CHRA Conference – Connecting Generational Divide

I don’t go to a lot of local HR association conferences – but I certainly enjoyed the Colorado HR Association annual meeting. And the main subject – connecting the generational divide is certainly a major challenge for HR departments across many domains.

I got out to Denver the night before – my brother took me out to the Buckhorn Exchange – the oldest restaurant in Denver! What a treat. The meeting was held at the Cable Center on the UD Campus – really a nice facility.

My personal highlights from the meeting were a presentation by Kristen Russell – president and founder of Fall River Consulting Group LLC.

Her presentation did a great job of breaking down how different generations have different needs in their benefit plan designs, and also how they respond to different communication styles. I think anyone who is serious about health care cost containment needs to think about how their plan designs and communication tools are working for employees in different age groups.

This is highly relevant to me as my company provides large organizations with the technology platform for benefits enrollment, communication and administration – and this platform will be a key enabler (plumbing if you will) of ever more personalized communication, content decision support and plan design.

The other panel I enjoyed was a Frontier Airlines panel hosted by Jim Benemann. This panel featured 4 Frontier employees from different generations – and was moderated by Sue Wehrspann – Frontier’s Manager of Employee Development & Organization Effectiveness.

At first I was a bit skeptical about this “conversation” between the generations – but as the conversation progressed, I found myself really drawn in. By the end of the conversation, I felt like I had a better understanding of each of the panelists, their communication styles and what they needed to be successful. I’m sure they each came away with a better understanding of the others.

What a great idea for a project kick-off. Spend a couple of hours learning about where each team comes from, what they value, how they communicate and what is important to them. With better understanding of each other – I am certain that work will be much easier – and more fun.


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