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Generational Gap: Multi-Generational Workplaces

Introduction

The active promotion of diversity has become an integral part of practices in numerous organizations, hence the creation of multi-generational workplaces. The described approach allows for the active knowledge sharing and development of substantial experience. However, multi-generational workplaces also incorporate numerous challenges for employees to overcome in regard to communication and collaboration (Messarra, Karkoulian, & El-Kassar, 2016). Due to obvious differences in their philosophies, perspectives, and world view, the members of multi-generational workplace environments require the support of a strong leadership approach in order to learn to compromise and collaborate.

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To address possible conflicts in the workplace, communication tools for mending the generational gap will have to be introduced. For this purpose, a manager will need to use different HRM approaches, which may include coaching of Millennials, promotion of greater independence for Generations Y and Z, and introducing renewed corporate culture principles based on mutual respect and refusal to support stereotypes.

Topics

There are several topics that need to be addressed during the analysis of the problem. Specifically, the issues associated with management, communication, and HRM will need to be integrated into the analysis. By embracing the notions in question, one will recognize the needs of employees belonging to different generations (Urick, Hollensbe, & Fairhurst, 2017). As a result, an improved framework for multicultural communication will be designed along with a profound leadership approach based on the enhancement of corporate principles of collaboration and mutual respect.

Lens Connections

History

Viewing the issue through the historical lens implies considering the historical factors that have defined changes in the perspectives that different generations possess. For instance, when considering the needs of Generation X, one will need to take the fact that their development took place in a unique environment into account. This environment was shaped by a rise in independence movements, ranging from anti-segregation ones to feminism-related ones (Grant, 2017). Thus, the independence and resourcefulness of Generation X have to be taken into consideration. The technological boom that defined the development of Millennials, in turn, can also be viewed as an important historical perspective (Sayed & Edgar, 2019).

Humanities

From the standpoint of Humanities, one should bear in mind that the people of Generation X value their professional independence to a great extent. In addition, the perspective of the Humanities allows viewing Millennials as the generation that is concerned with the problem of social change and strives to encourage it (Wekhian, 2015). With the described characteristics in mind, a manager should create the settings in which Millennials will feel secure, whereas Generation X will feel challenged and encouraged to gain new experiences.

Natural Sciences

As stressed above, technology plays a huge role in the lives of Millennials, which is why it is best for companies to ensure that IT and especially ICT tools are integrated into the communication system. Thus, Generation Z and Millennials will feel more comfortable and, thus more inclined toward cooperation with Generation Y (Bencsik, Horváth-Csikós, & Juhász, 2016). As for the latter, it is critical to provide active support in assisting them with the management of innovative technologies due to possible information management issues (Queiri & Dwaikat, 2016). Nonetheless, a manager will need to collect feedback from the staff members belonging to both generations in order to produce viable solutions to possible conflicts that the specified types of employees may have in the workplace.

Social Sciences

The standpoint that involves the incorporation of the Social Sciences into the analysis suggests that the path to reconciliation between Millennials and Generation Y staff members should involve the emphasis on cross-cultural communication. Specifically, the provision of the social factors that encourage the active dialogue between managers and employees, as well as promote cross-disciplinary cooperation, should be integrated into the workplace setting (Özçelik, 2015). The policies and principles associated with ageism have to be abandoned completely, with no reference to the age of staff members when discussing the concept of professional development or workplace accomplishments. In addition, negotiation strategies have to be integrated into the target setting for Generations X and Y to reconcile and focus on the solution of work-related concerns should become the primary goal (Yigit & Aksay, 2015). In regard to the latter change, the enhancement of corporate philosophies and the emphasis on the need for quality improvement will also allow shifting the issue of generational and cultural differences away from the spotlight.

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Finally, it is critical to incorporate the principles of information sharing into the framework of the corporate culture. Once the idea of knowledge sharing and cross-cultural communication becomes inseparable from the corporate culture, premises for reconciliation of arguments between the two generations will emerge (Sahraee & Abdullah, 2017). Thus, staff members will participate actively in the management of misunderstandings between the two generations, building a rapport and locating the means of cooperation.

Conclusion

The introduction of the approach toward managing the generation gap occurring in the workplace involves a combined framework that incorporates the perspectives of history, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences and suggests that different communicational approaches should be used for each generation. Coaching should be deployed to manage discontent in Millennials, whereas Generations Y and X may require a greater amount of independence in their actions. The multicultural approach based on mutual respect and collaboration should be deemed as the most effective way of solving the issue at hand.

References

Bencsik, A., Horváth-Csikós, G., & Juhász, T. (2016). Y and Z generations at workplaces. Journal of Competitiveness, 8(3), 99-106.

Grant, A. M. (2017). The third ‘generation’of workplace coaching: Creating a culture of quality conversations. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 10(1), 37-53.

Messarra, L. C., Karkoulian, S., & El-Kassar, A. N. (2016). Conflict resolution styles and personality: The moderating effect of generation X and Y in a non-Western context. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 65(6), 792-810.

Özçelik, G. (2015). Engagement and retention of the millennial generation in the workplace through internal branding. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(3), 99-107.

Queiri, A., & Dwaikat, N. (2016). Factors affecting Generation Y employees’ intention to quit in Malaysian’s business process outsourcing sector. Journal of Sustainable Development, 9(2), 78-92.

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Sahraee, R., & Abdullah, H. B. (2017). Managing the value gap among generations in organizations: Socio-psychological approach. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(8), 681-685.

Sayed, S. S. S. A., & Edgar, D. (2019). Moderating effects of dynamic managerial capabilities on heterogeneous workplaces: A case study of private banks in Egypt. International Journal of Business Administration, 10(3), 23-38.

Urick, M. J., Hollensbe, E. C., & Fairhurst, G. T. (2017). Differences in understanding generation in the workforce. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 15(3), 221-240.

Wekhian, J. (2015). Conflict management styles in the workplace: A study of first generation Arab Muslim immigrants in the United States. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(11), 24-42.

Yigit, S., & Aksay, K. (2015). A comparison between generation X and generation Y in terms of individual innovativeness behavior: The case of Turkish health professionals. International Journal of Business Administration, 6(2), 106-117.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 22). Generational Gap: Multi-Generational Workplaces. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/generational-gap-multi-generational-workplaces/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Generational Gap: Multi-Generational Workplaces." May 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/generational-gap-multi-generational-workplaces/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Generational Gap: Multi-Generational Workplaces'. 22 May.

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