Today’s Workplace —3 Generations —Soon to be Rarefied 4
Surviving in The Multi Generational Workplace Experiences
OOH Today Guest Writer
Andrea Messimer- Henley
Director of Business Development
Today’s workplace is comprised of 3 generations,
soon to be 4 which is very rare.
I have aligned with the OOH/Advertising industry for my entire adult career. For the first part of my career, I was accustom to working under the direction values & structure of Boomer Generation.
During the internet boom, everyone quickly adapted to the capabilities that the internet offered to streamline communication faster as well as workflow through emails vs facsimiles. Today, technology is evolving and disrupting businesses at a very rapid pace with the birth of social media, allowing us to be even more efficient with the ability to communicate, send, share and post content in real-time.
I find this topic very interesting- I interviewed several top executives with diverse backgrounds, Marketing Directors, to EVP’s, as well as C- Level executives. Here’s what they had to say about the multi generational workplace through their experiences and position’s–
The Multi Generational Workplace
#1 If you fight technology, you will lose.
“Addressing today’s modern day workforce as a whole, I struggle to understand why there are so many people resisting social media. If I’ve learned anything over the past 20 years, it is that if you fight technology YOU will lose. Most people believe that we continue to learn throughout our careers. However, we have pressed pause with regard to the new way of communicating. It’s critical to figure out a way that it can work for and with you and start building your personal brand. Believing that you can continue to succeed without it puts you at a disconnect with your entire future workforce”
#2 Let go of your generational biases
Let go of your generational biases and approach collaboration with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and the confidence knowing that each generation possesses a valuable perspective. Encourage honest, respectful dialog and make sure each voice is heard.
#3 Boomers grew up without tech, leading to better interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence
Boomers grew up without tech, leading to better interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. In a world where we are all so tethered to our phones and communicate through email, texts and on social the majority of the time, this becomes a very coveted skill. Boomers have an established skill set to have tough conversations and collaborate more deeply. In addition, boomers have legacy knowledge of the media world.
– Gen X is unique as it’s the only demo to straddle the tech and no tech era, with computers being introduced and widely used within their 20s. In many ways, they have the best of both worlds. This generation has the knowledge base to fully leverage technology for their marketing solutions while also having developed their interpersonal skills from earlier on in life.
– Millennial’s: A generation that is digitally native and fully immersed in technology, so that they fully understand its power and role in today’s media landscape.
#4 I draw upon the Boomer’s breadth of experience and the confidence in decision-making
That often comes along with that. The GenXer’s direct communication approach and adaptability to change is a strength that I embrace. As technophiles, my own Millennial generation is evolving the core of communication, which is creating exciting new opportunities, efficiencies, and ways to experience the world
#5 The Millennial generation innately knows how to stay connected
As a 36-year-old in the market, I’m “technically” a Millennial but ride a thin line between also being considered a GenX’r. Growing up in an era where the Internet and the IPhone literally changed the way we communicate with others and do business, the Millennial generation innately knows how to stay connected to their prospective networks…but unfortunately, sometimes at a sacrifice of building deep, meaningful relationships. This is a lesson that the younger generations can learn from the baby boomers. Making eye contact, developing listening skills, and interpersonal communication…in my opinion goes much farther than the latest “tweet” or “hashtag”.
VP of Sales- Co-founder
#6 To my own Millennial generation I would say be patient.
It’s important to realize how many years the generations before us have to put into their jobs, but rather use your technology knowledge and energy to inspire and assist the older management, as this will be seen as supporting the collective. Suggest genuine team tactics and tools and politely and your voice will be heard, so much more than a confrontational one.
EVP of Sales
Mckay Advertising + Activation
#7 Generational issues in the market place is not different at OUTFRONT Media than anywhere else. It’s everywhere. ‘That’s not the way we do it’, it’s everywhere. OUTFRONT is no exception.
The above is an attitude thing not an age thing. OOH Owners, Media owners, Agencies are all in some form or measure stuck in old line thinking of continuing to do things the way they have always been done.
Our biggest advocate of change and forward thinking is Jeremy Male. At 60 years old he is at the front as a change agent. Generational divide, age, those are a mindset. We recognize it’s not age, its attitude which is important to the future of OUTFRONT. Biases are barriers more than differences.
Chief Commercial Officer
#8 Millennials in our workplace, when given the latitude, go to great lengths to provide better solutions.
I found that my Millennials will go to great lengths to find better and easier ways to accomplish the goals of our organization. That can be a great outcome when we need something done quickly and without drama. They may not work in the traditional way we would expect but if we give them freedom to test their ideas, we usually end up with a better solution. After all, isn’t there an app for that?
Director of Sales & Marketing
Stott Outdoor Advertising
What’s your experience with the multi- generational work force in the market place?
Special Thanks to Brent Baer, who I believe to be a Baby Boomer, as a contributor to this post, for his help in the interview with Andy Sriubas, obtaining Lynn Terlaga’s comments, and sharing open access to OOH Today.
Andrea Messimer- Henley
Director of Business Development