Hardware Retailing

JUN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | June 2018 10 W hen I was a teenager, hard rock music was turning most of my friends into devil worshippers. Those of us who weren't turned were entitled, greedy, self-indulgent sheep who did nothing but watch TV for hours and didn't know the meaning of a hard day's work. Of course, most of these shortcomings were brought on by the fact that we were all raised by hippie parents and we came of age during an era where "greed was good" and even Coca-Cola was "new." If you asked most "adults" in the 1980s, the outlook for the future was pretty dire once my MTV-watching, Atari-playing, Ozzy Osbourne-listening, Walkman-wearing cohorts hit the workforce. When my generation did get jobs and moved from employees to supervisors to managers to business owners, it turns out the world didn't come to an end. For some of you reading this, it was probably my generation that worried you. But for your parents, it was the long hair you had or the miniskirts you wore or whatever it was you may have smoked that labeled you and your contemporaries as the generation that would ruin it all. I guess someday, there will inevitably be a generation that does take society down, but for now I think, for all the bluster about how things are so different from one generation to the next, not much has really changed. In this month's issue, we take a look at managing employees across generations and hopefully provide some insights into how to make the most out of your multigenerational teams. This issue looks at all of the generations that are in today's workforce, which includes the silent generation, baby boomers, Generation Xers (that's me!), millennials and the incoming Generation Z. It's no surprise there can be miscommunication or conflict in the workplace when you consider that, in any given operation, you might have employees who were born before the world knew who The Beatles were to employees who are too young to know who The Beatles are. It's important to note that this may be one of the first times the labor pool has shown such age diversity. While this range of experiences can be challenging, it is also a fantastic opportunity if you can tap into the best aspects of every generation. The first step to doing this is to keep an open mind. Remember that, regardless of when someone was born, there are some fundamental practices that motivate most people to do a good job. Things like showing respect for their time, ideas, input and contribution to the success of your operation can help foster better communication with employees of any age. It is true that many of the younger folks today operate with a different set of sensibilities than those in my generation or my mom's generation. This can be hard to understand but it is nothing new. Each generation has its own set of experiences that shape their worldview, and this worldview shapes the way they approach things like communications and work. If you want to communicate with and motivate any generation, you might not understand their perspective but you have to respect it. For more on motivating across generations, read the article on Page 36. While you do that, I'm going to crack open a cool Crystal Pepsi, listen to some of my albums backward and play Donkey Kong. Dan M. Tratensek, Publisher dant@nrha.org The More Things Changeā€¦ Taking Care of Business " Each generation has its own set of experiences that shape their worldview, and this worldview shapes the way they approach things like communications and work. "

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