Generational conflicts at
Me, me, me
What’s up Doc?
"Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm
- Presentation skit
- Generations in workplace: Boomers, Gen
Xers, Gen Yers
- Popular generational conflicts
- Class discussions
- Solutions from commentaries and researches
- Wrap up with takes away for the management
What problems can you see from our play?
Generations at work
Characteristics of generations
Play the clip
Characteristics of work environment that employees find rewarding (Cascio 2013) Baby boomers (born in 19461964)
Xers (born in 1965-1976)
Yers (Born in 1977-1998)
control over their own
high quality colleagues
opportunity to improve their
flexible work arrangements
freedom of speech
exposure to decision makers
prospects for advancement
the chance to put their names
on tangible results
recognition from the company
clear areas of responsibility
a steady rate of advancement
access to new experiences and
Three primary causes of conflict (Cascio 2013)
Work ethic (different generations have different perceptions of what makes an employee dedicated),
Organizational hierarchy (some members of younger generations bypassing the chain of command; some members of older generations believing that seniority special privileges),
Managing change (some members of older generations are perceived as reluctant to change, while members of younger generations seem eager to try new ideas constantly).
1. What kind of generational conflicts do your organizations incur? 2. What do your companies do to deal with generational differences? 3. How important is it for organizations to have training and programs on generational conflicts?
4. Please share your experience about generational conflicts in the workplace that you have encountered in the past. How did you deal with it?
Summarizing group discussions
- Baby boomers
Adviser 1: Ron Alsop - a freelance writer, editor, and consultant, and a former reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.
Bosses have to get used to spending more time with their young workers. The investment should pay off in improved morale, productivity, teamwork, and innovation. While Josh might prefer text messaging and e-mail, it is critical that he and Sarah meet face-to-face for more substantive conversations about workplace attitudes and expectations. Managers like Sarah also are finding that they need to show respect for Gen Yers and encourage them even if they can’t give Gen Yers what they want as fast as they want it.
Advisor 2: Pamela Nicholson - president and COO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, based in St. Louis.
As a large employer of college graduates, Enterprise has taken steps to address these kinds of issues, in two important ways: training and feedback.
Advisor 3: Jim Miller - the executive vice president of sales and marketing at General Tool & Supply, a distributor based in Portland, Oregon.
To work better together, Sarah and Josh both need to recalibrate their expectations. Sarah needs to take extra time to validate Josh’s ideas and help him understand what it means to be a team player. For so many Yers entering the workforce, the attitude is “I’ll be a full-time freelancer, and work will be fun, fun, fun.” Sarah needs to counteract that by being completely transparent with Josh about the level of performance required (a new idea needs to be fully researched) and the level of communication required (formal presentations rather than hallway chats). For his part, Josh needs to figure out how to pitch his good ideas through established channels, within the established team framework. If he really needs to be a maverick, he can go off and start his own...
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