The Generation Of The Today 's Workplace Essay

The Generation Of The Today 's Workplace Essay

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Over the last twenty years, the make-up of the workplace has changed dramatically due to age diversity. In today’s workforce, we have four generations of workers: traditionalists (silent generation), baby boomers, Generation X (Gen X’ers), and Millennials (Gen Y). The characteristics of the four generations are important to organizations for several reasons. Effectively managing human capital is what separates great companies from their mediocre counterparts. Understanding the value system of each generation may help management motivate and develop key behaviors needed in the workplace. Furthermore, understanding how each generations communicate may help management coach, develop, and lead these diverse groups of people. In this paper, the four generations of workers are described, generational similarities and differences are explored, and implications for management are identified.
Four Generations of Workers
Traditionalist Generation
The Traditionalists generation (1922-1946) is the oldest generation in today’s workplace. Yet, this generation is phasing out as the workers retire. This group of workers lived through World War II and the great depression. Many of their views and beliefs are influenced by those devastating events. Because of those events, traditionalists understand sacrifice and living with shortages. This group of people values respecting the rules as well as authority. Essentially, they are very conservative and tends to avoid risky behaviors in matters of work. Work and physical labor are closely related to the traditionalist and this is due primarily to the world in which they grew up in. “Typical characteristics of the silent generation include: discipline, a strong set of moral obligations, are economicall...

... middle of paper ...

...ti-tasking and tend to prefer an on the job training or development program. Distractions typically do not concern these groups.
Managing and Leading
Managers should focus on generation similarities as much as differences because all four generations share similar values and challenges such as lack of respect (Maguire, 2012). Furthermore, building on the generations strengths to drive performance within the organization is an important principle that all managers should apply in the workplace. In addition, managers should be willing to adjust or personalize their style to meet the style of the individual. For instance, a manager may need to take a consensual leadership style when managing a baby boomer. Or a manager may need to provide positive reinforcement in the work environment with a focus on technology when working with a Gen X’ers (Crampton & Hodge, 2007).

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