The Generation Divide
The “Generation Divide” (Biro, 2013) is a challenging problem for the leadership in today’s culture. The gaps between these generations are a concern organizations are confronted with. Today’s workforce includes four generations spanning more than 60 years in age (Cogin, 2012). Strategies aimed at attracting, retaining, and engaging employees of all ages are strategic concerns that employers are focusing on (Cogin, 2012).
This paper will address the strengths of the four generations of American workers that exist in today’s workplace, similarities and differences, and how to resolve collaboration efforts between them (Mayden, 2014). While there are methods that can be used to close the gap, it takes imaginative approaches to be applied across all levels in the workplace (Ganciola, 2006).
The Traditional Generation
The Traditional Generation is the oldest generation born between 1922 and 1945 (Ganciola, 2006). Known as the veterans or the greatest generation ever, majority of this generation is no longer in the workforce. Members of this generation were influenced by historical events such as the great depression and World War II (Ganciola, 2006). This generation has a sense of obligation and is considered to be fiscal restraint. The traditional top-down approaches such as chain of command, authority and respect was very important to this generation. Sacrificing and following orders best describes this mature generation (Ferri-Reed, 2013). Considered strong communicators of their time, developing communication skills were vital to show consistency and uniformity in their beliefs.
The Baby Boomer
Most sources identify the Baby Boomer generation as born between 1943 and 1965 (Ganciola...
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... to avoid academic challenges (Johnson & Kardos, 2005). Principals are attempting to improve teaching and learning techniques by bringing these two groups together to improve overall morale and transfer of knowledge to bridge the generation gap (Johnson & Kardos, 2005).
Solutions on Closing the Gap Amongst the Four Generations
The school of thought continues to maintain that values are embedded for life. This is caused by defined historical events that occurred as people were growing up (Ganciola, 2006). The influence and power of events each generation experiences develops a unique set of beliefs and attitudes that drive the individual generational behaviors (Ganciola, 2006). Applying situational leadership strategies helps managers to understand how the different values came about and create an environment that is conducive to bridge the gap over time.
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