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Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes

ISBN: 978-1-119-22062-6
256 pages
February 2016
Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes (1119220629) cover image

Description

A blueprint for managing people, not generations

Unfairly Labeled challenges the very concept of "generational differences" as an unfair generalization, and offers a roadmap to intergenerational understanding. While acknowledging that generational stereotypes exist, author Jessica Kriegel argues that they are wrong—and that it's unreasonable to assume that the millions of people born in the same 20-year time span are motivated by the same things, attracted to the same things, and should be dealt with in the same way. Kriegel's experience as Organizational Developer at Oracle puts her squarely in the talent strategy realm, where she works to optimize leadership development, team effectiveness, and organizational design. Drawing upon her experiences with workers of all ages and types, she shows how behaviors know no generational boundaries and how to work with people based on their talents, strengths, and weaknesses rather than simply slapping on a generational label and fitting them into an arbitrary slot.

There are 80 million Millenials in America, yet there are myriad books on "managing Millenials" and "working with Millenials" and "the problem with Millenials." This book shows that whether you're working with Millenials, Generation X, or Baby Boomers, age is not the issue—it's the interpersonal dynamics that matter most.

  • Examine the concept of "generational issues"
  • Explore the disparate reality of each 20-year generational span
  • Learn to understand and work effectively with other generations
  • Facilitate intergenerational understanding sessions

The human mind craves categorization, so the tendency to lump people together is natural. It may, however, be holding your organization back. The members of each generation have only one thing in common—their age—and even that varies by two whole decades. Why assume that they should all be managed the same way? Unfairly Labeled shows you a better way, and provides a roadmap to a more effective organizational strategy.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Part One: The Problem with Labeling Generations xii

Part Two: Toolkit for Managers xiii

Part Three: Overcoming Generational Labels xiv

Introduction: Taking Issue with Generational Issues xvii

Generation Exercise xviii

Perception Is Reality xx

How Labels Divide xxii

I THE PROBLEM WITH LABELING GENERATIONS 1

1 Why We Stereotype 3

The Brain Makes Categories 6

Predictions into Convictions 7

The Ladder of Inference 9

In-Group, Out-Group Dynamics 11

2 Age versus Generation 15

Age Discrimination 17

Age versus Generation 19

Hiding Age Discrimination Behind Generation Labels 21

Summary 24

3 American Labels in a Global World 25

Generation Stereotypes in Other Cultures 27

Summary 32

4 When Are the Labels Useful? 35

When a Label Is Useful: Marketing 38

The Better Way 40

Summary 43

II TOOLKIT FOR MANAGERS 45

5 Employee Engagement 47

The Stereotype 49

Origins of the Stereotype 51

The Truth about Motivating Millennials 60

Overcoming the Stereotypes 63

Summary 71

6 Performance Management 73

The Stereotype 75

The Truth about Managing Millennial Performance 82

Overcoming the Stereotypes 86

Summary 93

7 Collaborative Teamwork 95

The Stereotype 97

The Error in Stereotypes 99

Overcoming the Stereotypes 102

Summary 107

8 Recruiting 109

The Stereotype 112

The Origin of the Stereotype 113

Overcoming the Stereotypes 116

Summary 120

9 Technology 121

The Stereotypes 123

The Origins of the Stereotype 124

Overcoming the Stereotypes 128

Summary 131

III OVERCOMING GENERATIONAL LABELS 133

10 Roadmap to Changing Your Organization’s Culture 135

Be a Maven 137

Six Steps to Change 138

Summary 144

11 Case Study 1 145

Background 147

The Request 150

Needs Assessment 152

Survey Results 159

Results 159

Focus Groups 166

Training Programs 168

Return on Investment Analysis 185

Conclusion 191

12 Case Study 2 193

Background 195

The Request 196

Needs Assessment: Survey 198

Learning Style Differences by Generation 200

Learning Activity Preferences by Generation 200

Optimizing the Learning Environment 207

Practical Implications 209

Resources: Case Study 2 Details 211

References 217

About the Author 223

Index 225

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Author Information

JESSICA KRIEGEL is an organization and talent development consultant at Oracle. Her expertise is in strategic planning, talent management, leadership development, and intergenerational understanding. She consults on the topic of intergenerational understanding and talent management. She lives in Sacramento, CA.

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