Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Today, four generations of employees co-exist in the workplace. Their communication styles are all different and the way they utilize networks vary. Regardless of these differences, there is much to be learned and shared across generations around networking and relationship building.
Traditionalist (currently age 66 and above) prefer a more formal networking structure. They tend to build their network through existing business and personal relationships. They make introductions through others with whom they have established respect and trust. They prefer to network and communicate face-to-face. Traditionalists pride themselves on customer focus, dedication and loyalty. By achieving this, they are able to form long-standing relationships. They are also philanthropic and expand their network through participation in various voluntary capacities such as: religious affiliations, country clubs, non-profit organizations, etc. Traditionalist will network mostly within their own generation or the generation below them.
Baby Boomers (currently ages 48-65) are very relationship-oriented individuals. They utilize business and social networks for many reasons including the opportunity to meet and mentor others. This generation has seen the power of networking through cultural change that they were able to drive during their lifetime. In business, they are team oriented and use networks to establish and further relationships. Their emphasis on relationship building can cause frustration with younger generations who feel it takes too long to make decisions due to involving too many in the process.
Generation X (currently ages 30-47) use of networks is more inwardly focused. This generation is more likely to utilize networks for business opportunity and personal growth rather than socializing. That is not to say that all Gen Xers are self-centered or anti-social but research has shown that they have a smaller, tighter group of friends and networks. They focus more on internal networking within the company they are working, and then move onto external networking. They also favor more on-line networking resources.
Generation Y (currently ages 11-29) have embraced the concept of networking early on. Their use of networks starts for social purposes at an early age with the use of on-line resources such as My Space and Facebook. They are the first generation that will be able to maintain and keep a relationship network via the internet from the time they are young through their adult years. They have also been engaged in other forms of networking through extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities. They really have brought a whole new light to networking and will continue to shape it well into the future. Gen Y has no problem including all generations in their network and can see the value from a diversity perspective.
Networking Tips to Share Across the Generations
The bottom line is that each generation networks in different ways, and for different reasons, but all four generations understand its importance and value. Following are some key networking tips that are beneficial across generations:
- Simple Strategies for Multigenerational Leaders
- Let's Talk, Really Talk
- Are You Ready for Performance Reviews?
- The Importance of Trust on Teams
- Reduce Back-to-School Stress: 5 Quick Tips
- Celebrate Differences in the Workplace
- Leading with Empathy
- Finding Strengths in Others
- What Every Person Wants: RESPECT
- Managing Gen Y Interns: Five Helpful Tips
- Baby Boomers (3)
- Business Issues (12)
- Communication (19)
- Employment (11)
- flexible work arrangements (2)
- Generation X (3)
- Generation Y (3)
- Generations (12)
- Job Hunting (1)
- Leadership (12)
- Manager Tips (16)
- Performance (5)
- Performance Reviews (3)
- Reduce Stress (2)
- Teamwork (3)
- Traditionalists (3)
- Women (1)
K HR Solutions President Kim Huggins helps transform individuals and corporate work groups into effective leaders and results-oriented teams. Kim’s thought-provoking services and programs are custom-designed to meet your needs. Kim is also a nationally recognized trainer and speaker on the topic of Understanding Generations.