GREAT #assnchat discussion this Tuesday on the challenges and opportunities created by having four different generations all in the workplace at the same time.
My top takeaways include:
- It’s important not to confuse generational cohort differences with life stage differences (Jamie Notter). One place that expresses itself is in “job” mentality versus “career” mentality (Kait Solomon). (Of course, I would tend to argue that it’s totally appropriate for a 25 year old to have a “job” mentality.)
- On Marissa Mayer and the telecommuting fracas: why does it have to be all or nothing? Why not offer 3/2 or core hours or supplement telecommuting with virtual presence technology? (have to admit, I was the one who brought that all up)
- Younger generations understand the need for formal performance reviews, but what they don’t want is surprises. Feedback, both critiques and praise, should be ongoing (John Chen).
- Don’t *just* communicate with your staff when there’s a problem. You’re teaching them to dread interacting with you (Laurence Hart).
- Knowledge about generational differences doesn’t give you answers; it helps you have better conversations (Jamie Notter).
Bonus point: don’t pre-judge people based on age, perceived level of experience, a previous bad encounter with someone you think is like them, what you’ve read in a poorly researched article (Time, I’m looking at you). Give people the benefit of the doubt, assume the best until proven otherwise, and cut each other some slack.