I believe it is absolutely possible. I have helped create these cultures. The key is to build a culture that is aligned with timeless leadership principles that apply to all people no matter age, race, religion, gender, nationality, etc. The culture must be in alignment with natural laws and principles.
Character development of all associates (no matter the age) must be the foundation for any positive, supportive culture that will attract and retain team members. I'm sure you've seen this principle proven in your career. People get hired for what they know, but they get fired for who they are. The primary principles of character are: motive, agenda, behavior, humility, honesty, congruence, and courage, .
A good example of a natural law and principle is fairness. No one teaches how to feel if we are treated fairly or not. We are born with the ability to know when we are treated unfairly, no matter our age. You can see it in small children and the elderly. They know. What needs to be taught are the principles that build trust and strengthens relationships.
As my mentor, John Maxwell says, "Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.Everything rises and falls on leadership." Trust is the foundation of influence.
When we treat someone unfairly, do we build trust or distrust? What happens to our influence? When we treat someone fairly, do we build trust or distrust? What happens to our influence?
In my book "Defining Influence," I talk about the foundation of trust being our "intent." We are either manipulating others for our own benefit, or we are motivating others for mutual benefit. One builds distrust and the other builds trust. One decreases our influence and the other increases our influence.
True timeless leadership principles are self-evident. Everyone already knows the answer. I've seen organizations (some very "hard" filled with blue- collar associates of all ages) that I've supported turn completely around.
I've had a client that's a business owner recently tell me he witnessed one of his manager's conducting an annual review for an associate. The manager gave a low rating in an area of leadership because the associate used profanity on the job. The business owner told me he had never in his 38 years leading the company seen anyone concerned about the profanity used by the associates in this blue-collar construction organization. He is blown away by the cultural transformation that has taken place in his organization in only 6 months since leadership development training for all associates started.
Hope this helps. It's all about aligning the culture with natural laws and principles.
Sure. I think we mix "customs" as in it is customary for Generation X, Y whatever TEND to group think a certain way. Understanding those customs goes a long way toward embracing them and utilizing their strengths. Culture, properly cultivated is universal. Nice list Shree!
Company culture is tricky; adding the multi-generation element caused me to pause. However, regardless of time. The issue of dealing with generations came down to very simple ingredients that are commonly shared amongst all generations.
Many of the ingredients begin with setting examples, and treating people with respect - things learned long ago. However, a great resource can be found in the Malcolm Baldridge award criteria.
Absolutely it is! I haven't read all the other comments from others, but browsed through them and many great points have been made by many intelligent people. I would challenge you and any others to not only believe this is possible, but embrace the challenge of building this "utopian" culture that bring all generations together and allows them to grow and thrive. It is no easy task to take on, but is very doable and the reward is huge! Imagine how much value you will get from being able to harness the knowledge, capabilities, experience, and perspectives from a diverse set of people from multiple generations. Frankly, this could be the competitive advantage that allows one company to outperform their competitors. A few ideas on how this could happen:
1 - Respect, Integrity, and Honesty must be your cornerstones in building this culture.
2 - Vision is critical. What is the common goal that your multi-generational troops can rally behind? How defined is your vision, and how compelling is it?
3 - Consider the W.I.F.M. (What's In It for Me?) for all generations. You may find yourself developing unique work environments, compensation and reward programs, or benefits that fit the leading wants and needs of varying generations. This is perfectly okay, and frankly puts you on the leading edge where others may refuse to tread
4 - Get feedback from your people. Make no commitments in gathering this feedback outside of a general commitment to build an inclusive and healthy culture. Find the common intersections in that feedback and begin to build your culture strategy around this.
You may find yourself getting "outside the box," a bit as you go through this, particularly as you approach Gen Y/Millennials. As a person that falls in this camp myself, it is frustrating to constantly hear the negative stereotypes about us, but I must admit that some of this has been earned. It is okay to be challenged with this group in particular as our needs, wants, skills, and abiliities are different (not necessarily better or worse) than what Gen X or boomers have brought to the table. There is still plenty of common ground to work with (compensation, advancement, community involvement, etc.)
This sounds like an exciting journey! Good luck to you! If I can assist in any other ways, feel free to contact me at Ryan@IntegrityFirstBusinessSolutions.com!
Communication is key here. Your obstacle will be generation gaps, traditions, views on life etc. How one was brought up and the society he was brought in has a major impact on the outcome of your organizational culture. We also must take into account diversity.
This is why we have Job-fit and organization-fit. While your traditional team building activities will help, tweaking it to fit what your organization needs is important. The creation and documentation of employee profiles will be your best friend. Cross reference each trait they have, see on what ground the two can connect. It is very normal that two people with a 30 year gap will have some communication issues. That is why you must target those areas. Finding a common ground despite that gap will provide a foundation wherein they can iron out differences and respect them for who they are.
Everyone wants peace, no one wants to work in an environment with people they don't like o be with. The thing is, everyone wants a peace that suits them. This is also your chance to show and be the ideal leader your company needs you to be. A culture that works across for all generations is the ideal cultural asset. This is a paradise that separates the good from the great. So, to answer your question...
YES. It is definitely possible. Just make sure to reinforce it every now and then so that the bond stays strong.
Yes, this is very possible and very important. The owners and executives are responsible for setting the building blocks in place to promote this culture. I also believe that an engaged workforce is a more efficient workforce. When leaders promote development of their human assets, they build a more credible and reliable team.
yes, professionalism at work place is an universal approach for all generation.
Salary on time
appropriate distribution of work
and most important Accountability
Whether it is employer or employees all are accountable to their work responsibilities
You can never be all things to all people. Some of the generational values are in opposition to each other so there will be areas where compromise will be needed. However, as many of the people here have already alluded to, when there's a foundation of mutual respect and a common core set of values that the workforce is focused on, this compromise can be expected to occur. If the workforce has tools to address conflicts arising from difference and there is language and transparency surrounding the issue of inclusion overall, I'd say there isn't a single diversity issue that cannot be successfully addressed.
Yes! Creating a company culture needs to be a bottom up approach instead of a top down directive. Involve the employees in the process and have them help define the culture. Create a focus group that is a good representation of the company and make sure you include representatives from each culture. This focus group can help you define the core values and the expected culture. By bringing everyone to the table, you'll get buy in and you'll also get perspective on each generational need. Ann Rhoades wrote a book on how to go about creating values and a culture. It's called Built On Values and is basically a field guide for this type of activity.
If everyone buys into the same vision and understands the importance of their role in that culture. Everyone brings something to the table...experience, excitement, energy, shared environment, etc.
There has to be core values in place like mutual respect, honesty, open communication, maturity and consideration of others.
Attitude affects the culture and pride poisons it.
The drivers for success in today's business, social, and economic environment are becoming more and more dynamic, diversified, and challenging;however, today's leaders should recognize that an effective teaming culture is one of the most critical drivers for success in any business or organization. It's important to establish, communicate, and manage the right pillars of success for all employees.
The three pillars for a successful teaming culture for all generations are: Curiosity, Passion, and Empathy.
Curiosity drives people to find out what others know, what they bring to the table, what they can add. Passion fuels enthusiasm and effort. It makes people care enough to stretch, to go all out. Empathy is the ability to see another’s perspective, which is absolutely critical to effective collaboration under pressure.
Treat your employees as a team but also recognize that they are individuals as well.
I think it is. I agree with a number of the responses on this one.
I also think if you build your company culture to appeal to the 4 basic personality types, you will have a much greater chance of successfully crossing the generational lines of appeal.
Take a deep dive into what makes the 4 personality types tick, and you're well on your way to discovering the ways you can build a universal culture that is easy for all generations to engage and support. Good luck...
the immediate answer is a loud YES. If you are an authentic leader who understands people. their attributes, needs and wants, you can bring the team together. This is something I have experienced and, at the end of the day, people are people. They may not all like the same music, but many of their goals are on the same track, just at a different point in life.
As leaders we must be attentive to the development of our people. When we focus on developing their potential as team goals are worked on together, it may surprise some as to how listening can positively impact the organization. Genereations are not an issue when alll contribute.
Yes, you can if you set these as the fundamental rule:
1- Respect everyone's beliefs
2- Consider some time for the employees to do whatever they want (any research that is not related to their tasks, any project that they want, things like that) for themselves. This will increase their creativity
3- Always be honest with them
4- if your employee has a personal or family problem, help him/her.
These are what I am doing
It is possible and happens all the time. Treat people fair no matter who they are. Focus on peoples strengths not their weaknesses. Build a reputation to be a leader that inspires people. Ever gender, age, ethnicity, cultural diversities has contributions that sometimes are never brought to life because people concentrate on the wrong things.
I recently worked for a company that focused on the young generation thinking that they were what made the company yet sales and guest satisfaction were down. When I took over I changed the focus of who was doing to job to who was leading the people. In a short amount of time I replaced the few that fought the system and hired for quality. Sales went up, guest services went up. Two locations went from the bottom 10 stores of a chain of 230 locations to the top 10 one became number one. I have now moved on and still keep in touch with the top leaders and most of the people I inspired while changing the paradigm or culture of the organization.
Yes, just like a good manager can step on your shoes without ruining the shine, you can nurture individual values and personalities to co-exist and flourish. You must recognize the individuals' profile and help them succeed at what they have to work with. A common base is trust, respect and valuing what each has to offer to the teams goals and objectives. This bridges age, gender, and social classes alike. It is not easy and it must be a global commitment throughout the organization...starting with executives and leaders.
Yes - I think so. Just remember that culture is an expression of the "values in action", and so it is important to start there. Begin a conversation about what your values are and how can you put them into action every day. Dig past the easy stuff like honesty and dive deeper. Soon you will see those people who can contribute to the culture you want thrive, and those that don't. google: Camron Harold - he talks a lot about what they did at 1-800 Got Junk
I find Fiona's answer the most helpful, because she acknowledges the need to understand generational differences. I suggest that we ideally create a culture that nurtures and appreciates differences. My experience as a corporate leader who has always worked on transformational change and innovation is that most organizations are still operating with a fairly rigid command and control leadership culture. in this culture, people that are "different" or "hard to manage" are often the most creative and innovative, regardless of age or gender. They are also often "sidelined" from the formal leadership succession plan, because they don't fit the mold of current and previous leaders in their company. Many CEOs talks about the value of collaboration, innovation and diversity. In reality, most of these CEOs struggle to execute on incorporating those core values into the organizational culture because of this command and control culture and the behavioral norms/comfort zone to promote leaders that operate according to the legacy/accepted company culture.
So, is it possible? Of course. Is it easy? Absolutely not. It takes not only C-level executive sponsorship, but also an emerging form of leadership that enables leaders at all levels to leverage their unique strengths, and ideally engages and aligns their personal values & sense of purpose with the organization's mission and purpose.
There is newer leadership paradigm called "collective leadership", that not only embraces and empowers individuals to lead authentically and with high EQ, but also looks to bring together diverse teams intentional focus on the leadership systems constellation - making sure that all the primary leadership strengths are represented by the collective. So think of an organizational culture that nurture high performance leaders and leadership collectives (teams). This is an environment where people can thrive. Some resources on this on my blog - http://melissaomara.blogspot.com/2014/03/introduction-to-collective-leadership.html?_sm_au_=iHHnM0R0DH015M0Q.
Now - this culture alone is not enough to ensure success of the organization. The organization must be agile, especially focused on leading from the emerging future vs. the past. The organization must also have clarity of mission, vision, and PURPOSE, with a strong business model (or multiple complementary business models that enable internal startups as well as success of mature business offerings).
One model I like in particular to create a strong purpose-driven and aligned culture is "The Bigger Game Model" (thebiggergame.com). Look for the section focused organizations and teams. (http://www.biggergame.com/about/#organizations). I have used this quite extensively in corporate settings - in particular with teams and organizations that are trying to innovate, and pioneer a new offer or paradigm - like "smart cities". In effect, their mission is already a "bigger game", because the company and their customers are on the leading edge of something new. So - no one really "knows how" to play this game, and yet it is very compelling - so people are hungry to be part of it, and willing to take bold action, and invest of themselves in order to figure it out. I encourage any organization to really think about their "bigger game" - what are they really up to? What is compelling about their mission and vision for the future? Are they attracting the right customers, investors, partners, and employees? Are they keeping them? If not, then assess (not judge/self-flagellate) why not? What could be more compelling?
One more model that I find useful when thinking about company culture and organizational development is the integral model. Another post, another time...
By the way, all of this can work for very small teams - even 2 - 5 people! In fact, these tools many be even MORE important for small lean teams and for start-up companies. Getting the right combination of leadership skills and strengths, and understanding and appreciating these strengths/differences can make or break a start-up. So if your organization doesn't feel like a well-oiled machine - it probably isn't one... and you would benefit from any or all of these emerging ideas and practices.
Yes, because culture should be built on core values. Build a team with the same values and culture will follow.
1. hire everyone smarter than you
2. share success
3. take responsibility for team failures
4. create an environment where everyone wants to come back to tomorrow
It is absolutely possible, however some awareness of what motivates different generational groups is always helpful. There is a considerable amount of research into 'generational cohort groups' - Baby Boomers (I & II), GenX'rs and Millennials, and how they interact in both the workplace and the marketplace.
Since you are asking the question, you have probably already come to realize that each group is motivated differently and has different values and expectations. I've delivered presentations to business networking groups on marketing to the different cohorts and invariably, the Q&A focuses around attitudes of different generations in the workplace. This seems to be a topic that frustrates a great deal of people. The good news is that we can 'profile' the generational cohort groups much like we profile individuals through behavioral profiling tools. Of course, any time we 'profile' we are giving generalities. It is always important to keep in mind that we are all wired differently and individually. (I know you know this already since you are in HR.)
If you would like some more information, I've written an E-book on Generational Cohort Groups (in the US) and can provide you with a complimentary copy. Just reach out to me directly on this site or visit my website to request a copy. It is truly a fascinating topic and I'm happy to share what I know with you.