Pottsville Instructor Conducted a Training Regarding Generational Differences in the Workplace
Pottsville, PA (12.7.16) - The average workplace today consists of at least three generations: baby boomers, generation X and millennials.
“You have to realize your company, bosses and employees are not just one age group and you have to deal with everyone and understand them or you are setting yourself up for failure,” Ralph Butera, a business instructor at McCann School of Business & Technology, Pottsville, said Tuesday morning during a presentation at Union Station. “We teach a lot of this in our business classes because it is important to know there is a difference and to be able to bridge the gap.”
The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s education committee sponsored the presentation for chamber members and future members. During “Us and Them: Understanding How Millennials Tick,” Butera talked about the differences between the three generations in the workplace, the best communication methods to bridge the gap and how to attract and retain millennial employees.
“One can state, without exaggeration, that the observation of and the search for similarities and differences are the basis of all human knowledge,” Butera said quoting Alfred Nobel. “That is what we tried to convey to you today.”
Each generation is roughly 20 years apart, Butera said. Some of the things that define each demographic includes clothing/fashion, music, politics and religion, family and work relationships, priorities, values and ethics.
Butera said it is important to recognize those aspects change between generations as businesses need both new and returning customers to be successful. He said some of the things people can do to bridge the gap through communication include using as many senses as possible, starting off with a smile, being polite, engaging in conversation, understanding both sides of the conversation and offer solutions.
Mark Palerino, director at the Blue Mountain Recreation Commission, said the baby boomers on his staff are retiring and millennials are taking their place.
“As part of the in-between generation, I sometimes have a hard time connecting with millennials and that is one reason why I came to this,” Palerino said.
He said the recreation commission serves all generations and his employees need to be able to understand that.
Lisa Baddick, production supervisor at IWCO Direct, Hamburg, said the company is looking for ways to reduce turnover rates among millennial employees.
“We couldn’t survive without either the boomers or millennials,” she said. “We need both of them.”