Intergenerational Friction

Intergenerational Friction

This paper is to identify possible sources of intergenerational friction, and to describe how this differences could be managed in occupational setting. Today is the time when multiple generations are working side by side. Each generation has some distinctly different expectations and perceptions about what their working environment will provide and how they should behave as employees. Therefore, many organizations today are challenged by intergenerational issues they have never experience before. It is important to understand that each generation is protecting a distinct set of values (Penttila, C. 2009). For example, mature generation don’t like to be micromanaged, but they value teamwork and cooperation. At the same time they tend to treat younger employees the way they treat their children as well as constantly remind others how things were in their day. These employees represent a huge base of knowledge and talent in organizations, and expect the security of long-term employment (Manion, J. , 2011. ) In contrast, younger workers appear to only be in it for themselves. They crave specific, detailed instructions about how to do things and are used to hovering authorities.

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They struggling to gain the respect of older workers who are subordinates, and prefer to make a unilateral decision and move on individually. These employees have grown up amid more sophisticated technologies, and multitasking is easy for them. They tend to be practical, focused, and future oriented (Erickson, T. J. , 2009). The first step towards creating an environment where generational differences are understood and appreciated is to recognize those differences. It is impossible to change people’s life experience, but the set of workplace attitudes and expectations that come from it could be turned into benefits.

It is important to provide employees with opportunities to discuss their differences and similarities (Wolski, C. , 2011. ). They can learn a great deal by sharing their perceptions. For instance, mature generation may find a younger one lack of formality and manners offensive, while youngers may feel dissed when older employees fail to respect their opinions and input. However, it is important to have each party use “I” statements while discussing to avoid potentially negative confrontations. Each generation has valuable lessons to teach the next (Rikleen, S. L. , 2008).

For example, matures have a wealth of knowledge and tricks of the trade that younger workers need. They are widely known for their fairness and mediation abilities. Younger workers are technology wizards. They hold clues to future workplace, marketing, and business trends. It could be practical to introduce job sharing and mentoring programs within organization to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another. It could be done by implementing and/or increasing coaching/mentoring efforts for management and non-management level employees, as well as to increased job/workplace expectations training for new hires (Mask, D. 011). Forecasting organizational staffing needs, developing competency models, redesigning their pay and benefits programs can be also practical in managing the intergenerational workforce. In other words, to move forward on intergenerational issue, managers should deal with everyone as individuals while align their values with corporate objectives (ITBusinessEdge 2011. ) Citation: Erickson, T. J. (February 16, 2009) The Four Biggest Reasons for Generational Conflict in Teams. HBR Blog Network. Retrieved from http://blogs. hbr. org/erickson/2009/ 02/the_four_biggest_reasons_for_i. tml ITBusinessEdge. (2011) Six Guidelines for Resolving Intergenerational Conflict. Retrieved from http://www. itbusinessedge. com/slideshows/show. aspx? c=81195 Manion, J. (2011) Managing the Multi-Generational Nursing Workforce. Section One: Defining the Generations. International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing. Retrieved from http://www. ichrn. com/publications/policyresearch/Multigen_Nsg_ Wkforce-EN. pdf Mask, D. (2011) Managing the Generation Mix in the Workplace – Tips to Manage the Generation Gap. Alliance: HR. Retrieved from http://www. lliancetac. com/? PAGE_ID= 2304 Penttila, C. (Febuary 13, 2009) How to Manage Generational Dynamics. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from http://www. entrepreneur. com/article/200104 Rikleen, S. L. (May 19, 2008) Solve Generational Conflict In The Workplace. Looking Fit. Retrieved from http://www. lookingfit. com/articles/2008/05/solve-generational-conflict-in-the-workplace. aspx Wolski, C. (2011) Generational Diversity & Workplace Conflict. Small Business. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness. chron. com/generational-diversity-workplace-conflict-283


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