Generational Management Cartoon
The workplace has changed dramatically in recent years. We are experiencing tremendous growth in the older worker segment, many of whom hope to retire or work part-time within the next few years.
Traditionalists are the oldest working group, and most of this group has now retired. However, many in this generation continue to work in part-time roles, in consulting, as board members, or in mentoring roles.
Many Boomers are in senior or even management roles but are increasingly considering retirement or part-time work, if they can afford it.
Workers in their “prime” – Generation X – should be taking over key roles as Boomers move on, but there are simply not enough of them.
This leaves a gap in the most vulnerable age range for management and leadership positions in organizations – employees in their 30’s and 40’s in their peak working years. For the most part, Generation Y is willing but not always ready to move into management and leadership positions vacated by Boomers – so who will take the reins?
Apart from the problems of filling jobs in the future, different generational groups working closely together can be challenging at times. As both products of our chronological age and the time in which we grew up, people from different generations and age groups generally have rather different attitudes, values, beliefs and motivations from one another. These differences can easily lead to misunderstanding, miscommunication and even outright conflict in the workplace. Our outlook, or the way in which we see the world, has significant implications for the way in which we treat, work with, and value other people and it is therefore very useful to appreciate how each of the different generations sees both the workplace and the world in general.