Generation Gaps in the Workplace
Each generation has their own culture. Our workforce is filled with baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials which can cause generation differences. With such a large spread of ages, there can be a clashing of culture, communication, and harmony. Take Google for example. Their employees’ age ranges from early 20’s to mid-80’s.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964): They are hard-working, team-oriented employees often defined by their career. According to the United Nations, Baby Boomers live to work and remain committed to one company for many years. They expect the same level of dedication from the younger generations as they have put in.
GenX (the mid-60’s- early 80’s): Within the workforce, they are self-reliant, flexible, and driven by growth opportunities. They have a “eliminate the task” mentality.
Millennials (early 80’s to late 90’s): Millennials are known to seek out new employment when they are ready to grow their career instead of “climbing the ladder.” Millennials are ambitious multi-taskers always looking for the “what’s next.” They also seek to have a work-life balance.
Respect and Communication.
It’s important for employees to not only respect each other in general but also to respect the way they work. For example, millennials prefer recognition and feedback; Baby Boomer's value team collaboration; Gen X prefers flexibility and autonomy. Since everyone works differently, it is necessary to have an open environment where there is free-flowing communication of expectations among the workplace.
No matter the age, everyone has knowledge and skills to offer to the people around them. Millennials can mentor the older generations in new thinking and technological advances while Baby Boomers can mentor younger generations about the growth and changes experienced in business and the skills they’ve acquired.
Don't be Bias.
Just because they are younger than you doesn’t mean they don’t know as much. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they don’t understand the way business has changed. It all goes back to being open. Be open to learn and grow from the people around you.