GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN THE WORKPLACE:
PERSONAL VALUES, BEHAVIORS, AND POPULAR BELIEFS
This article attempts to describe the different age groups composing each of the categories of generations in the current U.S. workforce and their distinguishing characteristics. The piece also seeks to analyze how each group’s differing traits may impact an organization. The main purpose of the paper is to teach management how recognizing these differing views may help them to better motivate and satisfy the members of each group.
So who are these different generational groups? The author has broken today’s workforce down into three identifiable groups by birth year. These groups are Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. They will be described in more detail in the following paragraphs.
The first, and oldest group, are the Baby Boomers. This category includes those born between the years of 1946 to 1964. The Baby Boomers are the largest group and many of them can be found throughout the managerial ranks. They are reputed to be self-absorbed and have a feeling of entitlement. This group is said to value success, teamwork, inclusion, and rule-challenging. They are open to change and loyal to their employer.
Generation X is comprised of those born between 1965 and 1979. This group is concerned with career options and a balance of work and home life. They seek fulfilling work but are cynical of corporations and government. This cynicism leads themnto being less loyal than their predecessors (the Baby Boomers). Generation Xers are computer literate and demand fulfilling work while still craving a fun work environment.
The third group is Generation Y. This includes those born from 1980 to present (per reports made in 2005 and 2006). According to the author this group is optimistic but realistic, globally aware, and inclusive. They are very technologically inclined and...
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