Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

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Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Diversity is no new thing in the workplace. Many different factors account for this circumstance in the business arena. Gender, race and ethnicity, and age are a few of the major factors that create diversity within the workplace. The latter, age, is one of the more understated and disregarded issue of diversity. But over time, differences in age in the workplace has been growing more and more, generating conflicts that could not be ignored any longer. The problem of age gaps in the workplace is caused by having multiple generations in one workplace. Most see the age gaps in the workplace as an inherent thing and thus, not something to cope with instead of something to be dealt with. Although the age gap problem is indeed inherent and inevitable, this does not mean that this problem is something that will just go away, or something that just takes getting used to. It is a problem that is based on beliefs and values, demographics, economics and must be dealt with utmost care and sensitivity.

At the onset of the new millennium, the workplace is different from the workplace that we knew at the time when work had evolved so much as to be called a "career", meaning, when work had become more than just a means of livelihood for people included in the workforce. When "jobs" became "careers", people began to feel that more was at stake with their respective workplaces than just their salaries. This gave way to the first generation of workforce that would put new meaning in the workplace, and will be followed by three more generations, and each would bring new and unique dynamics to the workplace.

Today there are four generations present and working together in one workplace. Each generation with different values, different ways of dealing with business relationships, different ways of thinking and talking. Although these generations or age groups are usually unspoken and informal, they are more or less as...
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