I am frequently asked about the potential for conflict between older and younger people in the workplace “Why won’t those Boomers realize it’s time to go?” some of them think. While personal priorities will dominate each individual’s decisions, there’s a bigger-picture need for restructuring. Here's how to unblock the pipeline.
We are wading deeper into a period of large leadership shifts. The Baby Boomer generation, still the largest group in charge, increasingly will be handing over their leadership roles. The early consensus had been that Gen Xers, by age and tenure the next in line to take over, was not really very interested. It’s been suggested that Gen Y/Millennials are more eager to be leaders. Who do you think is more willing to lead? Who is most prepared to lead?
While all generations have influenced their workplaces to some degree, the Millennial (or Gen Y) generation is the first in which associates are having a significant impact on culture shift from the time they enter the organization if not before. Culture seems to be a hotter topic than ever, and it’s not all good news.
Here is another intergenerational (GenY/Millennial and Boomer) dialogue. We hope you enjoy and gain some insights from the conversation. I began by asking: How do Gen Y/Millennials attitudes toward money and financial rewards compare with those of other generations?
As part of her experience as my extern during her junior year at Cornell, I gave Danielle Kronenfeld (DK) a number of questions to write about and discuss with me. We published one piece as a blog last year. Here is another with her updated views on what irritates older generations about Gen Y/Millennials and why they think the way they do.
Often I find myself engaged in conversations with both younger and older women about what might be called the intersection of gender and generations issues at work. Several women express the strong belief that women have actually made little or no progress in attaining leadership and management positions in the last 10 or 15 years except in their own businesses.
The best strategy for achieving more success for everyone is to sincerely and substantively involve men in the conversations and in implementing the solutions. Now we have one of the best opportunities to take advantage of the intersection with generational attitudes.
Generations X and Y clamor for mentoring, and some Boomers who came late to the game as mentees regret what they missed. I advocate and set up mentoring circles so that people have several people to draw on, since no one person can supply all the advice any one person of any age/generation needs. Here’s why I think mentoring circles are the best approach and some steps that can get your organization started setting up and running mentoring circles, whether internal to an employer, a professional or trade organization or an alumni group. Happy mentoring!