Embracing Cross Generational Awareness
At SAP we have five different generations working together. At any point our colleagues at workplace comprise of at least four generations. Today, age and experience no longer indicate a role. Increasing cross generational intelligence through awareness sessions has been an ongoing ask from all parts of the organisation.
In the last three months, Diversity & Inclusion India team focused on generational diversity awareness and 12 such sessions on cross generational intelligence for both managers and employee groups across Line of Businesses (LOBs) Ariba , Digital Interconnect, Concur, Labs , Solution Delivery Center & SAP Gurgaon Teams were completed.
When participants posed with the question “how likely the participants are to use their understanding of cross generational intelligence” in their workplace – 83% of the respondents gave favourable scores.
Here are some of the testimonials received :
“It was an interesting and interactive workshop. The workshop is not about teaching us how to deal with generation conflicts but more about creating awareness about the generational stereotypes that exist. The different videos and exercises we did lead to interesting discussions and sharing of viewpoints. Simple exercises showed how unconsciously subtle biases exist. This workshop definitely helps sensitize us on the generational myths which if unaddressed can hinder effectiveness of teams and organisations. Very relevant for our organisation today with a workforce of diverse generations “
– Rajnish Prasad
“I enjoyed it. I’ve done all of the diversity training available on SuccessMap previously but find that refresher/live sessions like these very helpful.”
– Russ Green
Some of the key take away from participants have been becoming self-aware of biases and overcoming them, thinking consciously about ageism and biases and to suspend judgements in daily lives and at work while interacting and dealing with others and thus becoming more inclusive and collaborative
Here some Key Takeaways from sessions
- Don’t Assume & Judge
- Stop judging people on their looks and Be more inclusive
- It’s worth understanding un-intentional biases
- Open mindedness is important
- More engagement with colleagues
- Talking to different generation
- Age does not matter
- Be less Stereotype
- Be more inclusive
- Be more welcoming
- Connect with all generations
- Be open and Ask
- Cross generational discussion and friendship in all ages
- Respect vs. Obedience. Leadership principles are same for all.
- Older generations can be equally innovative.
- Eye openers on certain myths & realities.
- Work with enthusiasm with everyone.
As a part of feedback, India specific flavour was also added to the content and was very well received in subsequent sessions.
Scalability is an important aspect of any initiative, to scale the cross generation awareness a training charter was created. Train the trainer program was conducted to identify & train the potential future trainers. Early talent ambassadors were involved to spread the cross generational awareness. Feedbacks after each workshop were discussed & incorporated. Regular syncs with trainers were planned to include experiences & observations to continuously improve content and workshop format.
“Conducting ‘Breaking Gen Myth’ workshops comes with interesting mix of experiments & experiences. The conversations are unique and there is always a takeaway from these sessions. I launched Cross Generation Diversity programs for some of our entities this year. Some of the consistent perceptions were – Diversity always meant Gender equality and folks didn’t know that other pillars existed; there was lack of awareness on diversity programs and possible impacts. I am happy that we were able to create some awareness on this. This is just a start, still a long distance to cover.”
Chandramohan Sankaran, Development Manager – Engineering Services, Cloud Platform.
Lead – Generational Diversity, India
“It was an exciting opportunity to conduct the cross gen awareness workshop. Fantastic to see the audience connecting to the videos/ concept, relating them to their own workplace and introspecting on how to change.”
Ajay Tikare, Quality Manager and Test Architect – SAP Leonardo IIK
Increasing the Cross generational intelligence through awareness is but the first step to a more collaborative and connected workplace. Cross generational mentoring is the second step. Cross-generational friendships reinforce similarities and respect for differences as well as foster understanding across managerial levels or divisions in the organisation. In coming months D&I team will conduct more sessions to spread awareness amongst all teams.
The Cross Gen Core D&I team– Ideators, Planners & Trainers
Ajay Tikare, Chandramohan Sankaran, Sonal Khedia,
Krithika Kumar Iyer, Geetha Parameswaran, Prabesh Khadka,
Gokul Kothandaraman, Naveen Keshava
Sudha V, Annice Joseph, Bhomik Pande
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with this team. (Cross Gen D&I team -India ) They are very inclusive in approach, well collaborated considering they are from different functions and different generations and are innovative in delivering the workshops with regular check-ins, updates and innovation to ensure message of inclusion at the workplace. -Kudos! #Generational Inclusion”
Annice Joseph, Global lead Cross Generational Intelligence