Our MCD group research has confirmed that there are some differences among the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z. Our group study support that finding common ground between the generations is one of the most important thing for a manager in order to provide a successful and happier work environment.
However, it is very apparent that “age” and “multigeneration” topics are very tend to be overgeneralizing or stereotyping. For instance, as has been stated by Marcel Schütz from the University of Oldenburg, ‘Gen Y’ was invented in an advertising magazine in 1993. According to Schütz, neither the temporal classifications are clear, nor are the characteristics and values attributed to a generation.
Besides, there are considerable scientific studies which imply that “Generational Gaps” might have minimum impacts on modern work places. For instance, a meta-analysis report which has been published by “Journal of Business and Psychology”(2012) has showed that there are small and inconsistent differences across the Baby Boomers, Gen X and the Millennials:
“The findings suggest that meaningful differences among generations probably do not exist on the work-related variables we examined and that the differences that appear to exist are likely attributable to factors other than generational membership. Given these results, targeted organizational interventions addressing generational differences may not be effective.”
But even though it is an open issue to be covered as a “Stereotype”, managing different generations is still an important topic for so many managers. There is no doubt that business managers must adjust the style of management to improve effectiveness among the generations. The multigenerational setting requires managers to educate themselves and address the needs of all ages within the respective workplaces.
Baby Boomers: Managers can likely motivate them with money and overtime, recognize them with praise and position, and expect them to be loyal. Generation X: They value family-work balance. They are also generally not particularly loyal to their employer because they don‘t expect their employer to be loyal to them. Managers should try to make work meaningful and fun for this group and understand their expectations. Generation Y : Managers should try to make work exciting and relevant for this group, being careful to show them verifiable career opportunities if they exist. Where Boomers will do their job and like to be left alone, Gen Y wants attention and feedback. Apart from above statements, there are also number of approaches that can be used to better engage the different generations in workforce. In our presentation, we have tried to emphasize two of them.
To-the-Point: Make your communication brief. The older generation will appreciate the clarity and the younger generation will appreciate the brevity. Adapt: Change the method of communication for your audience. If you are going to engage an older worker, make the effort to either call them or better yet, see them in person. They will feel respected and valued. For the younger generation, use email or instant messaging, etc. to reach them. They will feel independent and not micro managed.
Consequently, our research and discussions proved that a very important strategy that can be effective might be emphasizing shared goals. By doing so, even though people might come from different background and believes, they can see themselves as part of the same team working toward the same outcome.