STICKING POINTS: HOW TO AVOID THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be invited to a breakfast where Haydn Shaw was speaking. Shaw is a leading expert on understanding generational differences and transforming negative work environments and employees. The topic for that morning was leading across four generations. This is the first time in our nation’s history that we have four generations in the workforce and it does , as he says, create many “Sticking Points” (the title of Shaw’s new book).
These same sticking points were addressed in the June addition of AMA’s Marketing News where Phyllis Weiss Haserot wrote an article attacking the issue from a different standpoint. In her piece, “How Boomers Can Prove Their Value at Work,” Haserot discusses the changing role of the older generation and how to make sure the Baby Boomers stay just as necessary and competitive in an evolving work enviornment. In the face of fresh, younger (cheaper) employees, some companies lose sight of the true value that senior level staff can provide. Sure, they may not be as comfortable using a smartphone, but they’ve been doing the job for years with out one, and doing it well.
At watchLAB, we do our best to empower all sides of the generational lines. As a company with quite a few members spanning different generations, it’s key to make sure we aren’t setting policy for policy’s sake and getting stuck in those sticking points. That’s why we’re putting together committees (our own internal focus groups) for topics like respondent experience, facility environment, and employee relations with members from different locations, life cycles, and varying levels within the organization to ensure that we aren’t just a top-down company.
By honoring the experience of our seasoned veterans, while embracing our younger employees and newer technologies with a fresh perspective, we hope that watchLAB will continue to push the envelope. We believe it’s just a matter of keeping an open mind as a company and always challenging the status quo.
Brian originally wanted to be an engineer until he encountered his first college physics class. While he can still do math quickly in his head, his real claims to fame are his seafood gumbo from scratch and hopeless addiction to golf.
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