Category Archives: Generations

Diversity Statistics

  • As of 2010, the most diverse communities in the US are disproportionately western, southern and coastal metropolitan areas and their principal cities and suburbs.
  • In 1900, only 1 in 8 residents of the US claimed non-European origins. Today 3 in 10 do.
    Source: 2010 Census

Growth of the Hispanic Population by County from 2000 to 2010
Top 5 Counties:
1) Stewart County, GA            1740%
2) Telfair Country, GA            842%
3) Beadle County, SD              762%
4) Adams Country, MS             687%
5) Trempealeau County, WI    594%
Source: Pew Hispanic Center analysis
of Decennial Censuses

Latinos are the nation’s biggest and youngest minority group.  They make up:

  • 16% of the total US population
  • 18% of all 16- to 25-year-olds
  • 20% of all school age children
  • 25% of newborns

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

2010 Census Demographics

  • 308.7 million US residents
  • 16% of US population Hispanic
(50.5 million)
  • Hispanic population grew by 43% from 2000 to 2010
  • White non-Hispanic population
grew by 1% from 2000 to 2010
  • 97% of people reported belonging
to only one race72% White alone (223.6 million)
  • 72% White alone
(223.6 million)
  • 13% Black or African-American alone
(38.9 million)
  • 5% Asian alone (14.7 million)
  •   0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native alone
(2.9 million)
  • 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone (500,000)

Source: US Census

Generational Quotes

“Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.”
-Albert Einstein

“Anyone who stops is old, whether at 20 or at 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
-Henry Ford

“If future generations are to remember
us more with gratitude than sorrow,
we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as
it was created, not just as it looked
when we got through with it.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th US President

“Use your lives wisely, my friends, and conserve these precious freedoms for future generations.”
-Ted Nugent, Musician

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them
to do the same.”
-Ronald Reagan, 40th US President

Generational Quick Tip: Generational Skill Sets

Every generation has special work assets that they bring to the workplace and to their teams. Understanding these special talents and providing opportunities for employees from each generation to foster their skills can greatly improve their individual work experience and can bring success and improved results to the team or company.  Traditionalists are very consistent, loyal, and detail oriented. They bring the wisdom of experience in the workplace, which can provide a needed prospective on new problems.  Baby-boomers are great at seeing the big picture and are able to break down the big picture into assignments, which makes them great team leaders. Generation X are great task managers and multi-taskers; very independent workers, they will produce high-quality results with little direction when given the right tools. Generation Y have a positive attitude, and thrive off from collaboration. They are highly competent with technology and capable of fast multitasking.

Action Step:
When working with an employee from a different generation, try to identify one of their strong skill sets and share it with the team.

Generational Quotes

“Every generation wants to be the last. Every generation hates the next trend in music they can’t understand. We hate to give up those reins of our culture. To find our own music playing in elevators. The ballad for our revolution, turned into background music for a television commercial. To find our generation’s clothes and hair suddenly retro.” 
-Chuck PalahniukLullaby

“We may consider each generation as a separate nation, with a right, by the will of the majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“I hope the World War II generation doesn’t lose that quality that made them so appealing: their modesty, and the way they are always looking forward and seldom back.”
-Tom Brokaw

“The man who views the world at 50
the same as he did at 20 has wasted
30 years of his life.”
-Muhammad Ali

“If future generations are to remember
us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the
miracles of technology. We must also
leave them a glimpse of the world as
it was created, not just as it looked
when we got through with it.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson

“The year I was born, 1956, was the
peak year for babies being born, and
there are more people essentially our
age than anybody else. We could
crush these new generations if 
we decided too.”
-Tom Hanks

What’s Currently Trending with Gen Y: Time Magazine Cover Article

Currently Trending with Gen Y: Call and Response to Time Magazine Cover Story 

“The Me Me Me Generation: Millenials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents: Why they’ll save us all” Currently Trending with Gen Y

The cover story for the May 20, 2013 issues of Time Magazine highlighted important

Currently Trending with Gen Y

Time Cover: The Me Me Me Generation

mixed attitudes towards the Millennial (or Gen Y) generation.  The article begins by claiming through scientific data that Gen Y is the most narcissistic generation to have ever lived, and concludes by saying  that their narcissism has led them to be optimistic, accepting of differences, and entrepreneurial individuals with much to offer with the right guidance. Currently Trending with Gen Y

As one would expect, Gen Y has turned to social media and blogging to respond to the article with sites such as: Currently Trending with Gen Y

The responses range from humorous to mildly provocative and tongue in cheek.  The Gen Y generation seems to have a sense of humor about the article and at the same time engages in the type of behavior highlighted in the article, mainly a narcissistic obsession with themselves. The article is certainly currently trending with Gen Y circles, though the content of the article does not add much new content to the ongoing debate on Gen Y’s impact on the world. Currently trending with Gen Y

During Times of Austerity, the Greek Potato Revolution is a Welcome Relief for Family Budgets

Greece’s budget crisis forces Greeks to find new ways to save money in order to make ends meet. In the long run, tougher austerity measures may lead to a new wave of educated emmigrants to the United States from not just Greece, but other westernized, Mediterranean countries that are experiencing budget woes.

I was listening to the BBC World News this morning on the radio while I was on my way into work and heard an interesting piece on what the media is dubbing the ‘Greek Potato Revolution’. As many of you probably know, Greece is facing a huge budget crisis and its government has taken drastic steps to bring its spending under control. For the Greek people this has meant that salaries have been cut 20% – 40% in both the private and public sectors, and the tax rates have increased leaving less disposable income for families to spend on necessary items such as food, clothing, and transportation.

So what have the Greeks done about this? Well, for one they are cutting out the middle man in the food business which has helped slash the overall cost of the products up to 50%. The idea started only a few weeks ago but has become so popular, with hundreds of Greeks queuing up in some places at a time, that the idea is spreading across the country and is now reaching the capital Athens. It is a bit shocking to see such a thing as this is a westernized, European Union country, and it is reminiscent for older Greeks of some of the food lines that were encountered after World War II.

The last part of the article brings up another important question: Will we see Greeks leaving their country in large numbers once again? Greece right now is experiencing a sort of ‘brain drain’ in which some of its more educated workers are leaving the country for other  countries, particularly those in the EU, where they can earn a much higher salary. Here in the United States, we have not seen a large wave of Greek immigrants come through since the 1970′s where cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago saw large, flourishing communities. I almost wonder if the economic crisis in Greece will spark another wave of Greek immigrants to come to the United States for the first time in four decades. If so, those who settle here will most likely be highly skilled this time around and already possess a fair level of the English language. However, how are American employers going to handle an influx of workers from a Mediterranean culture? Would this present an integration problem for them since American and Greek cultures vary in many different ways?

Te chances of this happening are slimmer given that Greece is a European Union member country which allows its citizens to easily emmigrate to another member country and seek employment compared to the United States. However, many thousands may still seek work here, resettling with family members who arrives in decades past. Is the American workforce and society in general ready for a new wave of westernized immigrants? Right now it could only be the Greeks, but in the next few years could we see Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese immigrants coming to American shores once again in search of work as their economies continue to falter?

Please leave your comments on what you think could happen if the situation in Greece and the other Mediterranean countries worsens. Do you already see signs of it here or in your home country?

If you are interested in reading the original article by the BBC, please click here.

Article Spotlight: Should You Approach Millennials in a Radically Different Way?

Click here for original article from Diversity Executive.

Transparency and candid conversations have a place in the work environment, but presuming to know millennials’ career expectations is dangerous.By Deanna Hartley. Imagine you are having the following conversation with a new millennial hire:

“We expect you to give us a really strong tour of duty for two to three years. When you leave, we expect you to be part of our corporate alumni group. We want you to be part of our corporate alumni network. We want you to help recruit new employees. We want you to be lifelong ambassadors and evangelists for our products and services. But we know you’re super talented and will come upon many other career opportunities while you work here. We know your tenure at the company may not last more than a few years.”

Not quite what you had in mind, right? Well, I recently came across an article that offers this as a template of sorts for conversations to occur between employers and incoming millennials, or “young people,” as they’re referred to in the piece.

At this point, you may be inclined to think: Wait a minute. Are you saying we should essentially throw all our retention strategies out the window and assume every incoming Gen Y employee sees his or her job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better?

My reaction — and keep in mind I’m a millennial — would be: Whoa! Are they expecting me to leave in a short time span — and if I don’t, will they think I’m an underachiever? Furthermore, if I do decide I only want to contribute a few years of service to this company and then look for greener pastures, why would I be motivated to perform to the best of my ability on a daily basis?

To me, this approach is analogous to an athlete walking onto the field knowing he will be traded imminently. Operating under that presumption, I’m willing to bet that any feelings of loyalty or determination to enhance one’s performance go out the window.

When we talk about engaging employees, a key motivator is purpose — for employees to feel like they are making valuable contributions that will somehow leave a mark on the world.

I certainly didn’t interview for my current job thinking, “How can I optimize my limited time at this company before moving on?” And, to be honest, I wouldn’t think any employer would want me if I held such a conviction.

The days of lifelong service to a single company may be gone, but presuming to know someone’s career expectations is just as unrealistic.

The American Dream: A Generational Perspective

On Tuesday night during President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address the ‘American Dream’ was once again put front and center on the world’s stage.  Though Obama referenced it as “the basic American promise,” his true meaning was clear by this description of his grandparent’s post WWII belief that, “if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.”  Obama brought up the subject of the American Dream to reflect on the current state that it is in, and according to the President, it is in peril due to current economic trends and the state of the US economy.

While the faltering economic condition of the United States has been at the center of many hearts and minds for the past four or so years, my own thoughts became preoccupied with Obama’s description of the America Dream. The President’s description made me stop and consider how the concept of the American Dream must have evolved over the years.  The American Dream that Obama described was certainly compelling to the Baby Boomer Generation and even to many from Gen X, but I have to wonder if this description is as compelling to Gen Y and younger generations?

In doing research on the current state of the American Dream I came across the man who originally coined the term in 1931, John Truslow Adams. In his book The Epic of America, Mr. Adams described his 1931 American Dream to be:

“…that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” 

While the idea of the American Dream surely existed long before Mr. Adams penned the above phrase, I think that his statement has a compelling modernity about it.  For me, a member of Generation Y, Mr. Adam’s version of the American Dream is a much more compelling vision than the “American Promise” described last Tuesday night.

Besides my own opinion, there are other reasons that I have my doubts regarding the future applicability of Obama’s version of the American Dream. Those other reasons come out of the work that our company, Culture Coach International, does around the four different generations in America today. Specifically, we work with companies on the topic of generations in the workplace.  One of the reasons that so many companies come to us with requests for consulting and training around the issue of generations is because of the fact that each generation has such distinct “generational personalities” that workers from different generations often times come into conflict with one another and this affects productivity, teamwork and employee engagement.  These conflicts arise from the different values, communication styles and work styles that workers from different generations possess.

Given this logic and my understanding of the basic profiles of the different generations, it stands to reason that the post WWII American Dream as described by Obama in his State of the Union Address, might not be as compelling to the Millennial and post Millennial generations as it is to Gen X and the Baby Boomers.

After all, Gen Y is challenging many ideas in the American workplace that are considered to be sacrosanct by the Baby Boomers, such as long meetings and hierarchy.  Not to mention the dramatic social changes ushered in by Gen Y such as Facebook and smart phones.  Our groups of friends now span the globe and we rarely speak to anyone on the phone – two social changes that have dramatically affected the way Americans live their lives. So would it be any more surprising if Gen Y started to challenge what are considered to be the essential elements of the American Dream?

Interestingly enough a 2011 survey by Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream found that the top five most important elements of the American Dream are as follows: “a good life for my family”, “financial security”, “freedom”, “opportunity”, and “the pursuit of happiness”.  On the surface these five elements do not seem to challenge the version of the American Dream as Obama depicted it in his State of the Union address.  Though I could not locate a breakdown of this survey data by generation or age groups, it would be interesting to see if there are differences in the rankings according to age group.  Would Gen Y and Baby Boomers have a significantly different order for their top five most important elements of the American Dream?

While we can survey and analyze the current state of the American Dream as well as look back and chart what has become of it over the years, we can only wait and see how current and future generations will come to define it.  Will it continue to look like the American Promise that Obama described last Tuesday?  Or will Gen Y and the Post Millennial Generation take the American Dream in a different direction?  Only time will tell but given the way that Gen Y is already dramatically reshaping the reality of American life I would guess that in another five years we will hear a markedly different version of the American Dream being described during the 2017 State of the Union.

2012 Petronas Malaysia Chinese New Year Advertisements Sheds Light on Generation Gap

Every Chinese New Year, Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), the Malaysian state owned petroleum and gas company, puts out an advertisement (TVC) for the celebration of Chinese New Year given the diversity found inside the nation. It is always a touching message about culture and family that is sure to provoke self-reflection of what one really values in life.

I was most moved, however, by the 2011 Petronas Chinese New Year ad as it struck me as not only a message about the importance of culture and family in Asia, but also shed light on how the prosperity of the Asian nations has led to a noticeable gap in the way the younger generations rank their priorities in life.

In the advertisement, all of the young adults are so busy working that to take time out of their day to spend more time with a loved one seems like a burden. While the same Generational labels (Generation X and Generation Y) have been shown to be pan-global, the corresponding characteristics are slightly different in Asia as compared to the United States. It is noticeable through the advertisement how the younger generations in Asia value modern comforts and money more than their elders, who value a slower lifestyle and quality face to face time with their children. In the United States we are witnessing the younger generations, particularly Gen Y, moving away from monetary compensation as their first priority in favor of a healthier work-life balance.

As the year of the dragon is ushered in promising to bring an entire year of good luck and fortune, these ads remind us that all of this would mean nothing with family.

Happy Chinese New Year, 恭喜發財!

If you are interested, here is a link to the 2012 videos, which are part of a 6 video series on Petronas’ Official YouTube account.

As workforce ages, industries struggle to prepare for wave of retirements

The Washington Post

September 2, 2011

By Jason Alcorn and Jason Tomassini

Within a year of Johnney Pollan’s retirement, Dow Chemical asked him to come back. This time as a contractor.

With his pension after 31 years of work and his health-care benefits, he and his wife were living comfortably in East Texas. And he could devote more time to his hobby, archaeology.

But he answered the call, and his retirement plans have been put on hold — for more than a decade now. Pollan was one of a few hundred people skilled in a propriety language used to run processes at Dow’s plants. Many of them retired at once, and the company was caught in the lurch.

“A lot of the expertise was going out the door,” said Pollan, 64. “And they found that they really needed it.”

There’s more to come. Of the 4,200 Dow employees in Freeport, about 40 percent will be eligible for retirement within four years.

Nationally, similar trends are emerging. Yet human resources experts, workers and executives from a range of industries say businesses are largely unprepared to accommodate an aging workforce or to cope with its eventual retirement.

To read more, click here:

The stats on aging workers: Those 65 to almost 70 increased 17% from ’85

By Kerry Hannon
June 1, 2011

The song remains the same.

You’re retired, but you’re working. You want to retire, but you keep on working.

It doesn’t take a psychic to see that work is likely to become even more important in the lives of aging Americans. I’ve been tracking this sea change for several years, and my recent Forbes Retirement Guide piece, called Writing New Chapters, lays it out neatly. Since 1985, the labor force participation rate at upper ages has increased sharply—from 54.2 percent to 64.9 percent in 2010 for those aged 55–64 and from 18.4 percent to 31.5 percent for those aged 65–69.8, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Read more here:

With four—almost five—generations in the workplace, tensions can arise through misunderstandings and miscommunication.


By Adrienne Fox

HR Magazine

At least once, a friend has sent you an e-mail with the subject line “You might be a child of the 1970s if …” Or the 1980s or the 1950s or whatever decade you came of age. These e-mails contain funny lists of pop culture references, the average cost of a movie ticket, or a fashion or game fad that contributed to the zeitgeist of that decade. You laugh about the familiarity of a list only people who grew up at the same time as you did can understand.

People’s attitudes are influenced by the familial and cultural experiences of their childhood. Whether you grew up during wartime or peacetime, in heady economic times or financial uncertainty, or in periods of profound change such as the civil rights era or the Internet era—all these factors help define your generation’s values. And those values are brought into the workplace.

Next year, five generations will participate in the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each one has defining characteristics and at least one nickname.

“The way we grew up earns us the right to see the world the way we see it,” explains Mark Hirschfeld, principal in the human capital consulting group at SilverStone Group in Omaha, Neb.

With Leigh Branham, SPHR, founder of Keeping the People Inc., a provider of strategic planning consulting services based in Overland Park, Kan., he analyzed the employee engagement results of 3,200 U.S. employers. After controlling for characteristics such as age, position type, company size and tenure, the researchers found that the greater the variation of age groups within a company, the lower the overall engagement scores for all generations.

Read more here:

What if women ran companies?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says the world would be a better place if men ran households and women provided ‘adult supervision’ in the office


May 18, 2011

What if men ran half of households around the world and women ran half the companies? Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg thinks the world would be a better place.

Sandberg offered that idea in her commencement speech on Tuesday in New York to a group of 600 graduating students from all-women college Barnard, as well as their camera-festooned families.

“Let’s just say I’m not usually in a room with this many women,” quipped Sandberg, who works in Silicon Valley’s tech trenches. As Facebook’s No. 2, she provides the “adult supervision” — and a widely admired wealth of operational expertise — to the tech world’s hottest company.

Her message to Barnard’s graduating crop was clear: There aren’t enough women in the workforce, and the gender gap is very much part of our society.

“Men run the world,” she told the audience, before rolling out a list of statistics to support the statement. One eye-popping one: Among the world’s 190 major heads of states, nine are women. Those numbers haven’t moved in the past decade.

“It’s very clear that my generation is not going to change this problem,” she said.

Sandberg, who served as chief of staff for the Treasury Department and a top executive at Google before joining Facebook as 27-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand woman, wants to see young women be more aggressive in pursuing paths in government and business.

Read more at:

Blame It on the Generation Yers

By John Revill

The Source

As the global skills shortage worsens and companies desperately search for the hottest talent to exploit the economic recovery, they are looking increasingly to recruit and retain younger workers.

Recognising a solution and doing something about it are entirely different things, with more than more than half of global companies saying they are facing problems, according to a study by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

And it’s all the younger generation’s fault.

The arrival of a new generation in the job market, the so-called Generation Y, has caused problems for companies with most not knowing why and how they are different from their Generation X microserf slacker predecessors.

Where the Generation Xers, those born between 1965 and 1976, are characterised by independence and scepticism, the Gen Yers, born between 1977 and 1997, are characterised by inspiration and passion.

They need to know, excuse the pun, why things are happening as they are.

Feedback is important too. In terms of work motivation, they are in need of constant praise and to feel they are succeeding, an amplification of the previous generation’s need to feel appreciated, as well as empowerment and flexibility in the workplace, the PwC study said.

In many cases the annual work appraisal is nowhere near enough reassurance for the new breed, who sometimes want weekly updates on their progress.

Job fulfilment and high remuneration are the most important factors to the 751 students, who came from Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, Australia and Hong Kong.

This is where the problem lies, because, according to another poll, 65% of CEOs want to use more non-financial rewards to motivate their staff.

Mmm. The non-financial motivations had better be good.

“Generation Y is looking for fair remuneration, and once they have achieved that level they will look at other things,” says PwC partner Charles Donkor.

But while they may need constant praise, some of the generation Y studied by PwC, are also very ambitious and self confident.

To read more of this article: