutions and opportunities giving your organization a competitive advantage.
Built-in mentoring practical way to fill skill gaps; inexperienced members learn how to avoid old mistakes and make new ones, experienced members learn how to envision solutions outside their comfort zone.
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22. how to build multi-gen teams
Know people in terms of:
Acceptance/resistance to hierarchies
Dealing with change
Technology and communication preferences
Work ethic
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23. how to build multi-gen teams
Begin with a culture of inclusion!
Competencies that support inclusion:
Ongoing renewal and self-awareness
Demonstrate respect and recognition
Candid communication and dialogue
Participative decision making and problem solving
Consultative leadership style and advanced moral reasoning
Source: Diversity Matters
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24. the future is now!
Generations of the young and the clueless[1] have survived their rise through the ranks with varying degrees of tripping and falling.We must all remember that every rising star or successful leader past and present was once a fledgling.
Lorraine Rinker
[1]Phraseadopted from title of Harvard Business Review article Young and Clueless (2003)
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25. invest in lateral moves
Leadership gaps exist across our economic landscape, but dont be in such a hurry to move every star performer up the promotion ladder.A high degree of emotional intelligence is very important today.Effective leaders need to be able to connect with everyone.Give your star performer a chance to succeed by assigning him/her cross-functional roles wherenegotiation and persuasion skills are the key to influencing people andget things done.
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26. future leaders need mentors today
Leverage the wisdom of your experienced staff and encourage informal learning partnerships between existing and emerging leaders.
With mentorsas part of their continual personal development, your managers will learn about different leadership styles and perspectives.
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27. consequences of inaction
What happens if you choose not to take action to ensure generations work effectively with one another during these challenging times?
Life will go on and your status quo will remain in tact.Your organization will continue to work below its potential, experience heightened frustration, and eventually lose top performers.All of which will lead to increased tangible and intangible costs.Bottom line, youll more than likely fall behind your competition and be ill-positioned when the economy makes an upturn.
But it doesnt have to end that way . . .
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28. act on your commitment
Take the leap to be your best right now. Celebrate the values and principles all of these generations have in common. Leverage the unique talent each generation brings to your organization.Weave all of those strengths together and youll develop an organizational fabric that can withstand more than you ever imagined.
Hold yourselfaccountable for your own bright future - - today is your day to make a difference.Now, get on your way!
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29. about the author
As a former Fortune 100 Information Technology executive, Lorraine Rinker lived in corporate America for 22 years until she decided it was time to do something new and different. Opting for the road less traveled, Lorraine is very familiar with change in that she is a Navy daughter who spent most of her formative years on the move in Tokyo Japan, California, and Hawaii.Believing that your career journey is a series of unfolding views, she now applies her passion for helping others realize their career dreams and goals through career and business coaching-consulting.
Lorraine formed her own private practice as a leadership career coach in 2005 and since then has helped numerous people from all walks of life discover their true potential.Lorraine is a winner of the Luminary Award presented by the National Association of Women Business Owners recognizing businesses that light the way for others and she was recently commended by the California Judicial Council for her leadership work as Board Chairman and President for Child Advocates of Placer County.
Lorraine lives in El Dorado Hills California with her husband Bob and enjoys volunteering her time to local and national humanitarian efforts for childrens rights, veterans in transition, and HIV/AIDS legislation.
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Lorraine Rinker Radical Careerist
Lorraines portrait by Sirlin Photography
Image credits to,, and