Recently I was interviewed by the staff at Diversity at Work, a diversity management business in London, Ontario, Canada. They work with organizations to realize the value of diversity in the workplace and in sales and marketing strategies.
Being from Canada myself, it was a special treat to chat with this group about generational differences and the implications they have for today’s workforce.
The full interview is available on page 7 of the Your Diversity at Work newsletter, here.
Here’s a taste:
SY – In my opinion and based on my research I believe each generation can identify with their Generational DNA, based on the year they were born and shared significant life events, such as war, economy, birth order etc. We also have what I call our “Generational DNA” which allows each of us to decide the generation we feel most connected to. For instance I am a Gen X based on my age – 42 years old BUT I act more like a Baby Boomer due to being the first born child of three younger siblings and graduating high school at the age of sixteen and starting college.
The generational types are a means for understanding how and why each of the generations do what they do and the best way to Attract, Retain and Motivate them in the workplace. It is the basis for our understanding of what makes each person unique not as a stereotype.
Read more. (After clicking the link, scroll down to page 7.)
Unbuckle your seat belt, and get out of the car. Not with a middle-aged grunt! Get out with the kind of spring in your step you had on the first day. You are going to work, after all, not slouched jobless on the sofa watching “Divorce Court” while unpaid creditors ring the phone off the hook.
As you walk toward the building, start thinking about all the things that make your workplace GOOD. If you cannot think of any, do not make me walk you through the sweatshops of Southeast Asia like some sort of Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. There are countless good things about your workplace. You have simply stopped seeing them. Take the time to start feeling grateful for them again. The grass is not always greener on the other side!
Okay, we are inside. Hear Debbie talking? Think of three ways it could be worse. See the copier? If you are old enough, think back to carbon paper and mimeograph machines. And if you are NOT old enough, be grateful for THAT.
You get the idea. But am I saying you have to simply accept things as they are? Not on your life. But the first step in making your workplace (or the world) a better place is realizing that it is already better than we often think.
The next step is recognizing that you have the power to change many of the things you do not like. Once you have found reasons to be happy, spread that joy. Once you have identified things that need fixing, step out of your comfort zone and get them fixed. Address issues. Submit work orders. Be unexpectedly nice or generous to a colleague who might be hard to love.
Life is an inside-out job. Happiness and unhappiness begin with the way you perceive things around you. And do not forget that it all starts with gratitude, the shining core of all enlightened and happy people.
Wake up every day and make a mental list of what you are grateful for. Then get going NOW on changing the rest.
The Attitude Barometer
Picture a barometer that registers your attitude. Start the work day by consciously setting it to neutral, and then find reasons to push the arrow upward throughout the day. Take a at reading lunch. See how a conscious effort at perceiving things in a positive way can change your experience of your own life.