#NAFCUAnnual: Bridging the generational divide

NAFCU Annual is in full-swing in Hawaii celebrating its Golden Anniversary. Of course the event is filled with lots of fun and reminiscing, but they’ve also learned a lot over the past 50 years and they’re passing that wisdom along to us.

It seems like you can’t make it through the week anymore without hearing something about “millennials”, that usually leads to a sigh or a shake of the head of someone on the leadership team but the keynote speaker, Jeff Havens took and fun an interesting approach to the topic that left the generationally divided audience all laughing. We laughed as he made jokes about having multiple TV remote’s, getting in line behind someone paying with a check, or our demands to have everything right now because we’ve all had those feelings (or been annoyed by them) and guess what…. That’s perfectly normal! Millennials aren’t the first group be labeled lazy and they won’t be the last. So we’ve got it all out on the table, our generational differences, but now what?

No matter how many different generations you have working for you, your workforce can be divided up into young and old. And there are some key factors about each group that the other needs to know and understand so that meeting at a halfway point can happen. That compromise is crucial for success because neither group is right all the time. There are many ways in which you can meet halfway but I’m sharing my favorite 3 below:

  1. For the young: some business practices exist for a good reason. For the old: Don’t view new ideas or questions as an attack on current practices or your authority.
  2. For the young: some things move slower than you wish they did. For the old: Some things move faster than you wish they did.
  3. For the young: Advancement is a process, not a right. For the old: Advancement is a process that never stops.

No matter your age, you have a wealth of knowledge to bring to the table at your credit union and understand how your generational differences impact how that knowledge is shared, interpreted and implemented is important to the long term success of the credit union.


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