I was recently included in a panel of 10 HR Experts in the Halogen Software HR Raging Debates Roundtable. This virtual roundtable brought together industry leaders including HR analysts, practioners, authors, social media pundits and academics to weigh in on some of the hottest HR and talent management topics currently faced by HR pros, including appraisals, succession planning, managing the generations and weisure.
If it's focused on experts, why was I involved again?
The roundtable participants include thought leaders: Josh Bersin,President and CEO, Bersin & Associates; Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management at The Wharton School; David Creelman, CEO, Creelman Research; Kris Dunn, VP of People, DAXKO and blogger at HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent (WHO?); Richard Hadden, author of the Contented Cows leadership books; Lance Haun, Vice President of Outreach, MeritBuilder and blogger at Rehaul; Sharlyn Lauby, President, Internal Talent Management Group and blogger at HR Bartender; Ed Lawler, Distinguished Professor of Business at the Marshall School of Business; Laurie Ruettimann, Blogger at PunkRock HR; and Libby Sartain, former CHRO of Yahoo! Inc. and Southwest Airlines, author, and HR advisor.
It's a cool series, so go check it out.
Here's one of the topics that interested me - not because we haven't talked enough about it, but because I was interested to see what the others would say:
Do You Really Need to Manage the Different Generations Differently?
Here's my answer:
"I’m a big believer that you might need to tweak your employment branding to message to the different generations in an effective way. For example:
–Gen Y – “Our soda is free and we’ve bought a carbon offset for the lights. Damn it feels good to be green”.
–Gen X – “Check out the pictures of our outing to the Pearl Jam Reunion Tour this summer. Good times. Did we mention we’re holding the boomers to the original retirement dates they gave us? Can’t have the Gen X ceiling because those boomers won’t retire.”
–Boomers – “Be sure to see our “best in class” employee contribution rates towards our medical plan, as well as the quality of the plan as evidenced by the low deductibles. Did we mention we’re stack ranking those cocky Gen Y kids?”
I kid, but I think the time to manage generations differently is in the recruiting process. Sell what you got, my friends. Once the talent is in the door, I think everyone wants to know what’s in it for them, and I also think every generation starts out their careers by wanting to fast-track. So I think you have to address that with the younger folks in your organization, but I’m not sure that’s much different than it was for the young Gen Xers I used to know.
A funny thing happens to young folks from every generation that turns their focus from Mt. Dew to stability: Kids and mortgages. When a generation stops having those two things enter their lives, call me. I might change my stance. Once you get beyond the youth equation, I think every generation has stars, role players and low performers. I think the most effective approach is to manage talent based on their talent level rather than their age.
Except for Gen Xers. You should always treat those people special."
Go check out the responsesof Sartain, Cappelli, etc. And why you are at it, vote my response up! Feel free to vote Laurie Ruettimann down, because it's gone all bloods vs. crips between the two of us., Actually, it's probably not bloods versus crips. It's more like West Side Story before the finger snaps weren't considered macho enough for someone with my muscle tone.