Multi-Generations at Work
MEA’s 5th Annual Law Conference was packed with relevant content and great speakers. MEA’s own Marian Vallotton put generation gaps in the spotlight by instigating a spirited debate between the Millennials (a.k.a. “Gen Y”) and the Boomers in the audience. She even opened the floor for both sides to voice their frustrations about the other generations. The Boomers and Xers went first, and didn’t hold back, voicing remarks such as, “gnats have longer attention spans,” and “what happened to paying your dues?” The outnumbered Millennials fired back with “we’re not your tech support,” and “you’re boring!”
While this back and forth did illustrate the sometimes rocky relationship between the two groups, it also allowed Marian to make a very important point – HR has an absolutely critical role in managing these generation gaps within their organization, because the Millennials are here to stay.
During her presentation, Marian asked all of the attendees to text in their answers to the following poll questions. The response was great, and we even heard that someone sent their first text message ever! Here were the results…
Instant Poll #1: What was the generational makeup of the audience? SURVEY SAYS…
It was clear that both Boomers & Xers were in full attendance at our 2012 conference. Typically those who attend MEA events sit at the top of their organizations, representing middle and upper management. The predominance of Xers and Boomers in our audience on November 1st, is a strong indicator that these generations are ever present and still hold the power seats. Yet, seated alongside their more mature peers was a sprinkling of Gen Y participants. It’s evident that Gen Y is here now and currently entering management ranks.
Instant Poll #2: What is the generational makeup of your company?
When we asked about employee mix, boomers came out on top, outnumbering all the other generations. However, some responded there was a mixed workforce; others put Gen X in the majority; and there was even a small group who texted that Gen Y outnumbered all of the other generations.
How are you dealing with your multi-generational workforce?