Benji Carlson – Landscape Disruptors

Benji Carlson

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Rethinking generations - How to use generational theory to build a better workplace

Boomer, Gen x, Millennial, Gen Z - What generation do you fall in? Benji Carlson breaks down the stereotypes and discusses strategies landscape professionals can use to help engage their staff and diffuse generational conflict. Listen to this new episode of Landscape Disruptors to find out how!

In this episode of the Landscape Disruptor Podcast, Mark Bradely, CEO of LMN, talks with Benji Carlson, Assessment Specialist at Breakthrough Academy, to discuss generational theory as it applies to business management in the skilled trades, and strategies to overcome hiring, engaging, and working with millennials in a productive way. Listen to learn more about the disconnect between various generations in the workplace and what tools you can implement to spur engagement in your company.

Strategies to Build a Better Work Environment
Working with different generations in the landscape industry poses several challenges due to tension between generational differences. Most of the workers in the United States belong to three generations: Baby Boomers, Gen x, and Millenials. Gen z is the new, up and coming generation still in school or college. Conflict among different generations at work is quite common. Underlying miscommunication and misconceptions between generations causes resentment and is dangerous for an organization. Generational conflicts can lower engagement and productivity. In this episode, learn how to effectively diffuse the tension between generations and build strategies for a better work environment.

Strategies to help improve relations between younger and older co-workers:

  • Myth Busting on Stereotypes - Not understanding where each generation is coming from is where conflict and frustration stems. Give Clear Outcomes and Expectations - Explain to Millennials how growing with the company takes time. That they will get there, but years of hard work and dedication need to be put in first.
  • Encourage Input - Make each generation feel listened to and respected. Appreciate their opinions and understand their thought process.

Generational Theory: Diffusing Generational Friction
Generational Theory is the study of generation cycles throughout history that share similar characteristics and values. Benji touches on that your age and location in history influences who you become as an adult. The environment, economy, and historical events you had as a young person shape your views and values as well as your motivating factors for the rest of your life.

It is essential to have awareness of Generational Theory to understand the values of each generation and why that group is the way it is. This gives much more context and creates a productive space for work instead of throwing out misguided, negative blanket statements to a specified generation. Millennial bashing in the workplace is frequent and involves stereotypes such as young people in general are entitled, lazy, and don’t want to work. There are strengths and weaknesses of every generation, but helping your staff understand the motives of each generation can improve the overall work environment.

A breakdown of each generation:

  • Baby Boomers: 1946-1964. Characterized by experiencing events such as the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, and the introduction of birth control.
  • Gen x: 1965-1976. Characterized by rates of divorce increasing and often thought of as the neglected middle child. Millennials: 1977-1995. Characterized by events such as 9/11 and the housing market crash of 2008. This group was raised with the idea of fast advancement and progress due to the constant upgrades of technology.
  • Gen z: 1996 – TBD. This generation is masters of technology since they arrived with tablets and smartphones in their arms. They are independent consumers who will have jobs that won’t exist in today’s world.

Breakthrough Academy
Breakthrough Academy is a high performance business education platform that works with landscapers across America to help professionals implement systems and grow. At Breakthrough Academy, Benji works with business owners to understand issues that may hold a company back such as systems, goal setting, and employee communication. One issue that comes up frequently is the disconnect through generations.

Benji Carlson

As Breakthrough Academy’s Assessment Specialist for the last three years, Benji Carlson has met with over 1,000 contractors, analyzed their businesses in-depth, and gotten them ready to begin the BTA journey. He prescribes simple solutions on a wide range of topics.

Sponsored by LMN If you liked this episode, you might also like LMN business management software built by landscapers for landscapers. Try LMN Free today.

If you like this episode, check out our guests’ line up in Season One and Season Two.