MADISON, Wis. (4/25/12)--For the first time in history, four generations work, compete, purchase and--often--clash in the marketplace. That trend will only continue as Baby Boomers extend their working years and Nexters-- those born between 2000 and the present--assimilate into the marketplace.
Businesses, including credit unions, have a stake in understanding the differences, nuances and commonalities of each generation. In her presentation at America's Credit Union Conference, What Makes the Generations Tick and What Ticks Them Off, Anna Liotta, creator of Generationally Savvy Communication Solutions, will describe how credit unions can leverage this understanding to improve the performance of their organizations.
"A lot of money is spent work around people's personalities when a better perspective of what shaping and informing their decisions would provide more value," Liotta told News Now. "This talk will help people understand why the approach one person takes may seem so ineffective to you but comes naturally to them. "
Most generational clashes are unintended, and most of the parties involved have no idea how they are rubbing the other party the wrong way, Liotta said.
She offers the different approaches of Generation X—those born between 1964 and 1979 and Baby Boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1963.
"Gen Xers want to get right to the bottom line," Liotta explained. "Gen Xers don't think there's any business conversation that should take any longer than 20 minutes."
Baby Boomers, on the other hand are all about relationships, she explains. "They want to know where you're from and how many kids you have and where you went for vacation," Liotta said. "This drives Gen Xers crazy."
As for Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1999? "They like to tell you about their accomplishments," Liotta said.
Credit unions offer a value proposition that resonates with Boomers, Xers and Gen Y.
For Boomers, many of whom helped form credit unions, they offer great financial value, a better deal than the banks, Liotta said.
For Gen X, credit union offer a transparency and a spirit of individualism that Xers can relate to with big financial institutions. "Xers are looking for boutique-type organization and that independent credit union brand appeals to them as both consumers and employees."
Gen Yers, who are always looking for a cause to align themselves with, prefer credit unions community based approach, Liotta said.
Liotta said credit unions must communicate who they are and what they do within a framework that identifies the values of each generation. Her ACUC presentation will help credit unions understand those values.
"We will learn what shapes each generation's world and what it looks like on a day-to-day basis as they make decisions," Liotta said. "Then we'll explore how credit unions can be effective in communicating to them at a level that appeals to each generation."