You don’t understand me…

dashboard.jpg A few years ago, someone sent me this image.  It is a humorous attempt at showing the differences between men and women.  When I look at this, I wonder if it can also be applied to generations…especially when it comes to the workplace. 

Right now, there are three distinct generations co-mingling in the workplace:

  • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
  • Generation Y (1965-1980)
  • Millennia (1981-1999)

Each generation approaches work in a different manner.
The majority of Baby Boomers identify themselves by their jobs. They are usually loyal to their employer, dedicated and willing to put in long hours.
Gen-Xers, for the most part, are self-reliant and individualistic. They believe in working smarter, not harder. And, they have no personal connection to who they work for.
And finally, there are the millinnials. This group is tech savvy, multi-taskers who appear to be more team-oriented than their predecessors.

Right now, the Boomers are usually the supervisors and/or managers. So, the hardworker is wondering why his younger team members can’t keep up? While the Gen-Xers thinking there has to be an easier, more efficient way to accomplish the tasks and the Millennials are wondering if there’s some sort of software, or new ‘gadget’ that can solve the problem.

I can relate, because I am a boomer. I do get frustrated when my staff (or committee members) of different generations, don’t appear to take the task as serious as I do. The truth is, they probably are taking it as seriously. But their approach is just different.

Some boomers are working beyond normal retirement age.  In part, because they want to continue working.  But, I’m wondering if some don’t want to leave the workplace in the hands of the younger generations, fearing what may happen.

So, how do the different generations learn to communicate? How can we bridge this gap in thinking so a mutual trust in abilities and awareness grows? – Ron


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