Letter from Jennifer Holt, Greater Chicago Chapter President
Recently, I've found myself in several conversations with friends and colleagues about the differences between generations. When does Gen X really end? Why isn't there one name for each generation? How can our work ethics be so different? It isn't surprising that this topic is on the mind of so many people because for the first time in the nation's history, four generations are working side by side in the workplace.
Although there is no consensus of the exact birth dates that define each generation, they are generally broken into four distinct groups:
*The Traditionalists or World War II Generation - Born between 1927 and 1945
*The Baby Boomers - Born between 1946 and 1964
*Generation X - Born between 1965 and the early 1980s
*Generation Y or Millennial Generation - Born in 1980 or later
Almost synonymous with the word "generation" is the word "gap." By definition, a "gap" is a "break in a barrier," a "separation in space," or an "incomplete or deficient area." These definitions carry a negative connotation. Why do we focus on generational differences being negative rather than positive? I admit I am an offender. Without fail this gives rise to frustration, conflict and misunderstanding. Yet each generation has something worthwhile and exciting to offer.
I'm so excited for the next WICT Greater Chicago event. Deanne DeMarco, the founder of Breaking Boundaries, is going to lead a training session to help us understand and better manage generational differences. She will explain the traits, how to connect and the specific leadership needs of each generation. We will learn how to improve retention, and create an environment that will inspire all your employees to give you their best every day. Check out a YouTube clip of Deanne!
Click here to register for the Generations @ Work event.
Hope to see you at the training!
I am WICT!
Know Yourself…Communicate…Listen…Connect…Be a Catalyst…Be Fearless…Inspire