May 18, 2016

Demographics and Assumptions

We live in a time when there can be 3-4 generations inside your company; sometimes within each department or team. That can provide dynamic collaboration. Yes, age is just a number, but it's a deeper issue than birthdays. There are socioeconomic and psychographic complexities if you have teams with members in many demographics.

I'm a walking contradiction because I'm a big fan of assessments, analytical data, and research, but I'm also not a fan of sweeping generalizations. Men are this; women like that; baby boomers prefer that; millennials are like this, etc. Nothing replaces one-on-one conversations to assess each and every person your team.

There's a right way to get on the bus.

I was recently involved in an on-boarding exercise that was far less than optimal. There were a lot of assumptions; the new employee was left to "figure it out" with no formal training; while biases and assumptions made it an excellent study in how to not bring in a new employee.

Do your research and get to know the different styles and preferences of each age group within your company; then drop the data and have human conversations while adopting one key element.

Keep an open mind policy.
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