Generation conflict can cause an organization a lot of money in productivity. At no other time in history have five generations co-existed in the US. Labor force, Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and the most current Gen2020. This is due because people are living longer and working longer. This mixed, multi-generational environment is a new challenge for management and HR teams. Falling under one generation does not necessarily mean you were born during the years within the range but if you meet the characteristics and values of the generation.
Several of the prevailing issues are the different workforce behaviors, and those who are unfamiliar with collaboration tools but are expected to work in a setting with possibly four other different generations. Generalizations and stereotypes exist in an attempt to understand trends. By having your employees understand how work is done differently in different generations, collaboration between groups tends to happen. Understanding the different needs go both ways. “Social learning” is a new concept that employees learn from each other. Management has learned that by pairing up employees from different generations and by providing them the training, they can both teach each other and develop working relationships.
You can learn more about strategies for understanding–and overcoming–generational differences by reading “Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in Your Workplace.”