How to Manage Generational Diversity in the Workplace

Today’s work force is made up of diversity of workers which include races cultural and age. We are living in an era in which the work place is experiencing a combination of generation. Many organizations are currently encompassing two or three generation working within the same company or department at the same time. This have become very challenging for many managers/leaders. Managers and leaders have to be able to adopt and find a commonly found style of leadership in order to be an effective leader. The different generation eras along with different charaterstics and values between Baby Boomers and Millennials Generation can influence the working environment.

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Generation cohort refer to a group of people who experience a particular event at a specific time, event trends and development. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000).They’re also influenced by the same social markers and experiences. The accumulated experience of a particular cohort thus reflect the intersection of lives and history. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000).Generation which is base on age period or cohort have different generation gap.(Wiedmer,2015) They are five generation with the earliest called traditionalist or silent generations born 1945 and before. Then we have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials or Gen Y and Gen Z or centennials. The Frist thing that comes to the mind of most American when the Baby Boomers is mentioned is its sheer size. (Hughes, O’rand 2000).Baby Boomers are a part of the largest generation; however, the baby boomers are more than Exceptionally large it is pivotal. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000). The Baby Boomers were unexpected due to the fact that prior to world war ll birth were at an all-time low in the United States. No one would have predicted that ten years later the United Stated would be in the midst of a baby boom without any reduction in intensity or strength in sight. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000). The Baby Boomer generation is due to a sharp increase in the number of births. Individual who were born in the US between 1946 and 1964 in the post-world war all period. The general fertility rate in the US rose from what had been had been an all time low 1936 of 75.8 children per 1000 women of child bearing age to a high of 122.7 in 1957. (Macunovich,2001). “Total birth per year during this time period grew from 2.3 million to 4.3 million and then feel to 3.1 million”. (Macunovich,2001). Members of the Baby Boomers were born over the course of 19 years. The last of the Boomers were born as their earlier born baby, boomers were reaching adulthood. There is no consensus regarding the cause of the baby boomers, social scientist suggests a complex mixture of economic, social and psychological factor. (Macunovich,2001).

The Boomers fate came in a time of great social transformation. This could be seen in education, work and women rights .Education became a mas institution. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000). Often called the best educated cohort in the history of the United States. High school completion is nearly universal among boomers’ men and women. This was a period when the demands for secondary and postsecondary education. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000) Education were the highest in history and were largely accommodated by a prosperous society. They inherited an education system with nearly seamless opportunities to attain a college degree (Hughes, O’rand, 2000).. Another major shift during the baby boomers the economy began to move away from traditional heavy manufacturing towards services and knowledge industries. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000). These shifts were driven by technology and by global processes. Women went to work in previously male dominated industries. The new jobs required intellectual ability, social skills, and posts secondary credentials, and they suited women as well as men the steady increase in women’s employment at middle age and a less dramatic decline in men’s employment in middle age (Hughes, O’rand, 2000). Boomers women’s employment levels are higher than the average for all working age women .In mid life nearly nine of ten boomers work representing the highest employment level of all cohorts. (Hughes, O’rand, 2000) The generational cohorts experiences all have different characteristics and values.The generational cohorts experienced very different expectations and roles with respect to work and family. .(Berman,Beutell,2008) Work is central to the lives and identities of baby boomers . Boomers experiences a shift away from from traditional family amidst changing work and family roles with new social roles for women and men.(Berman,Beutell,2008). This influence and shape boomers characteristic and values.They are extremely hard working and very committed to their personal and professional goals. Boomers are very career focus and display good work ethics. They are motivated by perks prestige, and position ,Boomers are described as work centric, independent, goal oriented, and competitive typically equating their work and positions with self worth.(Wiedmer,Terry,2015).The majority of baby boomers prefer having flexible work options therefore acknowledge the importance of work/ life balance and prefer to work remotely(Khanfur).

On the other end of the spectrum we have Generation y or the Millenials who are view as complete oppose as the Baby Boomers, though they do have generation Cohort size in common millennials are second to the Baby Boomers in size with approximately 80 million people born within that generation. Millenials are consider individual born from mid 1980’s to 2000.This generation cohorts like pervious generation is shaped by events . One -fourth of millennials have college degrees which is similar to other generations. (Devaney,2015) However, millennials may exceed the educational levels of pervious generations as time passes and they complete their eduction.( Devaney,2015)” A 2010 Pew report entitled Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next projects that millennials will be the most educated American generation”( Devaney,2015.) Millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation in the nation’s history. ..(Dimock,2019) Millennial generation has unique history and events such as technological, economic and social shifts. These different formative experiences interact with the life cycle. Most Millennials were between the age of 5 and 20 when the 9/11 terrorist attack shook the nation and were old enough to comprehend the historical significance of that moment..(Dimock,2019). Millennials also grew up in the shadow of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which contributed to the intense political enviorment. ..(Dimock,2019). In 2008 elections millennials were between the age of 12 and 27 which showed a force of the youth vote therefore becoming a part of the political conversation and help elect the first black president. ..(Dimock,2019). Not only they were shaped by political events but millennials who were of age entered the work force facing the height of an economic recession.(Dimock,2019). Technology played a major role for this generation cohert.

One of the most specific features of generation y is that they grew up with technology and rely on it, thus in return they are some time refer to as the internet generation and or the Net generation.(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015). Baby Boomers grew up as television expanded dramatically, changing their lifestyle and connection to the world in fundamental ways. Generation X grew up as the computer revolution was taking hold, and Millennials came of age during the internet explosion. (Dimock,2019). Technology , in particular the rapid evolution of how people communicate and interact.This is evident in the attitudes, charaterchist and values in the millennials generation cohort. Generation y wants to know why! They want the facts, they want the hard data and most of all they want the truth.Compared to members of other generations, generation y tend to be more social and confident as they seek personal and work life balance.(Wiedmer,2015). The fast-track has lost much of its appeal for generation y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work life balance, .(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015).As adults, millinneals are confident in themselves and their future being motivated, goal oriented, optimistic assertive, and they believe they are right. “As a result they feel pressure to succeed and think others should be flexible with them when they want to negotiate resolving conflicts”.(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015). This is an example of the nurtured and pampered behavior that was impose on them from their parents who did not want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, like generation x where those children was term lock and key generation; who basically took care of themselves because their parents was always at work. Due this nature Generation Y has been classified as exceedingly narcissistic. .(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015).

A 2008, 2010 study was done by Twenge and Foster show that the average college student in 2006 was 30% more narcissistic than the average student in 1982. .(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015). This implies a focus on self at others’s expense or at least a failure to consider the impact of one’s action. Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. .(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015). Generation Y’s appear to observe fewer boundaries than pervious generations and are more flexible about when and how to apply them. Driven by technology , Generation Y expect to multitask and approach project from a variety of creative vantage points. (Wiedmer,2015). Although easily bored, Gen Y typically enjoy experimenting and discovering new approaches and solutions to issues and problems as they are motivated by their need for a sense of purpose and belonging to meaningful communities. .(Wiedmer,2015).They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Taking into account the personal characteristics of this generation , it can be said that they show very distunct differences with other generation cohort. .(Celikdemir, Tukel,2015).

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How To Manage Generational Diversity In The Workplace. (2020, Apr 22). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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