Business Finance
Columbia Southern Generation Gaps Changes in Workplace Article Review

Columbia Southern University

Question Description

Read the article indicated below that discusses the differences between the generations within the workplace and how to develop interpersonal skills for better employee involvement and interaction with fellow employees. Also, this article identifies how the values are placed upon each generation (Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers) and leads into how to better manage and involve the multiple generations within the workforce.

Note: The birth year range for Baby Boomers in the article differs from the range found in the textbook (p. 41) and the generally accepted range of 1946-1964. Complete the article review by showing your understanding of the article’s contents by addressing the questions and directives below. Your paper should be two pages, not including the title and reference pages. The following are questions and directives to be used in completing the review:

1. What is the author’s main point?

2. Who is the author’s intended audience?

3. Identify and address the differences in the interpersonal skills from the generational differences and how they might be overcome.

Be sure to apply the proper APA format for the content and reference provided.

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Advances In Management Vol. 9 (5) May (2016) Generation Gaps: Changes in the Workplace due to Differing Generational Values Carbary Kelly, Fredericks Elizabeth, Mishra Bharat and Mishra Jitendra* Management Department, Grand Valley State University, 50 Front Ave, SW Grand Rapids Michigan 49504-6424, USA * In order to understand where these differences stem from, you need to analyze how each generation is different when it comes to their beliefs and values. So, it is best to identify the different groups present in workplace which range from those born in 1922 to those born in the early 1990’s. Moving chronologically, the first generation introduced will be the Traditional Generation also known as the Silent Generation born between 1922 and 1945. While their numbers are diminishing in the workplace as they age, they still play a role in the workplace dynamics. Their values include strictly adhering to the hierarchy present in the structure of their organization along with following all the rules which comes from their strong sense of what is right and wrong.10 Abstract The purpose of this study is to discuss the generational gaps that are found in the workplace today. With multiple generations working together, and the oldest generation having to work longer and retire later, generational changes are occurring in the workplace and for management. There is a lack of communication and understanding between the different generations caused through differing values and goals. Younger generations are also entering different fields than those that were popular for older generations. There is a serious new problem in the workplace, and it has nothing to do with downsizing, global competition, pointy-haired bosses, stress or greed. Instead, it is the problem of distinct generations — the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y — working together and often colliding as their paths cross. The next group that has most recently started exiting the workforce is the Baby Boomers which include those who were born between 1956 through 1964. While they are similar to the silent generation in the fact that they are loyal, there are some differences present in this particular generation. They are more dedicated to the workplace and there is less separation between the workplace and their private lives. Instead of being focused on following the rules, a baby boomer is more likely to try and be the person who is in authority and makes the rules. Individuals with different values, different ideas, different ways of getting things done and different ways of communicating in the workplace have always existed. So, why is this becoming a problem now? At work, generation differences can affect everything including recruiting, building teams, dealing with change, motivating, managing, and maintaining and increasing productivity All of these ideas are explored, discussed, and evaluated, through looking at current research on the topic and case studies that have been conducted not only in the United States but around the world. In contrast to the work obsessed baby boomers, the next generation was able to find a better balance between their personal lives and work. This generation is known as Generation X, and it includes all individuals born between the years of 1965 and 1980. While they are still dedicated to their jobs, they are not as impressed with authority figures, nor are they as loyal as the previous generations. Instead, they see themselves as independent people who are able to market themselves successfully. They are more independent than both the silent generation and the baby boomers17. Keywords: Generation gap, workplace, values. Introduction The final generation present in the workforce consists of those who are a part of Generation Y who are also known as the Millennials including people who were born between the years 1981 through 1994. This generation’s beliefs and values are almost the polar opposite of the silent generation. They highly value their free time and do not define themselves through their job. Instead, they value the impact they are able to make on the community through their active involvement in things that matter to them. At work, generational differences can affect everything including recruiting, building teams, dealing with change, motivating, managing and maintaining and increasing productivity. Research indicates that people communicate Throughout the years, as the population has continued to both grow and age, it has caused generational changes to take place in the various aspects of life. With the changes in the demographics of the world’s population, there have also been changes in how each group thinks and what they value. This not only affects the way people behave in their personal lives, but it also affects the workplace. As generational changes occur in the workplace, a lack of communication has caused adisconnect to occur between the values and goals present among the different age groups along with newer generations choosing different career paths. * Author for Correspondence 1 Advances In Management Vol. 9 (5) May (2016) based on their generational backgrounds. Each generation has distinct attitudes, behaviors, expectations, habits and motivational buttons. Learning how to communicate with the different generations can eliminate many major confrontations and misunderstandings in the workplace and the world of business. on technology and the bottom line than the new generation. However, they excel in planning and verbal abilities. An Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers survey reported that “Older U.S. workers were better problem solvers and equal in technical knowledge and teamwork skills. While younger people may be better at adopting the latest technologies, workers aged 45 and over were stronger as project managers.2” Many differences between the generations create issues and the most problematic being; older generations are often managing younger generations. This creates an issue when knowing how employees work best and how to manage them. The baby boomers and older are not satisfying the needs of generation Y, the most recent generation. As generation Y is the most recent group of job seekers coming from college, it makes it difficult to fulfill a job to their satisfaction when working under a different style of management. The characteristics listed in the table 1 and 2 are but a very few of those that have been studied and reported by various authors. Not every person in a generation will share all of the various characteristics shown in table 1 or 2 with others in the same generation. However, these examples are indicative of general patterns in the relationships between and among family members, friends and people in the workplace. Individuals born at one end of the date range or the other may see overlapping characteristics with the preceding or succeeding generation. From the tables, you can easily see why Generation X cannot understand what their grandparents mean by the traditional family or what fun it was to spend Christmas together as a family. Are you worried about the possibility of your Baby Boomer children being unable to retire or having to move in with you or their children as they reach the latter years of their lives? “Gen Xers were born between 1961 and 1976. Unlike the generations before them, almost half of Gen Xers spent time in single-family homes where the parent was often working, so they became independent, self-reliant survivors. Gen Xers generally lack reverence for authority because they've seen many authority figures falter, so they place a relatively low value on the hierarchical status of an individual. They're the first generation to insist on independence in the workplace, the freedom to do things their own way with minimal rules and bureaucracy and they're repelled by command-and-control management structures.2” By understanding the differences present in each generation, it explains where the disconnect stems from. Over time, it seems that the things that each generation values has slowly transformed. While there is a huge dichotomy between the Silent Generation and the Millennials, this did not take place overnight. When examining each generation it is clear that it was a slow metamorphous that took place and that this change is currently affecting the workplace. Socio-psychological Model of Career Choice Years of research and numerous studies have proven that different factors influence men and women when they are deciding what career path to take. Men and women see things differently and may hold different core values playing a role in the career that they end up choosing. However there are certain things that are the same for both men and women when it comes to influencing work choice. With the individuals who are a part of the different generations being so different, it can cause conflict in the workplace. This comes from miscommunication and predisposed notions that the generations may have of each other. By having such different viewpoints, it is clear that people are making different life choices and it makes it harder to develop interpersonal relationships. However, with better communication, it is possible to bridge this generation gap. Differences in Generational Values and the influence on the Workplace One of the major factors that are the same for both sexes is motivation in the form of survival, pleasure and contribution1. The motivation to work in order to satisfy these needs, including getting a paying job and supporting a family, is exactly the same for both men and women. The Generation Gap is a constant issue within the workplace, primarily from a manager's viewpoint. An article found in the Benefits and Compensation Digest states, “Some HR directors are strongly biased in favor of retiring workers over the age of 50, claiming that older workers are expensive to maintain, adapt poorly to change, are hard to mesh with younger workers and have a poor return on investment for training.7” This shows the difference in generations and how many problems may occur in the workplace. The older generation is less focused A major influence on men and women often choosing different career paths comes from how the different genders are treated. Men are stereotyped to be very physical, strong and intellectual whereas women are seen to be more demure, nurturing and sympathetic towards others. These stereotypes are often enforced through school and the media, influencing future work choices1. Men are more likely to pick careers as police men and engineers whereas women seem to become schoolteachers more than men. 2 Advances In Management Vol. 9 (5) May (2016) Table 1 Generation Timeline . Source: Greg Hammill5 Table 2 Workplace Characteristics Source: Greg Hammill5 3 Advances In Management Vol. 9 (5) May (2016) Although some factors are the same for men and women already, the factors that cause them to choose different careers are changing. There are more opportunities for women now that allow them a wider range of career options, allowing the opportunities to become more equalized between the genders. boys to choose personal service jobs. Both sexes equally showed a preference for working in a bank. As part of the study, students had to choose from three different motives for choosing a certain occupation. The three motives were enjoyment of chosen work, job security, and good wages. Students could also give a different reason in they wished to. For both sexes, the top factor in job choice was interest in the future career and being good at it. The next two most important factors for boys were good wages and job security whereas for girls they were reasons of their own such as being useful to society, over good pay3. These leading factors are a change from older generations where good pay and a job that could be held for the entire career lifetime of a person were the most important factors in picking a job. Younger generations wish to have a job that they enjoy and that contributes to society, rather than one that has a high paying salary. Medical Field Career Choices Many recent studies have indicated that there has been a major decrease in the number of medical students choosing to become primary care or general surgeons has greatly decreased, while the number of students choosing to study non-primary care and specialties has increased11. In 1998, the percentage of students matching to primary care specialties was 53.2% and by the year 2002, this number had decreased to only 44.2%. At the same time, both anesthesiology and orthopedic surgery have seen great increases in the number of students choosing this career path. Our Generation: Generation Y Generation Y is a complex and exciting young generation that offers unique challenges and advantages to marketers, managers, and educators. The values and behavior of the “Millennials” are understood to be generally optimistic to the point of idealism, entitled to fulfillment outside of simply profiting from their work, and they have a strong need for encouragement and recognition. These traits sometimes cause misunderstandings and can be the basis for youth-targeted discrimination and ageism but when there is mutual understanding, the younger generation and the older generations can work together to create more progress, synergy, and a stronger economy than the world has ever seen. One of the reasons that have been used to explain the decreasing number of primary care physicians is that much of primary care today is provided by nurse practitioners and physician assistants in an office setting11. Many of students are choosing to study specialties that require the use of new medical technologies that are constantly changing and needing to be learned. The youngest generation today wants to be up to date and using the newest technologies, influencing their decision on the type of medicine they would like to practice in the future. Much of older generations were general surgeons because the technology was not available then for a student to specialize in some of the areas that they are able to specialize in today. To fully understand the Millennials, one must first look at their environment. The wants and needs of the younger generation come often from a parental and societal pressure to “be anything”, “do anything”, and reach one’s full potential in a broad sense of the word. Most children of the past twenty years were raised lovingly by baby boomers who told them they were special, exceptional with unlimited potential. This leads to idealism and entitlement but also great expectations of accomplishment and fulfillment. While Generation Y might feel they deserve everything they want, they are also a valuable asset in the respect that they strive for perfection and excellence when they care about the subject at hand. This element of engagement is crucial to getting the most out of a millennial worker because their needs of personal investment in their work are often higher than their need for monetary gain. The dramatic reduction in the number of medical students choosing to become general surgeons and primary care physicians may have major effects in the future, if this trend in decline continues to occur. With less general care doctors, patients will have to wait longer to be treated at a doctor’s office. Patients will also be forced to go to multiple specialty doctors for different problems as opposed to one primary care doctor that may be able to help out with all the medical issues at once. Gender Differences in Job Choice Factors Studies have shown that job choice influences are different in some aspects for men and women. In the past, women’s future consisted of homemaking. There are many more opportunities for women today, allowing them to choose from a wide range of jobs. However, men and women still often choose different jobs and are influenced by different factors despite growing gender equality. Employee retention presents a difficulty with millennial workers, because they do not see themselves as the type to work one job their entire lives as their Baby-Boomer parents did. In contrast to older generations, most Millennials see their work as a smaller part of their lives, not as the central purpose or drive. This should not frighten 3 In a study done by Borg , males were more likely to wish to enter skilled and unskilled operations than girls, suggesting that girls may have higher aspirations than boys. However, boys are still more likely to have higher positions in occupations than girls are. Girls are also more likely than 4 Advances In Management Vol. 9 (5) May (2016) employers because it means that often Millennials will work for less money at a job they love while on the other hand it takes more money to retain unsatisfied or uninterested millennial employees. This highlights the importance of cultivating personal investment in the millennial employees under your management. This can be done with praise, respect, and by making the goals of the individual align with the company’s goals. Many successful managers choose to both mentor and learn from Millennials to better gain their trust. While Millennials have a need to understand the workings and goals of the company, the older generations should understand that they have much to learn from the technology, ideas, and attitudes of the millennial employees. were challenging work, professional prestige/high status of future career and standard hours of work. The opportunity for creativity and originality also ranked very highly, above any factors that discussed wages in fact. Implications/Analysis Perceptions Based on the current research, it appears as though the factors that influence job choice and the importance students place on certain ones are changing. There is no consensus that has definitively been reached yet, but all research indicates a change away from jobs that were considered most desirable by older generations. Generation Y, the generation that is currently entering the job force, is looking for interesting and creative work that they will enjoy. They want a job that they enjoy doing, over a job that pays the highest salary. of Career These results show a change in trends in career choice factors. In the past, especially with the Baby Boomer generation, men looked for a high paying job with standard 9-5 hours that could fully support their family. One of the most important things to these men was the reputation that their name held in the community and a high status job improved this reputation. Today, the chance for professional prestige ranks at the very bottom of the list, at 20 out of 21. Choice Generation gaps in different careers and the workforce as a whole are the big problems being faced in the career world today. Managers have to learn how to manage workers from different generations including the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. We see today a trend change in the types of jobs that recent college graduates are choosing. Different factors are being taken in consideration by younger generations when they enter the work force. Generations together in Employment All of these different factors and trends that have been studied and theorized about can be seen in the real world today. An Australian study by Ruth Sibson14 shows that students who are currently studying for a degree in event, sport and recreation management value different things in a job than were valued by people of older generations such as Baby Boomers. The purpose of the case study was to “examine the factors undergraduate university students studying event, sport, and recreation management found important when seeking a career.” This is a field of study that is becoming increasingly popular as stud ...
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Final Answer


Running head: GENERATION GAP







1. What is the author main point?
First, they have identified the different generation gap groups, namely the veterans, the
Generation z, Millennial, Generation x, and the Baby boomers. Has identified the characteristics
of each I. e. their values, ideas, communication technique .How they get things done differently.
They have made a comparison of the groups, explained how the difference can affect their
relationships and has also made some recommendation on how the different generation gap
groups can work together despite the differences to achieve a common goal. The generational
differences affect most of the things in the workplace, e.g., recruitment, team building,
adaptability, and productivity. By learning to communication among the groups will help bridge
the existing gap.
2. Who is the author inte...

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