Multiple Generations Working Together

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:28+00:00 January 30th, 2009|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: , |2 Comments

Last week we had a lively blog discussion on generational differences. With four generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials) currently in the workforce, each group brings their own set of attitudes and values based on their generation’s experience. Such large differences can often cause conflict, especially in the workplace. On the other hand, these differences can also lead to positive relationships, such as older workers mentoring younger colleagues.

Please tell us how generational differences have affected your workplace.

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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz
Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the RespectfulWorkplace.com website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit melaniesklarz.com.

2 Comments

  1. Gary January 30, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    My perspective on the problem of multiple generations working together is totally becoming a issue where I work in the human services field. I work front line with developmentally handicapped individuals and the key to have success in this field is totally a team approach. Baby boomers were raised and taught to be dedicated to an employer and stick with it; and from where I see things, the other generations seem to be compelled to work in a particular field for awhile and then decide to change careers because they don’t feel challenged enough. I have talked with many people who work in many different careers and they convey the same message.

    Frankly, they couldn’t pay me enough to manage generational workers… I am working another 7 years to pick up my pension and have no idea if I will make it..

  2. Paul Meshanko February 5, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Gary, you make some good points. The whole issue of employee / employer loyalty is viewed VERY differently between the generations. I don’t think there’s a right way or a wrong way to see things…just different ways (based on different work experiences and expectations). One advantage this gives younger workers is that they’re not as likely to stick around in an unhealthy work environment as older employees may be (if they have options). As more and more young people enter the workforce, this shifts more emphasis on employers to focus on things such as respectful work cultures, work-life balance issues, designing jobs to be “meaningful” and career development planning.

    Personally, I’m a “tweener” caught in the middle of Baby Boomer and Generation X values and perspectives. The one thing I am certain of is this: in about 10 years, these younger workers that seem to frustrate many older managers (and peers) will be managers and bosses themselves. So the big question is, will they change to meet the needs that typically come with the responsibilities of families, kids, etc.? Or will companies change to meet a set of permanantly changed employee expectations. Stay tuned!

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