Adam Grant from Wharton published a great article on LinkedIn this week and I was THRILLED to read it. It mirrors a complaint that I’ve been voicing for the last year with regards to all of the segmentation and labelling that was being used to trash GenYers…
The Coles notes finding is that while there are some generational differences, Gen Y is not so different after all.
Psychologist Jean Twenge decided to really challenge the assumptions that were being used to define generational behavioural attributes and to ask the question that has been nagging at me – will GenYers actually be that different once they hit their 30’s or 40’s when they are dealing with all of the life situations that naturally come during those years?
Twenge managed to invent a scientifically rigorous way to study generational differences. Through correlation of a number of studies that looked at generational opinions during high school years (i.e. Baby Boomers, Gen X & Gen Y), they determined that the three generations were remarkably similar. On average, all three generations ranked intrinsic values (interesting work, learning opportunities, challenging work) the highest, extrinsic values (pay, promotions, status) the middle and social rewards (interacting with friends) at the bottom.
All generations have similar values but express themselves differently. This fundamental statement is critical to workplace inter-generational dynamics and helping find effective ways for everyone to interact and be engaged and collaborative.
My work is focused on enabling GenYers to create and achieve their visions. Connect with me if you are looking to get UNSTUCK and start moving forward with your vision. I’d love to hear your thoughts on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.