We have all been to conferences where there has been discussion about the differences between baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y in terms of work attitudes or in terms of lifestyle preferences and marketing. If those presentations haven't meant anything to you, then the current game shows featuring different generations emphasise the difference.
[Read this BBC News story about a teenager who gave up his iPod for a week and replaced it with his father's 25-year-old Sony Walkman to get an idea of the generational changes. For example it took the teenager three days to figure out that there was another side to the cassette tape!]
If you have an employee born before 1945, you could in fact have 4 different generations of employees.
Different generations have different savings attitudes, preferences for interacting on the Web and in the branch and relationships with financial institutions. And they are more mobile in their jobs.
It's now also becoming obvious that the different generations need to be communicated with in different ways in the workplace for compliance and training purposes.
This will influence your attitude to giving feedback, use of technology, mentoring, rewards and career opportunities.
For example training may need to be delivered in a variety of easy to access formats at convenient times.
Gen Y will have a preference for online or portable (eg podcast) type training.
The first step is to recognize that there are vast differences between today’s staff and previous times. The second step is to understand what makes each generation of employees different. Finally, the third step is to use this understanding to rethink your strategies for training employees and improving customer care, risk management and compliance.