Generational Management — Part 2

Having identified the various generations in the workplace, their characteristics, and the potential conflicts, how do you manage different generations? Send your managers to class. They need to learn to recognize generational differences and adapt. Facilitate mentoring. Match different aged employees to encourage more cross-generational interaction. Offer different working options. Allow telecommuting and working offsite. Focus on the results. Make sure the focus is on what the employees produce rather than on how they get it done. Accommodate different learning styles. Utilize a variety of training methods and venues. Keep all employees engaged. Provide them with regular educational and training opportunities as well as career advice. Open up the office. Do not allow the office to be a cloistered environment. Toss the routines. Recognize that younger employees feel constrained with a rigid schedule. Customize motivation and incentives. Be sensitive to what programs motivate each generation. Give all employees a voice. Older employees have a point of view. Younger employees want to be heard. Don’t confuse character issues like immaturity, laziness or intractability with generational traits. Recognize that younger generations work don’t necessarily work fewer hours, they just choose to work those hours on something other than a 9-to-5 schedule. Age differences should be built into diversity training taken by all employees. It is common to emphasize race, gender, and sexual preference. Age has to be a part of the training also. Think skills, not age. Experience cannot be solely defined in terms of years. Likewise, age does not prevent an employee from possessing the latest and greatest skills. Emphasize commonality. It’s easy for employees to become adversarial when they focus on their differences. Continually remind your team of its common goals. Respect competence and initiative. Treat everyone, from the newest recruit to the most seasoned employee, as if they have great things to offer and are motivated to do their best. Draw on the strength of each generation. Reject the tendency to impose your generational approach on that of your team. Adapt your management style for each generation. The point is that you can’t manage according to your value system. Rather, you need to manage according to the employee’s value system. Accept what you...

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1 Samuel 16:1-13

The Anointing of David (1 Samuel – 16:1-13) What caused the city elders to be terrified (vs. 4) at the unexpected visit of Samuel? Did they think that this was a disciplinary visit? Had Samuel gotten wind of some injustice or wickedness in their community? Did they think this put the city in a dangerous position? Everyone knew of the big, falling-out between Samuel and Saul. If they received Samuel, would Saul take revenge on the city? Did they just react to Samuel’s seriousness? No one knows for sure what they were thinking. They were just plain terrified! Fortunately, Samuel calms their fears by telling them that he came in peace. He came to sacrifice to the Lord. He instructs them to consecrate themselves and come to the feast with him (vs. 5). There is still something hidden here. No one in the city dreamed that Samuel had come to anoint one who would rule God’s kingdom in this world. But even Samuel lacked the whole story. God had only told him that he would find the one from among Jesse’s sons. Just like the city elders, Samuel was a spectator in God’s choice of a new king. That is the theme of Chapter 16 – God’s choice. [1] The Hope in God’s Choice (vs. 1) Saul’s failure (“for Saul”) weighed heavily on Samuel. Wherever he went, it followed him like a dark cloud. It could have been sorrow over Saul’s rebellion and rejection. It could have been mourning that this sin could result in Israel’s disintegration. In either case, the grief prompted God to ask: “How long will you go on mourning for Saul?” (vs. 1) Fortunately, God’s orders answer Samuel’s grief and fears. “Fill your horn with oil and go; I want to send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have seen among his sons a king for me.” Or as The New-England Primer states for the letter “S” – “Samuel anoints whom God appoints.” [2] There it is – God’s answer. I have found for me a king [3]. God has a plan for a new beginning. The true King never loses control. God’s answer, God’s choice spells H-O-P-E. Practical...

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Generational Management — Part 1

To all those who were not children in the 60’s and 70’s — We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, and tuna from a can. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets — not to mention — the risks we took hitchhiking. As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, butter, and drank Kool-Ade made with real sugar. Nevertheless, we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We would leave home in the morning and play all day. As long as we were back when the streetlights came on, we were not in trouble. No one was able to reach us all day – and we survived! We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms……. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and — although we...

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