Understanding the Difference Between Gen X and Gen Y

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Stéphanie Damaso – 2B
Final Assignment – Human Resouces


table of contents

executive summary3


Gen x and gen y: youth vs oldness?5

Gen x: the oldness5
Gen y: the younth6
Understand the differences7
advices to managers8



executive summary
Throughout this document, we discussed about the reality of a generation gap between Gen X and Gen Y. This gap can creates a lot of conflicts throughout the company and be really difficult to handle for a manager. We started from the hypothesis that most of all the managers were from gen X and all the new employees (starters on the job market) are from gen Y. We started out by discussing the different profiles of both Gen X and Gen Y. This was a really important step because only those descriptions could lead us to understand where is the gap through the two generations, what changes from one generation to another. This part has led us to say that almost all “new” generations have the same characteristics as the older one when they still were new: arrogance, laziness, rejection of authority. However, it did not mean that no difference exists from one generation to the other. Based on gen X and gen Y, we identified two main points in which the gen were different: ways of communication and need of autonomy. Gen Y has always been more used to the written communication by texting, chatting or writing mails while the Xers were used to speak on the phone. This might create conflicts from one generation to the other. About autonomy, Xers loved to find out things by themselves, they are willing to raise challenges and to understand on their own how things worked whereas Yers have been used to have the solutions given away very easily. They therefore need much more guidance than the older generation and this is also a key issue for managers nowadays. In a second part, we provided some advices to the manager in order to help them handle the new generation. In first place, rejection of authority is a key issue for Yers; they consider their managers as being their equal even though they have conscious that hierarchically he is superior to them. So the first advice given is not to give order but always have a word to explain why they are asked to do this task. In the same way, they should really pay attention to their new employees, they need guidance. They really need to be accompanied throughout their action; they are willing to learn from their managers. They also really need to be in a constant communication with their employees. Yers always communicates and expect to get feedback in return; maintaining a good communication in their teams is one of the key issues for managers. Never let a claim unanswered, never let a situation unexplained and everything will work out well. Let the situation deteriorates and you get in a highway to hell, most of your team will probably just change jobs because they are not feared by change anymore. To conclude this report, we can say that some differences exists between both generation however, those differences are really slight. We are not speaking about differences in strong values or ideas; it is just differences in the way of acting or the way of dealing with things. They can be worked out easily if the manager follows the right scheme. We must however understand that the profiles we drawn and the hypothesis we made are based on some stereotypes and corporate profiles, the manager must not forget that each human being is unique and is ruled by its own personality. introduction

Each 20 or 30 years, the whole business world has to deal with something: the generation gap. Every time one generation as to worked with another, companies go through a whole struggling process in order to both save some older values and at the same time integrating the new ones. Another choc is occurring right now and...
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