Managing Generation Gaps in the Workplace

Companies nowadays have a diverse work force consisting of employees of various ages and generations. It is only in these recent times that organizations employ four generations of workers in the same office, mainly because of improved lifestyles that make the Baby Boomers live longer yet able to perform the tasks at hand. At hindsight, however, it also reflects how many of these older employees are not able to secure themselves of a worry-free retirement.

With workers of different generations having completely different cultures and values, havoc may ensue if organizations ignore it.

Address the differences

The human resource department should be knowledgeable about generational diversity. They should first know the differences between generations and should not associate any common value or culture as right or wrong, but rather embrace it as part of diversity.

Make the younger generation more aware about decision making

As a manager, you need to pull the younger employees into decision-making groups like staffing, work environment, strategy, performance appraisals, and even retirement benefits.

Although the older generation needs some retirement benefits, they may actually never benefit from investing their money on a 401K. However, the younger employees would want to have their own 401K, especially that the investment would grow more as they grow older and keep the money intact.

Teach employees about generational diversity

Your employees should learn to adapt when working with younger coworkers. Tell them that the young ones do not intend to take the jobs from their much older coworkers (a thing the Baby Boomers usually worry).

Also, the older workers view their younger coworkers as lazy because of their want of having to work for fewer hours yet maintaining the productivity. The Baby Boomers should realize that their counterparts on Generation X live in a different environment, where computers make work easier and more efficient.

If all employees work towards a common goal of bringing the company into their industry’s leader board, such achievement is very much appreciated no matter how old they are.

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