Generational Differences

I’m soooo tired of being classified in these manners (italicized below). I think that different generations do work differently, but I do believe the training industry is making a mountain out of a mole hill – the truth is, age differences are just like anything else in the workplace – it’s the manager’s/supervisor’s job to work with employees as individuals and all of their quirks. Don’t assume when I come into the workplace that because of my age, I don’t care about social issues and I’m only there for personal gain.


When the Old and Young Collide at Work
Forbes (01/03/2008)

A professor at the Instituto de Empresa in Spain analyzed the four generations that make up today’s workforce. Traditional workers, born before or during World War II, value loyalty and respect and established hierarchy. Members of Generation X shy away from hierarchy, instead valuing flexibility that caters to their personal initiative. The latest group to enter the workforce, Generation Y, are the most comfortable with information technology and care more about personal issues than social or corporate issues. Currently, most managers are members of the baby boomers or Generation X, and the generational gap could account to the “failures” of some younger employees. Human resources (HR) departments must consider generational differences when determining the best way to retain workers. As each new generation becomes more individualistic, the concept of loyalty has faded, with younger employees focusing on personal values, such as compensation that rewards individual performance instead of seniority. One way to cut down on costly new employee turnover would be to include realistic tests and interviews during the recruiting process, showing young recruits that the company will allow them to be creative. Many of these younger workers leave their positions because they find a better offer, but would consider returning to their original company under the right conditions. Companies that employ young talent may consider continuing their relationship with workers after they leave.


One thought on “Generational Differences

  1. I agree with the comment that the generalizations about age may not be true for everyone. The generational differences are ‘generalized’ values differences based on when you were born. But all sorts of other influences make us who we are such as environment, upbringing etc.
    When I present to groups I often say that we are not trying to put age groups into ‘boxes’ we are simply wanting to expand perspectives so we have deeper understanding of how each generation things and what they value.

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