Challenges of Different Work Generations

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There are four different types of generations that exist in the modern work place. These generations incorporate today’s work force. There is a common existence of the workers of different age groups in today’s ever-changing work place. The work place distinguishes long-term, loyal and employer-employee relationship. This relationship produces work through power and rule management. Furthermore, this work force is moving towards the creation of the 21st century work place characterized by a liberated organization. Currently, the workers do not believe in long-term benefits; instead, they ask each new job for the purpose of achieving the best overall working conditions. This framework includes the opportunities for learning and acts as well as individual balance. With the ingress of Generation Y into the current working area, the workforce, for the absolute first time, contains four generations specifically: traditionalists, also known as the veterans. This generation constitutes the greatest generation. It encompasses the workers of about 75 million people born before 1945, baby boomers, which constitute a variety of subjects of a population of 80 million individuals. Those individuals were born between the year 1945 and 1964. Generation X constitutes the employees of people born from 1965 to 1980 and the previous years, which constitute those who were born after 1980. Generation Y, also known as the Echo Boomers internet age also known as the nexters. They constitute about 15 percent of the general work force.

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There is a consensus that this convergence of generations is a fact that has direct and anticipated consequences for managers in different institutions. As the year’s advances, there is a constant change in the employment trends. Younger people who are less experienced employed to replace the older workforce. Most of the Human Resource persons have reported conflicts between the older generations and the younger generations. They cite anticipated labor shortages that are currently affecting position as increasing the value of every employee in each organization. Dealing with the new generation of workers sometimes complicated and, therefore, increases the differences. Against this backdrop, differences observed in the generations are currently becoming the principal and a key aspect of diversity in the organizational workplace.

Different generations have different characteristics. They vary in the level of training, type of training and the amount of income that they require due to the changing technology and the output expected. The largest generation in history is the Baby Boomers. They believe in evolution, change and growth. In addition, their vast record in numbers thus made the groups highly competitive. This type of ages tends to want everything, and they always try to make it by running long hours of work. They also try to get it by showing obedience and devotion and, on the contrary, by being cruel and inhuman if necessary. Many workers of this section do not want to retire but wait until their retirement time comes. Statistics has showed that these groups of individuals are most likely to be respectful to the authority. On the contrary, they need to be seen, identified, noticed and treated equally among themselves. Baby Boomers have a tendency to be the center of their kin’s attention. They redefine many social standards, especially the norms relating to the family. This is as a result of the increase in divorce rates recorded or rather observed in this generation. They tend to be driven successful. They assess their success in terms of the material gains. Furthermore, in comparison to their parents, they are likely to require technological skills. Networking for this generation works well for them when it comes to life design and evolution. Work force of this generation seen to be optimistic, positive and encouraging. They also advance freedom of expression and the successful development s of social reform.

In the place of work, Baby Boomers seek consensus, hate injustice and authoritarianism. They despise laziness, and they tend to micro-manage others employees. This group of production ”climbs the ladder in the corporate ladder through payment of their benefits and actively promotes the corporate ladder making new management strategies along the way” (Adams, 2000). Currently, they incline to finding themselves reactive in an era of retrenchment of employees and reengineering. The ideas sink or swim determination way in which they adapt and used to become more difficult as they perceive a situation certain period in which the efforts of keeping up a constant speed becomes an ever-greater challenges.

On the other hand, the second set of revelation is the Generation X. This age is called as Gen X. It constitutes a work force people of 46 million born between the years 1965 to 1980. They are the children of the workaholic Baby Boomers. In terms of socialization, they socialized as latch key children who have developed in a downsizing work area conditions with the invention and the evolution of technology. They are being recognized by the powerful technology and modern technology and equipments. Gen X tends to lack the communication skills of its parents the traditionalist but to prove to have strong technical expertise. One can easily rely on such people; they are unique and differ with an interesting personalities; it is difficult to stress them up as they always know how to control themselves; they are loyal and always keep in control all possible relations in the social life such as family, friendship and working spheres. People of Gen X may be rightfully called independent, who can easily control and maintain not only their lives but also of those people whom they communicate and relate with. This generation produced the dot com generation. Gen X people always try to construct their every day life and they know how to get a positive feedback out of all their effort to succeed. This generation is cynical and skeptical, but most of the employees of this generation love the sense of freedom and promote the development of room for growth (Adams, 2000).

At the places of work, Generation X work force is not in a likely position to prioritize exercise conditions such as valuing long-term employment in a particular company or organization. They do not appreciate long working hours since they have other current businesses independently of the work allocated to them. These work forces have a tendency to respond well to moderate leadership. They have the capacity to be educated, learn, and accumulate experience and enough technical skills to enable them to move into management positions more quickly compared to the previous generation of their parents. It is very important for the Generation X to develop some determined values that can not be related to the main job in their life. Research and previous reports have indicated that this group of generation does not perform well to micro – administration structure of management. Considering its lack of societal skills, Gen X inclines reluctantly to development networks among the peers and individual companies. In addition, this company is paying attention more to advertisements and recruitment within the companies (Judge & Bretz, 1992). This generation pioneered the development and the creation of the free-agent work force. They think further that the job security arises with keeping skills current and also with keeping pace with the current issue of new technologies and services. This generation is expected to concentrate on the things that must be done very fast and in a very qualitative and reasonable way and it is not even important if it would be necessary to break the rules and the norms. Gen X has a habit of responding well to a training organization system that usually provides more timely feedback and recognition for results realized by an organization.

The third type of reproduction is the Generation Y. This group is also known as Gen Y. This generation constitutes about 15 percent of the total labor force born after 1980. This range also constitutes the most common cohort to enter the general workforce in organizations. It encompasses the far superior workforce generation than the generation existing before it. To a large extent, most of the Gen Y work force developed or brought up in a time of considerable economic, social and political expansion characterized by the urgency of prosperity. However, “Gen Y is advancing towards the era of increasing economic uncertainty and violence” (Piktialis, Diane 2004). There is an increase in poverty and economic crises, which increases the prevalence of social evils in the society. There is an increase in the fight of power and recognition. Due to the increased population, there is a constant rise in the number of the skilled workforce that is jobless. Although it is the richest generation, a percentage of Gen Y grew up or developed up in poverty. This current generation has seen more things at the earlier age than previous generations have seen in terms of the changes noted. For this reason, observations made that “Gen Y generation reflects some of the core values held by Traditionalists or the first generation” (Piktialis, Diane 2004). For instance, like the traditionalist, generation Y is referred to as the Greatest Generation. They also inline to have a strong sense patriotism, willingness to fight for their freedom and morality; it is sociable. They value home, sense of belonging and family. Nevertheless, there are more people of Gen Y who have a level of the knowledge and different appropriate skills and abilities that are higher comparing to the other generations. Those technical skills have the capacity to echo the Baby Boomers’ generation and the imminent impact on business and society in general.

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Most of the generation has stayed with their parents all throughout their education and are more connected to the digital globalized world. They are the most technically literate compared the other generations. They are diverse in ethical ethnicity, and they also tend to have more advanced discretional income (Pekala, 2001).

In the work place, Gen Y tends to help an inclusive style of management. They do not like slowness and laziness. In addition, they have a desire for immediate feedback in terms of performance and work output (Smith 2004). This generation can be and is worthy trusting. These people are absolutely conscious in whatever they do and have a free state of mind. Gen Y is positioned strategically to be the most challenging generation. This generation behaves professionally if it is in the professional sphere and is treated from a professional point of view. People of the Generation Y perform best when their abilities and opportunities coincide with the demands of the work they are obliged to do. Speed and encouragements and seen to be interactivity two-way non-passive appointment are likely to help keep Gen Y focused. This generation is technically promoted, highly educated and confident, but they are lacking sense of direction. Gen Y is advanced in different career fields than any prior generation (Cooperrider, Whitney &Starvos, 2003).

Comparing the three forms of generation work force, it can be concluded that Some of Gen Y’s uniqueness, characteristics and values make it easier for them to be managed than the former Generation X. This is because Gen Y is inclined to value teamwork and fairness at the work place. They are less likely to be more responsive than Generation X on a variety of workplace issues. These issues can include work and life balance, performance evaluation, and availability of different supervisors. Besides, “Gen Y has the attributes that include predictive high performance and work output” (Cooperrider, Whitney &Starvos, 2003). Gen Y workers are very communicative people who have big hopes for the future, naturally talented, opened to people and straight forward. It is very easy and interest to work in the collaboration with the people of this generation. In addition to being well educated and technically equipped, they incline to be open-minded, success-oriented, and capable to work on corresponding tasks. They are cautiously optimistic and are found to be more enthusiastic about the future compared to other generations. Gen Y, when compared to other generations, have a solid work ethic and entrepreneurship bent that is based on the performance.

All the same, it tends to acknowledge and have a high regard for weight, especially traditionalist. Strength, collaboration, energy, consistency, virtue, and obligation seen to be amongst Gen Y’s core values. Generational differences are the subject of much popular assumption but relatively little substantive research. There is fairly little consensus of judgment as well as opinion and scholarship about whether generational differences exist that are worth taking into considerations in the work place and higher institutions of learning. They present both the shortcomings and chances; Gen Y is getting into the work force in increasing numbers. Researchers suggest that employers apply messages and strategies enforced towards the values of each of the generation. They advocate identifying and dealing with the needs and wants of individual generation, and educating each generation that is mindful of its education styles. In the current work force, the development of age stereotypes should be avoided. Age differences among employers should be built into diversity training (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002).

In addition, “team building should include intergenerational pairing, which is on the basis of complementary potency as well as the strengths” (Kim, & Umbreit 2007). While different companies are changing gradually their management practices, labor force demographic foundations are also changing (Kim, & Umbreit 2007). These changes and employees from several diverse generations working together have both positive and negative impacts on employee retention, confidence and corporation profitability. The most significant element of the bureaucratic framework is the traditional assumption. As a result, the officious management and leadership styles developed around the idea that goals are rationally envisaged and, therefore, expertise practices should be prepared to realize those goals. Development of effective and efficient work place strategies and organization practices requires a systematic understanding of workforce requirements and wants. Younger generation such as Generation Y is proficient at multitasking. To keep them enthused, the Baby Boomer managers should give them just a few things to do in a time and let them take the management of prioritizing, and it would be absolutely enough for understanding the entire nature.


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  8. Smith, F. J. (2004). Surviving and thriving in the multigenerational workplace. Workplace Journal.

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