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Abigail J Chandler

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Multi Generational Gaps
By Abigail J Chandler   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, May 04, 2009
Posted: Monday, May 04, 2009

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this is based on the different types of generational gaps that work together in the workplace. Conflicts the have among each other, and what can be done to dissolve those issues


Water and Sewerage Authority

Human Resources Division











  Matures or Veterans          





                                               Baby Boomers






                    Generation X  







                  Generation Y  












Matures and Veterans





Baby Boomers






Generation Xers




Generation Y


¬Team - oriented

                   GENERATION  Y

  • Accommodate employee differences.
  • Create workplace choices.
  • Operate from a sophisticated management style.
  • Use a situational leadership style to accommodate many workplace situations and issues.
  • Respect competence and initiative.
  • Nourish retention.

"The Imperatives are simple and clear- cut, but still seems difficult and hard to use in the workplace on a steady basis in the daily leadership and management of an organization. You have to work at adhering to these imperatives and, if you can, your reward will be that you can minimize generational conflict in your organization and can create or maintain a very positive working environment, for yourself and your employees.





In recent decades, the rate of technological, social, educational and economic changes has accelerated to the point where these different generations have grown up experiencing significantly different events which have fashioned their value systems. Research indicates that the majority of conflicts arise from value differences. Understanding generational values and how these values developed can help businesses and organizations better manage and work across the generations.

According to Morris Massey in "The People Puzzle," we cannot change the generations nor reconcile their differences. Instead we need to acknowledge the validity of their values, explains Stencel. "We need to develop various techniques and style that will motivate and work with differing generations. How we choose to respond to coworkers from another generation can lead to either the escalation or de-escalation of conflict. Let everyone show the right attitudes and values to each other regardless of whom or what position you may hold.

“Managing the Generations workshop provides information on several levels of response proposed by Claire Raines and Jim Hunt in their book, "The Xers & the Boomers." "In using Level one response, you acknowledge the generational differences and you don't allow them to antagonize you - you simply let it go and move on," notes Stencel.

"At level two is where your understanding starts developing approach would actually transform your behavioral pattern by consciously choosing what you say or don't say, what words you choose to use, and the way you respond to your co-worker.  By the time you reach to level three your response, discussion and communication styles of the different generations  would be much easier for you to agree and communicate effectively to all, difference in values is one of the causes for organizational conflict, ambitions, views, mindsets and demographics, each generation is motivated by different messages in the workplace, notes Hanson. This is highlighted in a book titled, "Generations at Work," by Ron Zemke, Claire Raines and Bob Filipczak.


One of the most important and prevalent factors affecting the workplace is the diversity of age of workers--from new young workers to baby boomers to individuals on the verge of retirement. In an interesting--and challenging--twist on the multi-generational workforce.

 Four generational gaps have become the norm to work together in companies/organizations. “Matures”, “Baby Boomers”, “Generation X” and “Generation Y”. This has resulted in occasional variance and disagreements among employees, because everyone comes to the organization with his/her own ethics, beliefs, work style and ideas for how things should be run.

Thus making it very strenuous on the managers and supervisors when the above mentioned takes place. They would have to take the time to bring order and stability in the workplace, this means trying to understand each and every generation to deal with each employee individually. Some how Generation X seems to be the most uncontrollable of the generations says “Hans Hanson an educator who works at the UW-Extension Area Business Development. He also said “even though measures are being put in place to deal with conflicts among the generational gaps it would never totally resolve because it’s here to stay”

A major factor affecting multi generational gaps in the workplace is the different lifestyle some are more traditional while the younger generation look as themselves as modernizers. This is because of the vast increase in science and technology over the last 30 – 40 years.

The present world economic status has just been adding fuel to the fire because of the global recession. Which has been causing companies/organizations to diversify, make rapid changes in the workplace, lay off staff members, elimination of many middle management positions; seniority as only one element of promotion; and technology.  Some have no other choice but to close down their company/companies.

A decrease in jobs simply means that the competition has began, people would be searching for jobs like crazy and different generations would be applying for the same job. Even though that particular job description doesn’t suit the age group of the person he/she would still take the job because that’s what going to put bread on their table. "This causes managers and employees to identify more with their generation and blame other generations for workplace problems and issues."

Many young professionals exit the academic world lacking the skills necessary for marketplace. They enter the marketplace with high expectations of both themselves and their employers with no clear understanding of how to reach such expectations 



·        Have management seminars that clearly relates to the generational workforce.

·        Let participants share their views (things that are affecting them on the job)

·        Conduct quarterly surveys to see what measures can be put into place to help the situation.

·        Effective and interpersonal communication

·        Implement training programmes for all staff that are new to the company/organization. So that every employee would be aware of the generational differences and anticipate miscommunication

·        Show them techniques to effectively deal with conflict among different generations

·        Develop an efficient  effective and harmonious work environment for all Generations

  • Providing strategic solutions to improve organizational and people performance.
  • Create a plans of succession that is accompanied by developmental programs that broaden leadership skills in the organization.















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