I’m off to HR Tech on Sunday to represent Kronos, catch up with old friends, and check out what’s new and exciting in our industry. I’m also leaving my laptop at home and relying solely on my iPad (and her kid sister, iPhone) to keep up with my computing needs. Although I’ve had the iPad since Christmas, I haven’t had the courage yet to leave my laptop at home during business travel.
My first “portable computer” was the one I used for my job as a Systems Marketing Rep at Control Data in 1983. It was as big and heavy as a sewing machine to carry, yet I felt as cool as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek with that baby. I’d swish into a customer’s conference room in 3 inch heels and shoulder pads worthy of an NFL player. There would be audible gasps when I’d establish a phone connection to our mainframe in Ohio with my “mobile” device – a 1200 kilobyte per second acoustic coupler.
The power and portability the average citizen carries around today was inconceivable then, and the notion of a universal computing network was a brand new concept limited largely to defense and academic applications. I’ve been fortunate to have had a front row seat with leading edge software companies for almost 30 years, but still find certain computing habits hard to break. So, wish me luck as I put a couple thousand miles between me and the Dell next week.
I recently had the pleasure of talking to Meagan and Larry Johnson, a daughter-father team who co-authored Generations, Inc. – an instructive manual on how to manage in the inter-generational workplace. Their firm, the Johnson Training Group, has helped a wide variety of organizations with management innovations including American Express, Harley Davidson, and Nordstrom among many others.
Meagan and Larry have a particular interest in the challenges of managing generational differences at work. For a variety of reasons, older workers are remaining in the workforce longer than ever before. Although the financial turmoil of recent years and its impact on retirement plans is often cited as a major driver, many older workers are just as motivated by the desire to stay engaged in meaningful pursuits. In fact, the reluctance of older workers to retire is driving European countries with mandatory retirement age rules to revisit them.
This all leads to an increasing number of workplaces where up to five generations – from Boomers to Linksters – are coworkers. The Johnsons’ book is full of insights about the critical events that have shaped each generation, how they differ in their approach to work and life, and how those differences can be managed effectively in the workplace.
Click on the link below to listen to my conversation with Meagan and Larry. And let us know about your experiences in the multigenerational workplace.
Conversation with Meagan and Larry Johnson
We had a lively tweet chat today about the results of our recent global absence survey. If you didn’t have the chance to join us live, you can find the chat on twitter with hashtag “kronossurvey” or just scroll through the chat transcript below.
What’s the most creative excuse you ever heard from an employee calling in sick?