There are four main generations in today’s workforce. They are Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials and Generation Z. Each generation brings different values, and beliefs to the workplace. And although different perspectives offer many advantages to a business, there is also a downside to multiple generations. And that is that generational differences can also cause various issues. Here are some common workplace issues that generational differences cause.
Communication is a common problem arising in workplaces. Especially larger workplaces with multiple generations. Each generation favours a different communication method. Therefore issues such as miscommunication are inevitable. Baby boomers and Gen Xers tend to prefer face-to-face communication and phone calls. Although they are proficient in digital communication methods, they value the connection in speaking to colleagues. This is at odds with Millennials and Gen Zers. These generations prefer email, instant messaging and text messaging. Preferring the efficiency these methods provide. Younger generations consider in-person communication and phone calls time-consuming.
2. Generational Differences Causes Stereotyping
Stereotyping is common in workplaces with multiple generations working together. As previously stated, different age groups have different values, beliefs and attitudes. These differences can create conflict in the workplace. Ultimately resulting in stereotyping. An example of this is how older generations value long hours whereas younger generations value flexibility. Considering this difference, the older generations may label the younger workers as lazy. Whereas the younger generation may label the older workers as stuck in their ways.
3. Conflicting Working Styles
And finally, workplaces with multiple generations can have issues with conflicting styles of working. Older generations believe in a more structured workday. They like to start and end their days at a designated time. In contrast, younger generations value workplace flexibility. They don’t believe that the traditional 9 – 5 is relevant anymore. Completing the job is significantly more important than the completion timeline or location. Additionally, older generations define success by how long and hard they work. And how much they earn. Whereas younger generations define success through progression and happiness.
Generational Differences Causing Issues in your Workplace?
Is there conflict arising from generational differences in your workplace? Kazien Workforce Solutions can help your management team navigate generational conflict. This is one of the reasons why we began the Workforce Academy. Why not reach out to a member of our team, to see how we can help you?