How To Approach The Generation Gap In The Workplace
Welcome to Hero TV! Today, we’re talking about how to approach the generation gaps in the workplace. The best person to talk about that is definitely Sydney Jacques so stay tuned. Hi everybody Sydney Jacques here and I’m so excited today. We’re going to talk about how to approach the generation gaps that exists in our workplace. Now over the past six months, I have developed and taught many many times a class called, bridging the gaps. And in this class we talked about bridging the gaps of communication engagement and generations. Because for the first time ever, we have four generations. Maybe moving into even five generations currently working in the workplace. There’s definitely some gaps. Gaps in the way that we communicate, gaps in the way that we think just, gaps in our perspective of how to get the job done. So today I’m going to share with you some real key points that we’ll be able to help you in your organization as you figure out how to go about bridging these gaps. So the first question that we need to answer are, what are the generations? So I think it’s kind of like the Hallmark cards who gets to decide what the real holidays are. I’m not sure who the guru of generations are but these are the most widely accepted. this from 1922 to 1945 kind of call this the Silent Generation. to 1964, which by the way this is where I fall. These are baby boomers. baby boomers, 46 to 64. From 65 to 1980, all know because there’s a lot on the news, every time we turn around, we’re talking about four of these generations this is something that we need to be intentional about. And a lot of the things that I teach, a lot of things I share, it all comes back to leadership. And so as we talk about, how do we integrate multiple generations into our culture, it comes back to the leader. And as a leader, we need to set the tone. We need to have the influence and we need to teach our team how this is going to work. So the first thing that we have to understand is, first, we have to recognize and realize that this is a true issue and we have to acknowledge that and we have to be intentional about it. The second thing is that we need to stop and say, “why is this important to me?” is it important to you in your business? If you haven’t thought about it, I can almost promise you that it is important as we’ve been teaching these classes called, “bridging the gap” classes and talking a lot about the generations I’ve had experience after experience especially in the construction industry of when the class is over and everybody goes out to their big construction trucks in the parking lot, then people will start trickling back in. Sometimes we get the Millennials and they’re coming back in to say, “you would not believe how we get treated on the cruise out there”. And sometimes the Millennials drive away and it’s the older generations that are coming back and saying, “everybody’s catering to the Millennials and we can’t stand the way things are going”. So if you don’t really think that there’s an issue in your company working through multiple generations, I tell you, I think you better open your eyes and look because it’s there and I’ve seen it in a lot of industries and a lot of different companies. So we have to acknowledge that it’s there and we have to say, “well, why do we want to work on it?” well, you want to create a culture where everybody works together as a team and in order to do that, we need to acknowledge this and say, how are we going to bridge the gap? how are we going to bridge the gaps between the the different generations? So the first thing that we’re going to start with, you’re not going to be surprised, it’s communication. Think of the differences in the way that the oldest person in your company and the youngest person working for your company. Think of the gaps in the ways that they communicate. I know you know what they are okay? These people grew up with, if they had a telephone, it was the rotary dial that sat on the desk and never moved and never went anywhere.
These people, they grew up communicating with their thumbs and they’re not comfortable having face to face situation, face to face conversations often. See we need to figure out, how are we going to bridge that gap? So that’s one of the reasons honestly why we provide the bridging the gap training is a we’d get everybody in the same room and we just acknowledge the differences but we talk about it. So texting isn’t always a bad communication, right? There’s great times that texting is the right communication. Hey this is the address where I’m going to meet you at, this is what time I’m going to be there. There’s not a lot of back-and-forth, texting is great. But then there’s also times when face-to-face, eye-to-eye, that really is the way the conversation should happen. So we need to look and see some people are more comfortable with different forms of communication and we need to acknowledge that, but we also, as the leader, we need to influence them and teach them how to be able to get more comfortable communicating in different ways. There’s one construction crews that I worked with and and a lot of times I do team building for big construction projects. And at the beginning of it, one of my goals is always to set out the communication plan. And we had this older engineer and he said, “don’t text me I’ll never answer. it it’s just a waste of time” and it was interesting to watch. By the end of that project, guess what? he was texting just like everybody else because he realized that there was a time and a place and a value for that. So we really have to dive deep into the communication in the way that we communicate on our team and be willing to open our minds that different forms of communication fit differently in different situations. And there are times when face-to-face, or a phone call, or an email, or texting is the right answer for that situation. As the leader in the company, I think your job is to really have an influence on your people. Now there’s another video that I do that talks about my influencer model but the two most important steps of the influencer model are, that you need to teach people how to think, and that you need to give them a specific challenge. So I’m going to share with you an example. I have a really good friend whose husband is a partner in a law firm and we went out to dinner the other night and she said to me, “oh we just brought in our new group of young attorneys” and I just always loved this day. It’s so exciting to meet them and get to know them. And I said, “so tell me, what do you think about them?” I’ve had many people different conversation who have told me, “oh my Millennials that are coming to work they’re so lazy. They’re entitled” But I want you to listen to what she said to me. She said, “our new group of attorneys that we just brought in, they are absolutely brilliant”. She said, “it’s so exciting to me that they are so good at technology, that they’re so quick at the things that they do and they didn’t get it they’re absolutely brilliant” So I want you to think as a leader, and as you’re influencing your team, your customers, you’re teaching them how to think. Are you going to teach them that the people on your team are lazy and entitled? or are you going to teach that they’re brilliant? we’re so lucky to have them because they get things that we didn’t understand. It’s up to you as a leader to share that message and teach people how to think. And then the second part of being an influencer is that you need to give them a specific challenge. So on your team, I want you to give your team a challenge to really blow open the lines of communication. One of the activities that we use for this, we call it “stop start continue”. Get your team together, talk about how can we communicate better within the generations, within our projects, and just sit there and have a brainstorming session and say, “are there things that we’re doing that we should really stop doing these? they are not adding value and they’re not helping us work together as a team. What are the things that we should just continue doing the way that we’re doing, it’s working fine let’s continue doing them. Are there things that we could start doing that would help us communicate better as a team. As we have those open conversations, stop start continue is a great way to bring that into your team and let them have that conversation. But you as a leader, you need to set, set the example. Remember, teach them how to think and then show them the way that if we positive we can bring this all together. Who doesn’t love a good Hershey bar right? Everybody loves a good Hershey bar. In the workshops, one of the things that I do is I ask somebody that loves chocolate to come up to the front and stand with me and I give them this Hershey’s bar and I say to them, “here you go you can have this. I hope you really enjoy it, but you can’t take the wrapper off”. And they look at me and they say, “what in the heck? how am I going to enjoy that if I can’t take the wrapper off?” This is one of the greatest lessons I think we need to learn about integrating multiple generations is we all have really really good stuff on the inside, but as long as we’re focused on the labels that’s stopping us from getting to the good stuff on the inside. So I encourage you as you’re working with your teams to really focus on, remove the labels, open up the lines of communication and focus on the benefits and the good stuff that we all have to offer. So as I have done so much work in the construction fields, one of the things that I found is that we have this there’s a real crisis we’re looking for more workers right now, and we have a tendency to want to say, “oh it’s, it’s the industry problem” this is one of the areas that we need to look at and say, our crew, someplace, where all generations are feeling comfortable and feeling safe and can we do something to improve this? Because if we want more millennial workers, the millennial workers that we have they need to feel like it’s a great place to work and that they want to bring their friends to join us. So I’m just going to leave you with the analogy of a sports team. I love sports. But if you are putting together a football team you don’t want eleven players that are all quarterbacks. You don’t want eleven centers on your team. We need a wide variety of people that have different skills, different abilities, and different strengths. And as we learn how to really utilize the different generations in the workforce, were gonna bring those strengths together and help you create a stronger team. So have a great day and go out and bridge those gaps of communication and generations. Thanks for watching hero TV today this was definitely a very good video. Thanks for all your wisdom. Absolutely! Down below in the description you’ll be able to find a lot more information about Sydney. Be sure to subscribe. And remember to live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero.