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Intergenerational Consulting

July 15th, 2019 Posted by Consulting, Millennials 0 thoughts on “Intergenerational Consulting”

Plato wrote in Republic that necessity is the mother of all invention. Society finds ways to adapt as new needs and problems requiring novel solutions arise. This could apply not just to physical inventions but also to the labor market. The global social and economic flux throughout the decades define how each generation approaches work, and as a result, various industries have come up to meet the changing labor landscape. An example of this change is the increasing number of working Millennials and what makes them different. The “invention” that will help you serve this booming population? Intergenerational consulting. 

The rise of Millennials in the workforce opened a gap that needs to be bridged. Investing in intergenerational consulting means getting the tools and insight you need for the task at hand. As we dive headfirst into what this type of consulting is, let’s take a look at how each generation was shaped by the social, political, and economic forces surrounding them. Then we can gain a better understanding of how different Millennials are from generations past.

The Silent Generation (ages 72-89)

This generation was born between 1925-1942 and, according to Forbes, makes up about 20 million U.S. adults in their 70s and 80s. This Time magazine essay dubbed them the Silent Generation, a cohort that grew up in the time of war. They were considered silent because of their avoidance of protests. Economically, they are considered the wealthiest– well-educated and pensioned homeowners with hefty retirement funds that were sold out before the 2008 housing crash. 

Baby Boomers (53-71)

If the last of the Silent Generation turned 65 before 2007, Baby Boomers turned 65 in 2011. This cohort was born post-World War II. There were 3.4 million babies born in 1946 compared to the 2.5 million average birth rate in previous years–hence the term Baby Boomers. This generation had quite the tumultuous economic, political, and social experiences–the moon landing of 1969, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, and more. Between Millennials and Boomers, the latter are more conservative in terms of home ownership, views on family, and stance on social issues. 

Generation X (37-52)

After the Boomers came Generation X, or Gen X for short. Gen Xers were born between the mid-60s and early-80s. There are about 50 million members of the Gen X cohort. They are the “the last analog generation” but also the first Internet and tech generation. According to Investopedia, about 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs come from this group. However, Gen Xers are not as financially stable as the Silent Generation especially in light of the Great Recession. A Vanity Fair article interestingly describes Gen X as “ cynical, wised up, sane,” and as a kind of “market corrective” to the generation that preceded them. Gen Xers have a different philosophy compared to the Boomers–they were activists and socially liberal. Some famous Gen Xers include Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Jay-Z, Tiger Woods, and Elon Musk.

Millennials (20-36)

After our tour of the different generations starting from those born in 1925, we have at last arrived at the Millennials or Generation Y. This generation was born between 1981 to 1996. Millennials in 2018 were between the ages of 22 and 37. Compared to the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, Millennials are less slower to get married and own homes. This cohort is the most racially diverse and better educated but are not necessarily the most stable economically.

It is interesting to note how a lot of women from previous generations were not part of the labor force. Today, Millennial women make up 72% of the workforce according to Pew Research. But while that is the case, Millennials have inherited the after effects of the Great Recession making the job market more challenging. This is why a Millennial can be educated and still have a hard time entering the workforce–and these factors affect all of their lifestyle choices such as delaying starting a family.

Get Intergenerational Consulting For Your Business

There is so much more that we can unpack about each generation, but we can safely conclude that there are some major differences all of the groups we’ve covered here. But in spite of these differences, we can create shared experiences and help build those gaps. This is where the value of intergenerational consulting shines through–we can work together to uncover where your business or organization is at in terms of the population it employs and serves. How can you bring Millennials into the fold? What can they learn from you and your experiences? 

Let’s ask these questions together, bridge that gap, and create an environment where everyone thrives no matter which generation you’re from. Contact me to learn more about intergenerational consulting and how it can help you.

Mentoring Millennials in the Workplace

June 30th, 2019 Posted by Millennials 0 thoughts on “Mentoring Millennials in the Workplace”

Pop culture is a treasure trove of the mentor archetype. Think Mr. Miyagi to Daniel, Professor Charles Xavier to the X-Men, and Yoda to Luke Skywalker. These teachers and leaders have walked alongside their students to help chart their course, teach them in their failures, and support them in their heroes’ journeys.

In the same way, real life mentors play a key role in the professional development of their colleagues. They pour into the lives of others to help propel them to the next level of their careers and even in areas outside of work. Good mentors establish mutual respect with their mentees, provide meaningful feedback, and strive to keep growing themselves. 

With the rise of automation, cloud computing, and all things Internet, workers–particularly the Millennial workforce–need mentors more than ever. The mentor and mentee relationship takes work just like any other relationship, but the human to human connection is irreplaceable and worth the effort.

Benefits to Mentoring

Not all business leaders recognize that mentoring will yield dividends not just for the mentees, but for the mentors themselves. Mentoring or coaching allows the mentor to build a legacy and pass on lessons they have acquired over the years to a potential successor. For someone who has been in the game for a while, taking someone under their wing could reinvigorate their own careers and avoid plateauing. It truly is a wonderful exchange, so how does one become a good mentor?

Ways to be a Better Mentor

* Establish Mutual Trust and Respect. In a study conducted by Deloitte, results show that “Respondents do not think highly of leaders’ impact on society, their commitment to improving the world, or their trustworthiness.” This is huge. Millennials in your workplace need to see that you are proactively improving the quality of life around you and that you can be trustworthy. You can do this by pursuing your passions, supporting a cause you truly believe in, being true to your word, and many other ways. Living a life of integrity both in and out of the workplace makes a great impression on your millennial and Gen Z team members.

Once you gain the respect of your constituents, remember to give that same respect to them. Respect their ideas, put yourself in their shoes, and let them know that you are on their side even when they fail; this isn’t to encourage repeated mistakes, but a way to communicate that you are their advocate.  

* Mentor, Not Manager. It is important that business leaders do not simply manage their team in a detached manner. As the first point above suggests, millennials need someone who doesn’t just tell them what the rules of the game are–they need someone who is inspiring and can lead a team without pulling teeth. A manager will dictate; a mentor will teach by example. A manager will hover and be singular in their methods; a mentor allows creativity to flourish, lets someone make their own mistakes, learns from them, and supports them in the process. 

* Communicate Well. Communication is a pillar of any good relationship, including those of mentors and mentees. Provide constructive feedback to your mentees and welcome feedback from them as well. Once you’ve established mutual trust and respect, your mentee will be more receptive to what you have to say and your lessons will stick better. 

* Lifelong Learning. Remember that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Keep bettering and challenging yourself. Again, how you approach your own career and how you live your life speak volumes to your younger peers. This way, you will always have something new to share. In the same way, recognize that you can learn something from your millennial team members, too. When you establish mutual respect and have solid communication, the result is a positive and great learning environment. 

Millennials and Gen Z need mentors not just for the day when they reach the top, but here and now as they occupy your workspace. Respect and trust each other, provide feedback, and continuously learn from one another. You and your business will be better for it.

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