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Speaker to shed light on generational differences
March 13, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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As people stay in today’s workforce longer, and as older people return to work, companies would do well to understand the differences among generations and incorporate them effectively into the workplace.

Business consultant Mike Henke of Hastings has conducted more than 500 training sessions on the challenges of supervising today’s workforce. He will speak on Generational Differences on Thursday, March 24 at the Harms Center on Western Nebraska Community College campus in Scottsbluff. Sessions are from 8:30 to noon and from 1:30 to 5 p.m. and are sponsored by the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce.

“Generations is a hot topic right now,” said Karen Anderson, the Chamber’s Executive Director. “A lot of employers now have different generations working for them. It’s important to know how to listen to one another.”

Anderson said sessions are offered in either the morning or the afternoon, allowing more people to attend.

“We schedule these workshops about four times a year based on what employers need,” she said. “It could be customer service or management and leadership skills. Sometimes a Chamber member will recommend someone they’ve heard in their own businesses.
Sometimes it will be a speaker I’ve heard at chamber events around the state.”

Chamber board chair Kim Ferguson described Henke as a “regular down-to-earth guy” who has real life experience, working with Menard’s for a number of years. “He was entertaining and has some real substance to his presentation,” she said. “What we learned from him we can put into practice in our own businesses.”

During his sessions, Henke will discuss how the workplace has changed over the years and how Baby Boomers see work differently than younger generations. The goal is to build great teams or workers of different generations who communicate effectively with each other.

“We have four different generations in the workforce at the same time,” Henke said. “With longer life expectancy and better health, people are working longer. We’ve never had this happen before and it creates challenges for organizations.”

Henke said today’s culture moves much faster, which contributes to generational differences. That has effects for people, businesses and customers alike.

Cost of the workshop is $35 for chamber members and $45 for non-chamber members. Reservations must be received by noon on Friday, March 18. For more information, call the Chamber at 308-632-2133.
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