Managing Multiple Generations of Workers Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3417 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Management  ·  Written: February 12, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
For instance, the Traditionalist generation may view the Millennial generation as hard-working but too self-serving to be counted on as reliable or valuable team members. The manager would have to be sensitive to both the emotions of the older and the younger generation, listen to what they are saying, understand the things they are not saying, and then provide new ways of looking at the issue that provides a more positive interpretation (Cacamis & El Asmar, 2014).

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Every generation is going to have its own perspectives on life, and every generation is going to bring its own unique skill set. Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to understand the power and utility of social media and the Internet as a source of invaluable information in the workplace than are Baby Boomers and Traditionalists. Generation X may be indifferent to personal goals and incentives but may find that if they have a good leader they will stand by his or her side come what may. Traditionalists may come to work with the kind of determination to carry out the organization’s objectives, whatever they are, that the younger generations may not understand. Boomers will bring with them a sense of practicality that the other generations may lack. Each one can be seen as offering the others something they don’t have—and by getting them to work together as a team, the manager can effectively utilize diversity in the workplace and help to develop a workplace culture where there is respect and appreciation on all sides, tolerance in terms of accepting the fact that not every generation is going to be the same or hold the same values, and a collaborative spirit based on the willingness of workers of each generation to come together and learn what the other has to offer.

Research Paper on Managing Multiple Generations of Workers Assignment

To succeed, managers will need excellent communication skills, social and emotional intelligence skills, and the ability to understand where difficulties may arise (Cacamis & El Asmar, 2014). The manager will not be able to sit back and take a hands-off approach. Rather, the manager will have to get engaged and exercise a more servant style of leadership than what he or she may be used to: the reason is that by putting him or herself at the service of the multi-generational workers in the organization, the manager effectively becomes the support upon which good will and positive social interaction can take place.

How Can Diversity Provide Benefits in Terms of Unique Backgrounds and Perspectives that Each Generation Brings?

Diversity provides benefits in terms of unique backgrounds and perspectives that each generation brings. Every generation can learn something from the other and each generation lacks something that the other has. Generation X lacks the motivation and gumption of the Traditionalists. Millennials may have the gumption but they lack the belief in commitment and loyalty that Traditionalists and Generation X may have. Baby Boomers will be practical in their orientation but they may lack the spirit of innovation that the younger generations have. Traditionalists will have commitment but may lack the technical understanding of today’s tools to be relevant. Each stands in the other’s shadow at some point and each can provide something to the other that the other does not have.

Thus, every generation of worker presents a unique opportunity for the other generations to learn something new. A diverse workplace of multi-generational workers is one where there are likely to be numerous bridges constructed that can help younger generations understand the worldview, perspective, and work ethic of the older generations, and where the older generations can learn the technical skills and innovative thinking of the younger generations. The trade-off makes both generations much more robust overall and can even contribute to a reduction in turnover rates as well as a boost in job satisfaction for one and all. So long as the diversity of the place is managed effectively and the different generations of workers are organized to work together, collaborate, communicate and cooperate, the benefits of multi-generational diversity will be felt not only by the workers but also by the organization as a whole (Hillman, 2014; Moore et al., 2016).

Diversity of background and perspective also improves the organization’s depth, just like a good sports team is improved when it has a deep roster or bench consisting of a variety of different players with a variety of different talents and specialized maneuvers. Having workers from all five generations together in one room can be, if managed well, like coaching the Golden State Warriors: there is someone to represent every aspect of the modern world and its needs. No single generation can be discarded or discounted based on age or background: every single one has something to offer, whether it is in terms of work ethic or in terms of tolerance or in terms of digital and technical knowledge.

For diversity to most fully benefit the organization and the stakeholders within the workplace, it has to be recognized for what it brings. Managers have to be mindful about celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of workers who represent each generation—and they have to be mindful of how they explain these accomplishments to the other workers. They must be sensitive of feelings and not put another generation down by praising or uplifting another generation. It is simply a matter of highlighting the good so that it may be emulated by one and all. The manager must encourage the generations to talk to one another, get to know one another, praise one another, and assist one another. It is only through this type of interaction that a true workplace wherein diversity is celebrated and beneficial can come to be attained. Understanding is key to this venture and giving workers opportunities to interact with one another is also essential to its success.

Why It is Important to Understand and Provide Opportunity

Culture is critical to success in the workplace. Creating a good culture depends upon everyone getting along and upholding the same values and ideals that the organization reflects within its core vision and mission. To create an effective, supportive and inclusive culture, respect for diversity must be achieved. Part of the problem that workers can encounter when facing the generational gap, is that the gap creates confusion and resentment when the different generational workers feel they are being misunderstood or neglected (Moore, Everly & Bauer, 2016). For that reason it is vital to understand the different generations, their perspectives, needs and strengths, and use this information to create opportunities for collaboration, mentoring, and cooperation in the workplace. Techniques that might be utilized to foster inclusion and improve communication and collaboration among intergenerational workers include: 1) the introduction of intergenerational mentoring and 2) training on intergenerational strengths. These two techniques can help workers and managers to better understand one another; develop better communication and collaboration among intergenerational teams, so as to be able to deal with the common issues of the workplace that are likely to come up; and increase job satisfaction across all personnel. If workers can come together as a team and recognize the merits of one another no matter what generation they are in, they will be more inclined to talk, assist, and support one another in a positive manner; and the workplace culture will improve as a result.

Intergenerational mentoring focuses on pairing younger workers with older workers so that the latter can provide wisdom gained from experience on the job that the younger workers will not possess simply because they lack the experience. Another approach to giving workers opportunities to interact with one another is that of the educational tutorial—i.e., the lesson or training on intergenerational strengths, which can help raise awareness about the skills that each group of workers possesses and can in turn provide to the other groups to help ease their burden and make their work easier in the long run. For instance, younger generation workers are more likely to be interested in computers and will have far more understanding of the latest in advancements than the older generation (Hillman, 2014). As technology is rapidly changing the face of all industries and organizations and the way in which workers are expected to perform their jobs—for instance with people working from home or from remote locations using laptops and even mobile phones—younger workers can be of great assistance in helping older workers to adapt to this kind of innovation. Older workers, on the other hand, can possess commitment skills and ideals that the younger generation is not likely to have as these were not values that were impressed upon them during their time growing up—at least not in the extent that older workers received these values. Thus, each generation brings with it some knowledge and skill set and value that can benefit the other generations and by being aware of how they can all work together to achieve a common objective, they… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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