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In our Diversity@NORMA series, we highlight the diversity of personalities working at NORMA Group. In 2023, the series focuses on the various generations of NORMA Group employees. Colleagues from different departments, countries and age groups report on their experiences working with older and younger colleagues and how cross-generational exchange takes place at NORMA Group.
In this interview, Dennis Collier, State Sales Manager at the NORMA Group site in St. Marys, Australia, talks about his experiences working with younger colleagues over the course of his six years with the company.
Dennis, you yourself are in your fifties. What do you see as the biggest differences between your generation and younger people?
I currently have three Area Sales Managers in my team for the South and Western Australia regions, and I look after the Northern region myself. One of my team members is from New Zealand and he is in his twenties, another is from Hungary and in his forties, and the third is originally from India and is in his thirties. And I am from England.
The biggest difference I see between my generation and the other generations that are represented on my team is the difference in the length of hands-on experience and that younger people tend to adapt more quickly to the respective environment. Young people are also usually very tech-savvy, understand electronic processes more quickly and make excellent use of the technical aids that are available.
Do you also see differences in the way they work?
There are minor differences, but we all follow the same guidelines and principles of corporate structure. We are, generally speaking, a very modern team and we all pull in the same direction due to mentoring and coaching processes we have all undergone.
Is it your impression that there is an exchange between the generations at NORMA Group?
Absolutely! As a team, we share best practices, opportunities for success and lessons learned from all of our experiences and backgrounds. We learn from each other.
What exactly have you been able to learn from your younger colleagues?
I have learned to maintain a high level of energy and to be positive and supportive. This approach has made it possible for our team to move forward even under challenging conditions.
I have also learned that not everyone on our team has the same skills and needs to be individually supported to not only meet, but exceed their own expectations. This is a winning combination for our team and for NORMA Group.
Is there any highlight you’ve experienced in the company that is based on a cross-generational exchange?
We recently concluded our national sales conference. In addition to a broad range of exciting workshops and the development of future concepts, we spent a lot of time together and enjoyed each other’s company over dinner – sharing anecdotes about our cultures, hobbies and interests.
The interactions and time spent together have served to make us even closer as a team.