astd, ATPI, Reflections, Training

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation…

So I was talkin’ ’bout my generation (and other generations) in the workplace for this week’s ATTD 6210 trend report, and it had me thinking about the generation gap. There are now four different generations working side-by-side in the workforce – which has not happened before. This means it’s probably a good idea for organizations to take a look at who is actually sitting around the board room table and better understand how to manage this group effectively.

I am a Generation X kid. After reading the ASTD article, Guiding Generation X to Lead, I very much identified with all these Gen X perspectives:

  • resourceful and hardworking
  • meet commitments and take employability seriously
  • value self-reliance.
  • well-honed survival skills and nurtured networks prepare them to handle whatever happens
  • are comfortable in a global and digital world
  • adopted the collaborative technology to reshape how we work and live
  • has an unconscious acceptance of diversity
  • uncanny ability to redefine issues and question reality
  • skeptical and innovative
  • look for different ways to move forward
  • prepared to serve as pragmatic managers
  • options thinkers – like choices
  • like to develop multiple skills because that provides them with the opportunity to move in various directions

Although I identify with the Gen X’ers I still test high in the next generation with my “How Millennial Are You?” survey results sitting at 93%. I suppose I have worked and studied amongst Generation Y for sometime, and it is quite possible that I may have picked up on a habits or two.

There may be some differences between generations, however it is critical to find suitable practices, structures and methods for management that meet the needs of the entire team. This just means good management practices can help support generational differences, communication, group dynamics, staff training and retention of employees. The competition for talent will be initially addressed in the array of benefits to attract the top talent from across the generations (Rowe, 2010). It is also costly to replace experienced and skilled labor, so organizations should consider the creation of programs to encourage workers to stay or partially retire to help employee retention.

(Erickson, 2010)

Engagement, communication and inclusion of all employees across the generational groups is the key to long-term success. The following approaches to dealing with multigenerational workplaces was suggested from the the 2004 Society of Human Resources Management Generational Differences Survey that still hold true today:

  • communicating information in multiple ways
  • promoting collaborative discussion, decision making or problem solving
  • using team-building activities
  • offering different types of training to accommodate different generations
  • creating mentoring program between generations
  • training managers on dealing with generational differences


Coupland, D. (1991). Generation X: Tales of an Accelerated Culture. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Erickson, T.G. (2010, August). Guiding Generation X to Lead. Training + Development Magazine, 16.

Rossi, J. (2007, November). What Generation Gap?: Are generational difference in the workplace a myth? ASTD Training + Development Magazine, 10-11.

Rowe, K.A. (2010, March). Managing Across Generations. Infoline: Tips, Tools, and Intelligence for Trainers. Volume 27, Issue 1003.

ATPI, Learning Technologies, PhD, Reflections

Determining Trends & Issues

The fall semester has kicked off into full swing and now the third week of school is coming to a close. This means many classes and assignments are underway, and the time for research and reflection is upon us – by that I mean homework and assignments.

ATTD 6210 – Trends and Issues in Applied Technology, Training and Development

A study of current national trends and issues in the fields of applied technology, training and development. Emphasis on topics related to leadership, organizational culture and total quality improvement.

The objective of this course is to research topics and trends that can best be applied to our professional fields of education, human resources and beyond since learners in our class have a varied professional background. This is one of the few courses for the ATPI Doc Program, and a starting point to engage in research and writing for publications. The goal for our first assignment is to provide a trends/issues report and key points to share for our next online session in Wimba.

Here are the “Trends/Issues” topics our class identified the other evening. This process took place after a review of over 100 articles,multiple reviews from peers, clustering of trend topics and debates of the groups (all completed in an online webinar format – FUN!) :

• Technology and Learning
• Workforce Diversity
• Performance Management/Consulting/Corporate Training
• Educator Quality – K-12 to Higher Education
• Learning Styles and Learning Models

Over the course of the term, I will do my best to include an article or thoughts on late breaking trends for a few of these themes listed above. I encourage readers to send any “hot topics” or readings I might have not stumbled upon on the way. I promise to commit a post or two each week for this reflection and sharing, as I think that blogging helps to work out the thought process and makes me a more informed learner/educator.

Past trends and tags from my blog include the following topics

Let’s see how much I can expand this Wordle by December 2010.