Generational Challenges Essay

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Generational Challenges: Moving Beyond Stereotypes to Highly Functioning Teams This is the first time in American history where we have four generations in the workplace at the same time? While it is a good problem to have, this situation creates some diversity issues because of generation gaps and stereotypes. As stated by Diana Rigg, “Maybe at this stage in my career, it’s from that younger generation that I have most to learn.” If the older generations and the younger generations took this approach, the workplace would be a more inclusive and efficient place. In learning about the four generations, we can break through the stereotypes created by history and generational misunderstandings to highly functioning teams. As we discuss each…show more content…
Born in “1965-1981, they are the smallest generational group, and they are known as the latchkey children” (Carr-Ruffino, 2015) because they grew up in a period of time where either both parents worked outside of the home or they lived in a single parent. This group learned to be autonomous, resourceful, and skeptical as they spent time alone and cared for themselves as they grew up. “Key events during this generation include the Iranian hostage crisis, the aids epidemic and awareness, the Berlin Wall came down, and the Persian Gulf War” (Shaw, 2013). This generation watched the space shuttle, Challenger, explode on television while at school, and this generation was the first group of children to use computers. They are the pioneers of technology by using computers, the Internet, and e-mail technology. The Generation Xers went through the rise and crash of the dotcom bubble, and many people from this generation created startup…show more content…
Therefore, it is a winning strategy to effectively manage cross-generational teams because the various backgrounds and experiences will result in creative thinking with proven old school strategies and new technologies. “The same generational conflicts that get teams stuck can cause teams to stick together. Some of the main sticking points include: communication, decision making, feedback, meeting formats, policies, respect, training, and work ethic” (Shaw, 2013). Once you develop strategies to address these points, the team can use these challenges as advantages to better serve the organization and their customers. The military does a good job in managing service members across multiple generations. (KNIGHT, 2014?) For example, freshly graduated college students enter the Navy as officers, and they are immediately responsible for managing teams of various age groups ranging from 18-year olds seaman recruits all the way to seasoned Navy chiefs that have been in the service for 15 years. While the military service has a programmed respect for chain-of-command, there are lessons that we can learn when it comes to building an effective and collaborative
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