Bridging The Generation Gap In The Workplace
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Today, we find that young and old are working together. This has given rise to a generation gap between the older workers and the younger ones, who are often in supervisory or managerial positions. Many of the baby boomers will be taking retirement in the coming years. However, still there will be enough of baby boomers working for the next 19 years and that the younger generation, namely Generation Y, will still have to deal with them. So, it becomes imperative that efforts are made to bridge the generation gap in the workplace to increase productivity and output from the employees.
It has been seen that the older working generation is worried about increasing the profits of their workplace, developing new talent and employees, enhancing the workplace culture and filling up any open positions at the workplace. On the other hand, the younger generation has a completely different outlook towards work. They want to have a work-life balance, flexible working schedule, transparency at the workplace and access to all work-related information. This has created a divide between the 2 generations. (See Reference 1)
This does not mean that a company has to function with the generation gap. Instead, steps can be taken to bridge the gap, but both generations will have to make an effort for that to happen.
The older generation first has to begin to listen instead of hearing the newer and younger employees. They have to pay attention to what the Generation Y is saying and should avoid stereotyping them. The older generation should go out to colleges to recruit fresh talent for their companies and spend time getting to know what this generation expects from its workplace and employers. Instead of viewing the younger generation with suspicion, the older generation should begin seeing them as strategic business partners as they will be the future leaders someday. The younger generation is keen to succeed, has a hunger for learning and a desire to achieve goals. Hence, the older generation should give them a chance to prove their mettle. (See Reference 1)
When it comes to the younger generation, they should have a different perspective to work. They should realize that it takes time to reach high echelons at the workplace and they should learn to be patient. Instead, they should make an effort to showcase their talents and abilities to their managers and also make an attempt to with their trust. While the younger generation wants everything to move fast and get frustrated when they meet resistance, they should cultivate the quality of patience so that they can stay focused to concentrate on opportunities that come their way. In addition, they should leave the world of virtual relationships and make an effort to forge personal relationships at work and outside. If they still want to make business contacts over the Internet, then they should be looking at LinkenIn rather than Facebook. They should not feel embarrassed to have senior mentors and guides to show them how to proceed and be successful in the world of business. (See Reference 1)Taking these few steps, both generations can go a long way in bridging the generation gap in the workplace.
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