Eye how: Dealing with Age on the Job

Courtesy: The Corporate Training Shop

Did you know this is the first time in American history that four different generations have worked side-by-side in the workplace? I didn’t…

CTS – The Corporate Training Shop even has a DVD about it. Cam Marston’s new diversity DVD – Managing Four Generations in the Workplace.

According to Sherri Elliott-Yeary – author of “Ties to Tattoos: Turning Generational Differences into a Competitive Advantage” – Generational differences are creating new challenges, including sagging productivity, lack of knowledge transfer and problems with language barriers and stereotypes.  It is important to acknowledge and understand these differences.

  • Veterans –  born before 1946 value hard work, respect for authority and discipline
  • Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 value loyalty, optimism and involvement
  • Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980 value value work-life balance and self-reliance
  • Generation Y, born after 1980 value innovation and fun.

Elliott-Yeary says these differences can cause conflicts in the workplace so consider these guidelines:

  • Talk about differences in an open and friendly manner.
  • Show respect and appreciation for differences. Take the time to emulate positive traits of other generations.
  • Keep in mind that success in the workplace rests heavily on values that date back hundreds of generations: respect, tolerance and compassion. These qualities are important for workers of all ages.

When I first read the article I thought it too simplistic and stereotypical of the generations but I think there is some truth to it, what do you think? I would be interested in your comments.

Source: NCTimes – CTW Features Patricia Rivera

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