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Employee retention perspectives: Generational approach to job training

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It is critical for employee have full understanding of the expectations their supervisor has for them if the employee is going to be truly satisfied with their position. The days of being able to take a single method of teaching job functions is long past. To be successful today training must take the generational approach.

The builders and traditionalists normally want to receive detailed step-by-step instructions. They have been influenced by the very detailed instructions typically given in the workplace during the traditional management period which lasted through the 1970s. It was not until the 1980s that employers started giving out more latitude in getting the job done and at that time the generation that fought World War II had become entrenched with detailed plans.

Baby boomers prefer to know the end result before stating on a project. The “how” is not as important as the “why” in what the final product will be. Consider the instructions for do-it-yourself furniture – something created by the boomer generation. The instructions always started with a picture of the final product. Boomers should be given the ultimate vision and then allowed to develop their own processes and procedures to get there.

Generation Y and Generation X want to know how the task fits into the big picture. These are team-oriented generations that want to know the connection to the organization’s mission and vision. Once they see the outcome they will figure out how to get there. Individuality will feed into a team spirit as they develop a workable game plan to get the job done.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

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Learn more about today’s generations:

  • Builders / traditionalists, also known as the greatest generation, born before 1944
  • Baby boomers, sometimes relabeled the sandwich generation, born between 1943 and 1964
  • Generation X, born between 1961 and 1980
  • Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the millennial generation, born between 1977 and 2000
  • Millennials, sometimes referred to as generation Z, born after 1998

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