Battle of Gen X and Gen Y
Essay title: Battle of Gen X and Gen Y
The Battle of Gen X and Gen Y
ThereЎ¦s no doubt about it, the newest diversity issue in the workplace is age diversity. Many organizations have finally figured out how to recruit young talent only to watch them drive down a collision course with seasoned employees over issues like work ethic, respect for authority, dress code and every work arrangement imaginable. And theyre not sure what to do about it.
With this paper, I decided to take this concept because of the people that I have to work with on a continual basis. They are usually people from the Generation X trying to communicate with Generation Y. Just the other day I heard from someone I am working with, Ў§Those god d*&# young kids donЎ¦t want to work. Then they have to ask ЎҐWhy do I have to learn this anyways?Ў¦ЎЁ I just sit back, smile, and think to myself there has to be an easier way in getting the information highway open to people no matter what the age. Good communication skills are essential to get any message across and there are many times our verbal and written messages are not received and interpreted as intended. That is why I chose to look at the Generations of X and Y.
I first had to define what a generation is. A generation, loosely defined, is a group of people who can be demographically identified by biological trends and have shared experiences (Stephens Generation X Site, 2004).
I did a little research first on the Generation Y babies (1980-1994). These young adults are in a league all their own. This generation has a hopeful outlook, a determined work ethic, and gets turned off by promiscuity (Mcai-mn.org, 2004). This generation also likes a direct communication approach. No surprise, they get along well with the over sixty generation. They have a global perspective, and this may be due to the pace of technological change in the last twenty years that promotes communication without barriers. When you look at this group closer, they are able to adapt rapidly, innovate constantly, accept others easily and rebound quickly. They have the time, tools, and the talent to create a better world and better results.
Now those Generation XЎ¦s have there own fond little quirks too! They were brought up on television, Atari 2600s and personal computers. They are the generation that was raised in the 1970s and 1980s, and saw this country undergo a selfish phase that they do not want to repeat (Jochim, 2004). Generation Xers are more realistic than pessimistic when it comes to issues such as hate, crime, violence, poverty, pollution and disease. It is this realism and ability to deal with issues rather than ignore them. Most are decent, pragmatic, creative, strongly independent, self-reliant, and hard-working. They have a surprisingly good work ethic – including a strong sense of company loyalty, as long as its reciprocal – and we want to get ahead, even though we arent as concerned with the trappings of “success” as earlier generations were. However, they are very concerned with financial and emotional security, and hopeful that the future will be good to us, but shockingly realistic and honest about the struggles that they are going to face in a rapidly changing world of diminishing resources.
On the downside of the two generations, a lot of the Generation XЎ¦ers will butt heads with their younger counterparts. The old fashioned way of communicating via personal phone is being replaced with an e-mail or cell phone. Technology is ok but Gen Y is proficient and not afraid to use it, and this kind of attitude demands change where as the Gen X just accepts it. Also, when it comes to employer loyalty, if the Gen Y doesnЎ¦t get their Saturday off they will quit; whereas the Gen X thinks if I do this it could give me a promotion. The battle lines are clearly drawn in the line of attitude and influences of the age diversity of this group.
So after drawing the battle lines between the two generations, I sat back and tried to think of some ways to help bridge some of those barriers. Knowing some of those differences is half the battle but doing something about it even harder. One major idea is knowing the value of learning different generations values and preferences resides in the realization that generations complement each other. Combining the wisdom of the technical expertise of a Gen X, and the global perspective of a Y may be another strategy to help people communicate.
Another step in the communication battle is to recognize technology. As evolving technologies become more integrated and widespread, communicators need to consider generational preferences. A two-way communication does not necessarily take place the same way, in the same place, and at the same time, with people of different generations. Recognizing the value is a long way from than just getting upset.