Bridging the Newest Generational Gap

For the first time in US history, four generations now work in the same offices. As older employees delay retirement and companies hire the newly graduated 20-somethings (also known as Millennials or Generation Y), the generational gaps are widening.

Below are some common accusations that experienced worker’s make regarding the youngest generation in the office. The responses that follow are from the 20-somethings themselves.

  1. Lack of commitment:
    My parents got laid off and divorced. What does commitment look like?
  2. Lazy:
    There’s an app that can process this faster.
  3. No separation of personal and professional life:
    Why won’t my boss be my friend on Facebook? What is she hiding?
  4. Know-it-all:
    This cloud-based software is simple. Why aren’t we using all the new features?
  5. Must pay their dues:
    I deserve this job and a high salary because I earned a degree and have lots of school debt now. (And I got nearly everything I wanted growing up because my parents had credit cards and didn’t want me to be picked on at school.)

Bottom line: As the gaps continue to expand, how can an organization provide leadership or diversity training without addressing generational differences within the office? This education and awareness is essential to reducing frustration among coworkers, improving the productivity of multi-generational teams, and capitalizing on the strengths each generation brings to the organization.

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