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Learn More about this topic at The Intergenerational Workplace
Monday, September 9 with Maureen Sullivan
Other topics in the HR series include Reducing Stress in the Workplace- the Managers Role on October 1, and Performance Evaluations and Alternatives on December 5. Just added for November 1 is Staffing for Results with Diane Mayo (details forthcoming).
The series picks up again in the Spring when Rick Rubin addresses Wages & Salary administration and other topics TBA.

A strong Human Resource focus is critical to carrying out your organization’s mission, and new issues in the field of HR surface with the frequency that, well, we change as humans. That's why CAMLS will revisit--and tackle fresh topics--in the field of Human Resources in a new series beginning this Fall.

If you’ve used the term "generation gap" recently, you’re probably a victim of it! "Intergenerational" understanding is the new way of helping us get along both socially and professionally.
The first program in the series addresses the intergenerational workplace of the early 21st century, where it is not uncommon to have four generations working side-by-side. The challenge for leaders as well as individual staff is to find a way to uphold organizational values and mission with respect to the values and characteristics that have emerged as typical for each age group. The key, of course, is developing an understanding of where each generation is coming from and the life experiences that got them there.

Mature workers built their success on hard work and the postponement of material rewards. Organizational loyalty tends to be high, with the expectation of tangible economic rewards. Matures also have shown themselves to be devoted team players, respectful of strong leadership and ground rules. Interestingly, the oldest workers team skills have created a natural rapport with the youngest workers, Generation Y, whose educational experiences have been largely collaborative and team-based.

Sensitivity to expectations, values and fears that came from a person's formative years is the first step to managing work relationships, motivating employees and team members, setting HR policies and determining the rewards that will retain an employee.

Generation Xers grew up with corporate layoffs, diminishing family stability, and entered the workforce in a slow economy. Suddenly the symbols of security--such as a college degree--weren't providing what they were supposed to, and a generation developed that looked for new ways to attain goals. Give an Xer a clear desired outcome, the resources and freedom to accomplish it, then provide mechanisms for constructive feedback and opportunities to enhance skills whenever possible so that they can have a sense of job, or at least employment, stability.

Baby Boomers, on the other hand, have been more optimistic, focused on personal accomplishment, and have raised the bar for work standards. The generation to have it all, they need practical rewards that will help them to balance work, family, and revitalize careers that are continuing past the age when their parents retired.

In a seminal 2000 article, Get Ready for the Net Generation (Training & Development, February 2000) Mark Alch prepared Matures, Boomers and Xers to be shaken up by Gen Y, born between 1981 and 1997. Although they are sometimes criticized for a "menu-driven" perspective that seems lacking in critical thinking skills, they have undeniably the most ease with technology. Raised in child-centric times, they have the confidence to question the value of doing things the old way. Providing structure for their confidence and creativity will help them blossom in your library.

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