Employment and Upper Management

Topics: Employment, Generation Y, Management Pages: 6 (2280 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Answer the following questions, regarding the article: “Generational Diversity in the Workplace” 1. What are the generational issues Julia faces with each employee? What cultural, historic, or societal issues may influence these generational issues? Ethel is 70 years old and she has been at Everything’s Here Inc. for 20 years. She had worked in the fabric and crafts department for 18 years until it was closed due to its low revenues and she was transferred from department to department until she ended up in the electronics department. Ethel has limited know-how on how to use electronic appliances much less on how to tackle software programs used for increasing efficiency in the workplace such as inventory control program. Ethel does not seem to be ambitious and enthusiastic about her job as her ultimate goal for taking the new job is to receive health benefits under Medicare for her husband and herself. It is not possible to reach her via email and she also shuts her phone off not to be interrupted while watching TV in the evenings. Hence; Julia, the Department Manager, cannot reach her in case she is needed. Ethel should be considered as a Veteran regarding her generational status. Veterans are born approximately in between 1922-1943. They have core values as dedication to work and respect for authority. (Zemke, Raines & Filipczak, 2000). As Campbell suggests in her article “Generational Diversity: Tensions and Opportunities” veterans/traditionalists are people who save everything. Their motto is “Waste not, want not”, because they were born and grew up during the time of the Great Depression and World War-II. They look at their careers as a fortunate opportunity. (Campbell, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Nov-Dec 2011). Their childhoods were spent in the hard times. These tough time taught the Veterans to “believe in logic not magic and to be disciplined” (Zemke et al. 2000). Regarding these theories, we can consider Ethel as an ambitious person who is willing to get what she “deserved” after working almost 20 years. She is a dedicated soul as she does not quit working even though she has reached her 70s. In the Electronics Department, we also have Rick who is 51 and he is a sales associate. He is born in between 1946-1964 and hence he can be considered as a Baby Boomer regarding his generation. He used to work for an appliance store where he sold kitchen and laundry appliances. Rick is able to tackle the basics of how to use technology as surfing the net, checking emails and using a smart phone. However Rick stays short of responding to technical questions coming from customers. Therefore he prefers to stay in his comfort zone, the TV department, where he does his best. And when he receives a technical question he either needs to look it up online or finds Julia or Larry whom he defines as his young knowledgeable colleagues. Boomers were influenced by social events such as victories over polio and tuberculosis, Martin Luther King, easily accessible birth control, Vietnam War, founding of the National Organization for Women, establishment of the Peace Corps and as such. (Holtzman, Kruger & Srock, in Harvey & Allard, Understanding and Managing Diversity, 5th Ed.). Boomers were raised and educated during a period of strength and stability in America’s economy. Boomers tend to be motivated by the mindset that the possibilities and opportunities are limitless. Boomers are motivated with success and they strive for strong work ethic and great determination. “They were raised by parents who had made the world better for them and who encouraged them that they too could make the world a better place.” (Bartley, Ladd & Morris, 2007). Regarding Rick’s generation’s social events and the trends how they were brought up, Rick can be seen as a man who could take the best out of any situation. As Rick was given the job he tried to stay in his comfort zone and tried to reveal his strengths more and avoided what he...
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