Managing Generation Gaps: Tips for Generation-Xers

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As more and more Generation-Xers enter into management positions, companies need to prepare for the inevitable changes, from dress code to working hours.

More and more often, these young managers are taking charge of those multi-million dollar projects and even companies, which may rock the boat, so to speak. Below are just a few issues of this trend:

  • Work to live, not live to work - Gen-Xers are very much into measuring performance by output.

  • Pay your dues - Gen-X managers are focused on performance rather than hours worked or tenure.

  • Nothing beats experience- A lot of value can be gained from older workers with years of experience and a Gen-X manager will do well to recognize this value.

  • Speak the lingo - Gen-X is the first generation to grow up in the technology era. Often, there is a lack of patience between the younger generations and older generations where mature workers don't understand or have some resistance to new technologies.

  • Who's the boss? - While older generations are accustomed to hierarchy and bureaucracy, Gen-Xers tend to shun power structures and may hesitate in enforcing authority.

  • A casual attitude - As Gen-X managers increase their numbers in the workforce, casual Friday, or even everyday casual attire, is becoming commonplace. For older generations, casual Friday can be seen as an abolition of workplace professionalism and a temptation for productivity decline. Again, flexibility and compromise is usually the key for Gen-X managers, such as keeping casual work attire for one day - casual Friday.

Generation-X is not the first generation to make an impact on organizational make-ups. As every generation comes of age and enters the workplace, it has a new, unique way of doing things and of looking at things and of seeing things. No two generations see entirely eye-to-eye.

For Gen-X managers in the position of managing older workers, recognizing and addressing the differences between generations will bring about an understanding in multi-generational workplaces. Diversity is critical for organizations competing in today's global marketplace.

This information is based on an article provided by Drake Beam Morin on hr.com.

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