frustrated. The good news is that our results show what development
people want and how they want it. Using these results (see Tables 9.2
and 9.3) can help reduce everyones frustration level by showing
where (and how) efforts and resources can effectively be directed.
How This Applies to You
If you are a manager, coach, or HR professional, think about (1)
what your people actually need to know before they start a job,
(2) what they need to learn while theyre in a job, and (3) how you
can help them get the needed learning and development. Given
the likely restrictions in your budget of both money and time that
you can put toward development, it is beyond wonderful that most
people of all generations want to learn on the job. So what you
need to do is gure out how to do it!
If you look at Table 9.3, you can see some of the major areas of
development people think they need to do particular jobs. If you
take that as a starting point, you can assess an individuals strengths,
weaknesses, and specic developmental needs in relation to the po-
sition she is going to be going into or that you are trying to develop
her for. Once you understand what she has, doesnt have, and
needs, you can go about deciding how that particular individuals
development should occur. Development targeted at an individ-
uals needs is more effective than wasting time and resources by
making everyone go through cookie-cutter training that doesnt
necessarily meet his or her learning needs. If the person needs de-
velopment in soft skills, you should probably opt for on-the-job
training combined with one-on-one coaching and peer interaction
and feedback. You might also think about some sort of classroom
instruction to jump-start and focus the process (especially for
Silents, Early Boomers, Late Boomers, and Early Xers). Even if you
cant make sure everyone has all the development she needs, you
can denitely make sure she has the most important information
and that she is receiving the development in the most useful and
transferable way.
Give me a young man in whom there is something of the
old, and an old man with something of the young; guided
so, a man may grow old in body, but never in mind.
—CICERO (MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, 106–43 B.C.)
188 RETIRING THE GENERATION GAP
Deal.c09 10/10/06 3:40 PM Page 188

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