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Workplace Excellence - RESPECTability

Thriving in the Multi-Generational Workplace

Whether you are a Baby Boomer, are from Gen-X, Millennial or Linkster generations, you most likely have encountered moments when you just did not understand where someone from a different generation was coming from in conversation or in the workplace.

Let's face it, not only are we all different, the difference in generation magnifies our differences.

Workplace Excellence - Respectability curriculum has been great, not just for students, but for our teachers and staff too. This module is designed to improve students' ability to understand and respect generational differences.  Teamwork is much easier when there is respect and understanding of each other.  

For the first time ever, more than two generations are working together - workplace teams sometimes have up to five, yes, five generations.  

KACC students gained knowledge about each generation, its size and historical events leading to certain traits. Clearly the Baby Boomers are the largest at approximately 78 million, often defined as driven, optimistic, self-focused.  

Each of the five generations were studied, focusing on the strengths, work values, how they work together, communication, and pitfalls. We all have our strengths and pitfalls - no matter what generation we come from.  

As an example, when it comes to communication expectations - Boomers expect a response within 24 hours, a Gen-X-r a rapid response, but within the day, Millennials want an immediate response or at least within the hour and Linksters (Born 1995 or later) want real-time interaction, often with multiple people, groups and communities at once (of course, they have been exposed to much more technology at a younger age). 

Linksters - Born after 1995 have some extremely useful traits for today's employers. Just a few of their strengths: 

  • They are tech savvy
  • Know they need to learn, change and adapt constantly and quickly
  • Carry a more global world view
  • Tend to be tolerant, supportive
  • Expect and even anticipate change

Students developed strategies on how to work across generational lines including expectations, respect, openness to learn from one another, communication skills - and how to capitalize on each generation's strengths.  

Students were encouraged to seek a mentor from another generation, taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their ability to function in a team as well as developing leaderships skills.  Of course, it is also a great benefit to older generations to seek a mentor from a younger generation. 

Each generation has much to offer - realization of this fact leads to the development of - RESPECTability.


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Kankakee Area Career Center4083 N 1000 W Road

PO Box 570Bourbonnais, IL 60914

815-939-4971Fax: 815-939-7598

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