Age Diversity

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A more diverse workforce does not necessarily mean more problems. Diverse workforce can however be seen as something positive that may bring positive impact to an organisation despite of all the challenges that the management as well as the employees may have to deal with. In this essay, I will focus on age - the aspect of diversity often been avoided, the organisational behaviour challenges that are created and lastly, knowledge and skills managers have to develop.

Generations are sectioned into the Traditionalists (born 1900-1945), the Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), the Generation Xers (born 1965-1980), and the Millennials (born 1981-2000). The Traditionalists have core values of dedication, hard work, conformity, discipline, loyalty, consistency and patience. The Baby Boomers on the other hand, believe in growth and expansion, optimistic, service oriented, driven, willing to “go the extra mile”, and good team players. The Generation Xers attained the core values of diversity, thinking globally, balance, techno-literacy, fun, informality, adaptability, independent, and pragmatism. And lastly, the Millennials, whose core values are optimism, civic duty, confidence, achievement, sociability, morality, and street smarts. They also have multi capabilities and technology savvy. (Zemke, R, Raines, C & Filipczak, B 2000)

With the differences in personalities and values among generations, there bound to be misperceptions of one another. Thus, conflict arises where values differ and needs varies. This is where several organizational behaviour challenges come to surface. Some negative impacts that are related are such as how costly it can be when companies have to set policies, develop procedures, and create everything from corporate cultures to compensation and benefit plans, and how challenging it can be for the managers who are charged with recruiting, managing and motivating up to four generations in the workplace at once.

One of the greater challenges is to...
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