Generational Diversity in the Workplace

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Generational Diversity in the Workplace

Managerial Communications

10/14/2011

Today, the workplace environment is comprised of people, both males and females from all different cultures and generations. For the first time in U.S. history there are four different generations out in the workforce. A generation can be defined as a group of individuals born within a term years having similar ideas, goals, attitudes and experiences. It can also be defined as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their children. Resources differ as to when some generations start and end; a generation is usually around 20 years long. generational differences are based on broad variations in values that develop based on the contrasting environment and social dynamics each generation experiences as they come of age. In the workplace, these differences seem to be generating clashes around work-life balance, employee loyalty, authority, and other important issues.Generational differences are based on broad variations in values that develop based on the contrasting environment and social dynamics each generation experiences as they come of age. In the workplace, these differences seem to be generating clashes around work-life balance, employee loyalty, authority, interpersonal relationships and other important issues (Notter, 2007). Sometimes contradictions and problems arise when identifying the characteristics of a generation. Some studies in the 1980’s described Generation X as self-reliant, ambitious, and career –minded. By the 1990’s they were described as the cynical, whining, slacker generation. There is a lack of mutual exclusivity in generational groups due to where in a generation a person was born. Events such as John F. Kennedy’s assassination and terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 served as formative moments of that generation’s coming of age during the time but also had impact on members of all generations. Generations can also have...
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