Generational expert Jason Dorsey entertained audiences at STN EXPO during his keynote speech with humorous cracks at intergenerational differences and tips on how to make these differences work, while also giving examples specific to student transporters.
Among the different features that distinguish the generations, Dorsey pointed out that baby boomers do not go anywhere without a pen, Generation Xers are loyal to individuals and not organizations, and Generation Y, or “millenials,” are highly visual learners.
Another common trait of Generation Y is what he called “delayed adulthood,” remarking that this is the first generation for whom it is socially acceptable to hold off marriage until age 30-plus. Dorsey added that this generation feels, in a sense, exceptional.
“We all think we’re special and we have a 12th-place ribbon to prove it,” he joked during the talk, which was sponsored by Blue Bird Corporation and ROUSH CleanTech.
Dorsey also mentioned that Generation Y is the fastest-growing group in school transportation, and then provided some pointers for industry professionals on how to successfully communicate with millenials in the workplace since they are so visual, including:
- Provide photo/video examples about things that you want/do not want to see a new hire do.
- Offer continuous feedback on the individual’s progress as opposed to a periodical evaluation.
Dorsey reminded everyone that the generational characteristics are not a “box” and that not everyone will have them.
“When we talk about generations, (those) are not a box that all of us fit neatly inside based on our birth year. What generations absolutely are, are really powerful clues on where to start to better connect with and influence people of different ages, older and younger,” Dorsey told STN in May.
He also touched on a point made earlier by Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation, during his opening remarks. Horlock had stated earlier that the school bus industry transports far more people per day, 24 million to be exact, than the airline industry, which transports 1.2 million.
However, Dorsey added, the profile of the school transportation industry is not as prominent, and that needs to change. He emphasized that one way to raise the profile of the industry is to have a presence on LinkedIn with a photo and a few personal interests.
To conclude his entertaining and enlightening speech, Dorsey shared an anecdote and thanked the school transportation industry.
“The first time I saw an escalator I was on a school trip. The first time I saw a beach I was on a school trip. Thank you so very much for all you do for us. We are so very grateful,” he said.