Managers are increasingly grappling with generational differences in their work forces. Problems can arise from differing mindsets and communication styles of workers born in different eras. The frictions may be aggravated by new technology and work patterns that mix workers of different ages in ever-changing teams.
Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are competitive and think workers should pay their dues, workplace consultants say. Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1977, are more likely to be skeptical and independent-minded. Gen Ys—also known as Millennials—were born in 1978 or later and like teamwork, feedback and technology.
The key is to be able to effectively address and take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation. But experts say managers must be careful not to follow blanket stereotypes. Managers must also take care not to disadvantage older workers, even inadvertently, or risk retention problems and legal headaches. (Continue reading from Wall Street Journal)
Generation Fast Facts (CNN)
The Whys and Hows of Generations Research (Pews Research Center)
Generational Differences Chart (West Midland Family Center)
Generational differences in the workplace: A review of the evidence and directions for future research (Journal of Organizational Behavior)