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Tag Archives: Traditionalists

Motivating employees of different ages

FoodService_Spring2015What does it take to inspire and motivate employees of different ages? Over the years, I have blogged several times about different generations in the workplace (see Intergenerational conflict arising from dated policies and procedures? and Five things every leader should know about the multi-generational workplace), and it still continues to be a topic of huge interest to clients in just about every industry. The food services industry is no exception. Recently, Food Service & Nutrition magazine (published by the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management) invited me to pen an article for them for their Spring 2015 issue on this very subject, and you can read it here: Continue reading

Millennials in the workplace – CKNW 980 NewsTalk Vancouver interview

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to my latest column in The Globe & MailWant respect, millennials? Here’s how to earn it is the third in a series, and like the first two, it has gone viral, stimulating both positive and negative feedback, but definitely instigating conversations!  Some of those dialogues have included me, but far more important are the thousands of discussions that have started around coffee stations and water coolers, as people have commenced and continued to work on improving communication between different generations in the workplace.

CKNW980NewsTalkLast week, Bill Good, very popular morning host on CKNW NewsTalk Vancouver, invited me to join him on his show to talk about – you guessed it – generational differences in the workplace.  The conversation, not surprisingly, centered on the negative stereotypes that are often assigned to the millennial generation, and how to get past them.  Here is a link to the actual interview.  Continue reading

Want respect, millennials? Here’s how to earn it.

My newest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series just published this morning.


“Want respect, millennials?  Here’s how to earn it”

offers six specific pieces of advice to millennials on how to earn greater respect amongst their boomer and Gen-Xer peers and managers.

My last two columns on the subject of millennials (Four things millennials hate about you in March and Don’t gripe about millennials at work, appreciate their talents instead in April) created quite the commotion, so if history is a predictor of the future, I suspect this one will cause some conversation as well.  As always, the column will take you no more than a few minutes to read, and I know that it will be relevant, but perhaps more importantly, I hope it will be thought-provoking.

I hope it goes without saying – I’d love your thoughts!  Please … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues.  I suspect that they’ll each have an opinion as well!  And if you’ve got a millennial or two in your work or personal life, I’d love to hear from them too.  Please comment below, or add your perspectives to the Globe’s website.  You can also tweet me at @mergespeaks.

Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere:

In defense of Millennials …

My latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series is live on the worldwide web this morning!


As most of you know, my last column caused quite the commotion!! In just the first two days, Four things millennials hate about you had over 50,000 hits and over 6,000 direct shares, and since then readership has continued to climb.   So … given the intense interest this subject generated last time, I decided to take another look at the same topic but from a slightly different viewpoint.

Stop griping and start appreciating millennials

is all about why we should focus on the strengths that this young generation brings to the workplace, rather than on their weaknesses. And quite frankly, all the things that irritate us most about the millennial generation were enabled by the rest of us, baby boomers and Generation-Xers, in the workplace. In other words, we created the monster that now frustrates so many of us!

So please, take a quick read through today’s column. It will take you only a few minutes, and I know that it will offer you a perspective you might never have previously considered. It will be relevant, and definitely thought-provoking! And please … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues. I’m willing to bet that they’ll each have an opinion! At minimum, it will get the conversation going. Feel free to add your thoughts to the Globe’s website (since they have a lot more readers, the dialogue is broader), or come on back to the blog to comment.  If you wish, you can also send me a tweet at @mergespeaks.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere:

Millennials in the workplace – more radio interviews

radioMy latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series, “Four things millennials hate about you“, continues to get a lot of interest.  Total views have exceeded 60,000 and direct “shares” have climbed above 6,000.  And the topic has become one that has captured the attention of several radio stations.  In addition to the interview I did with Gary Doyle, popular talk show host at 570 News Radio in Kitchener/Waterloo, I’ve now also been John Moore’s guest on Moore in the Morning on 1010 Newstalk Toronto, and on Talk to the Hand with Ed Hand on 1310 News Ottawa.  Two more interviews that have been taped but not aired yet are with Chris dela Torre on CBC Radio’s Alberta Morning and with Paul Ladd at WBC in Nashville TN.  The link below will take you to the archive page for these interviews, and we’ll add more as they air.

Radio interviews about “Four things millennials hate about you”

I must say that I am thrilled about the interest this topic has generated.  It means that people are talking to one another; and more dialogue means that there is a desire to better understand the differences between generations, which is a good thing!!

Please … share your experiences about leading and working in multi-generational workplaces.  We have so much that we can learn from each other.

Millennials in the workplace – 570 News radio interview

On Monday, I posted a link to my latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series. Provocatively titled “Four things millennials hate about you“, it addressed the fact that just as Boomers and Gen Xers shake their heads at the attitudes and actions of Millennials, so do Millennials question and ponder about some of the things company veterans say and do. Well to say that it got a reaction would be a gross understatement. When all was said and done, the article garnered over 50,000 views with over 4,000 direct “shares” in social media. Many of the comments were positive, as the points I made resonated with readers across the country, but there were negative comments as well, most annoyed because they felt that the article perpetuated stereotypes.

570NewsThe viral storm caught the eye of Gary Doyle, popular talk show host at 570 News Radio in Kitchener/Waterloo and he invited me to be his guest on his show yesterday morning. Here is a link to an archived version of my conversation with him. It’s just over 13 minutes long so you probably want to get another cup of coffee first; but if you are leading (or work in) a multi-generational workplace, then I think you’ll get value from listening in. Continue reading

Why your Millennials think you’re nuts!

Update as of April 2: This article has officially “gone viral”.  To date, it has garnered over 50,000 views, over 4,000 “direct” shares, and comments and re-tweets numbering in the hundreds if not thousands.  I must admit, while I am certainly passionate about this subject, I had NO idea that my passion was shared by so many.  I am of course thrilled to bits that people are talking, because the more we dialogue about this subject, the more likely we are to create workplaces that are positive and productive for all generations.

X —– X —– X —– X

My latest column in The Globe & Mail’s Leadership Lab series is in cyberspace this morning:

Four things millennials hate about you

Four things millennials hate about you

Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) make up more than 30% of both the Canadian and American workforce, and this proportion continues to increase daily as more twenty-somethings enter the world of paid employment. Like every generation before them, these young people see the world through a different value filter, and just as their behaviours make more seasoned employees shake their heads in disbelief and dismay, Millennials scratch their heads in bemusement when they observe what they perceive as bone-headed moves by the veterans in their organizations. And that’s the subject of today’s column!

Take a moment to quickly read through the article; no matter what generation you belong to, I think you’ll find the material relevant, and definitely thought-provoking. And please … use the social media links on the Globe’s site to share with your staff and colleagues, I bet you’ll get some wildly different opinions; at minimum, the odds are good that you’ll get the conversation going! And feel free to add your thoughts to the Globe’s website; the dialogue there is much broader (lots more readers) so the discussion should get interesting!

Intergenerational conflict arising from dated policies and procedures?

Rule Book Or Policy Guide ManualLast week I was working with a group of about 60 leaders in a large energy company, focusing on helping them maximize performance in their multi-generational work teams. A lot of our dialogue centered on the intergenerational conflict that arises from differences in values and work styles between the four generations in today’s workplace, and the influencing factors that created those dissimilarities. As our discussion progressed, one of the participants made a very insightful comment. “It occurs to me,” she said, “that our policies and procedures were written by Traditionalists, to fit their values, work styles and work ethics. But, for the most part, the people who are following and implementing these very rules and guidelines are not Traditionalists, since most of them are no longer with the company. Instead, Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials, people who have significantly different work styles and workplace perspectives, are living with the implications and outcomes of the ‘policy manual’. No wonder they are frustrated,” she went on, “even though the Traditionalists have gone, the intergenerational conflict lives on through the policies and procedures.”

As soon as she spoke, I realized how astute her comment was. Continue reading

Multi-generational workforce? My new book WILL help!

generation-bookToday is THE DAY!  The day that my new book Generations Exposed: Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With officially launches.  If you’re leading a team of employees that range in age anywhere from 20 to 70, then this book WILL help you navigate in a multi-generational workplace.  It ‘s been written and designed as an easy-to-use reference guide, illustrated to help you find information quickly so that you can compare and contrast, in a single glance, the differences among the four generations — Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials — in the workplace.  As a leader, your job is to capitalize on the potential that every person — whether a colleague, your boss, or your employee — brings to the work relationship, and I know that this book will arm you with the data and wisdom to do just that.  To view some sample pages or purchase the book, please visit our website by clicking on the link below, or on the photo of the book above.

Generations Exposed: Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With

We’ve been all-abuzz about the book launch Continue reading

By 2010, Millennials will outnumber Baby Boomers

By 2010, Millennials (also known as Gen Y) will outnumber Baby Boomers!  There are 68 million Millennials in the United States and 6.5 million in Canada; roughly half of them are already in the workplace, and the rest are coming!  If you are a manager or supervisor, then it’s entirely possible that you may have all four generations — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and Millennials — in your department! Which means that it is critical for you to not only understand the differences between each generation, but perhaps more importantly, consciously and deliberately adapt your leadership style to communicate with, motivate, and lead a multi-generational workforce.

If you are in the Ottawa/Hull area, don’t miss this opportunity to attend a full-day workshop that addresses just this issue.  The Ottawa Chapter of the Certified General Accountants’ of Ontario is hosting Leading Multiple Generations in the Workplace on Thursday October 1, 2009.  The event is inexpensively available to non-members as well as members, so don’t miss it!  To register online, go to: