Managing Baby Boomers Today

Managing The Baby BoomersAsking a Boomer for their advice
In most cases, in my opinion, Boomers really don’t mind reporting to a younger supervisor. However, they might get more offended than say at millennials or various other generation X’ers , because they just don’t like it when a younger manager presumes the Boomer has nothing of value to add. In fact Boomers feel that many times the millennials don’t look upon the experience of Boomers to really know more than they do. Maybe it’s because many Boomers aren’t that familiar with the latest social media trends or how to use a smart phone. 

Anastasia Zhenina on
Anastasia Zhenina on

Partly this is due to their background. Boomers matured sometimes when most managers had a ” my way or the highway ” kind of mentality going on, however this mentality evolved with reaction from the Boomers, as a generation, felt more welcomed with relaxed monitoring principles like ” empowerment ” and “cooperation with their peers. “.

Boomers also realize in most cases their years of experience has real value. That ‘s specifically true when it involves managing people due to the fact that, while modern technology changes, individuals stay pretty much the same. It ‘s uncommon that a Millennial can properly comprehend company politics better than an experienced business Boomer. Maturity and experience in most times can be a valued benefit.

Listen to a Boomer
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Listen to a Boomers story
Many Boomers will, often offer advice at the drop of a hat. They might begin discussing exactly how stoned they were when they attended a university. While such memories are as useless as boobs on a bull, remember that a lot of Boomers had their finest years behind them the moment they graduated college. The best thing a Millennial can do is to work  them as best as they can. It won’t be easy, but that’s my advice.

By the way, the hardest part of listening to such tales is the awareness that while the Boomers were for the most part stoned in their productive years, they were (or maybe in some cases their parents were) paying out less than $5, 000 a year for tuition, including living expenditures. If that raises your hackles, consider this: the Boomers also needed to endure the Nightclub Rock and Roll period. But somehow it all worked out in the end for the Boomers.

Boomers Are Rebels
photo: Miguel Perales

Let Boomers believe they’re still rebels
Many Boomers believe that since they were “rebels” fifty years ago, they must still be “rebels” today. In some cases (Sylvester Stallone comes to mind), it’s a realistic perception. and In some cases (Oprah also comes to mind), it’s a denial of how completely their generation set the stage for the corporate world.

It ‘s within such denial about Boomers nostalgia for their spirit  their Art of riding Motorcycles , not to mention their can do attitude  Deep in the heart of every Boomer is the thought that they might, one day, take a journey, perhaps in an RV or Motorcycle to check off something on their bucket list. For many, their intentions are honest most will never make that happen.

Boomers’ are pretty much a rebellious bunch of people who are mostly harmless in the nature of things. In fact, their belief allows them to rest pretty easy rather than try to make today’s world a better place. Boomers are perfectly happy to implicitly support the status quo, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Just don’t make fun of them for not wanting to get involved for the most part anymore.  They pretty much feel like they have been there and done that and it’s time to turn things over to somebody else.

Don’t overwhelm a Boomer with technology
Mubariz Mehdizadeh on

Don’t overwhelm a Boomer with technology
If there’s one  way to tick off a Boomer, it’s to make fun of them not really having a good understanding of technology because they “didn’t grow up with smart phones and using social media.”

Don’t expect a Boomer to pull an overnighter
Phil Botha on

Don’t expect a Boomer to pull an overnighter
Back when they were younger, a lot of Boomers functioned day and night to get an item out the door or to maintain a deadline for a customer or a delivery that was due. However, as individuals age they lose physical durability. By the time a body hits about 60 years of age, it takes longer than it used to recover to full operating capacity after pulling a single overnighter.

This is not to say that Boomers don ‘t still work hard or want to. They do work very hard. Nonetheless, they generally get more done, usually, when they function with a regular routine. While that could appear like a liability in some situations, Boomers are a lot much less likely compared to Millennials to blow off work since they partied the night before. Sometimes Boomers might not be as energetic as a millennial, but they tend to be more reliable when it comes to showing up for work. So speed is sometimes not always ends in the best result.

Millennials have been assimilated
Maliha Mannan on

Millennials have been assimilated
When this subject was brought to my attention I found out that for the most part, it is true that Millennials have been assimilated by smart phones, tablets and social media. There is validity to this idea and it has something to do with the way Millennials simply accept new technology and easily adapt and learn how to use smart phones, tablets and the latest Windows and Mac computers. There is something a bit mysterious about social media or, alternatively, that Millennials are genetic mutants perfectly who have been altered genetically to adapt to the online world. In fact, social media is extremely simple to master and the jargon (like all jargon) is easily assimilated by Millennials but not so much by Boomers

Millennials have been assimilated
Domenico Loia on

Boomers just aren’t that good with technology
Boomers were used to purchasing a product that would also come with a user manual. For the most part, Boomers really didn’t take the time to read the manual and would only do so when no matter how much they tried they finally would have to open the user manual to study it enough to understand how to get the darn thing working.

While some Boomers might not be as familiar or comfortable with a specific technologies as someone younger, we need to think about this: the world’s most powerful man in the world who also happens to be a Boomer is our President, Donald Trump. Whether you agree with him or not, there’s no question Trump “gets it” when it comes to using social media. He will often use twitter just to rile up the main stream media to go after him.  And go after him they do. And he loves it.  I think he believes all media, even bad media will still end with a good result. However, Trump really is the exception to the rule.

I can also think of other Boomers who are comfortable with technology, like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. And then there is that Millennial guy who invented Facebook Mark Zuckerberg who comes along and upsets everything.

Hope you found my article interesting. Please feel free to share and comment. I appreciate your participation.

Managing Baby Boomers Today
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Managing Baby Boomers Today
This article talks about how Millennials are managing Baby Boomers in the workplace. Many Boomers are returning to the workforce and are having to deal with a different management style.
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