Diverse Workforce

Traits associated with the Baby Boomers

Baby boomers represents the fraction of the population born between 1946 and 1964. They hold unique beliefs and values that sets them apart from other generational groups. One of their key characteristics is a strong work ethic. Baby boomers acknowledge the fact that success comes through hard work. They are optimistic in that they set goals and work hard at achieving the set goals. Baby boomers know how to stay focused on accomplishing their dreams. A large segment of baby boomers has experienced self-actualization since they were raised in a period of mass middle class affluence. For the baby boomers, work helps them achieve self-actualization. Baby boomers are team oriented, in that they have a strong sense of community (Tolbize, 2008).

Traits associated with the Millennials

Millennials are much concerned with global affairs. They are concerned about what is happening in other countries, in terms of business and politics. Another key characteristic of the millennials is that they are tech savvy. The millennials were born in the era of great technological advancement and discovery. As such, they are more likely to use social media and other digital tools such as crowdsourcing and teleconferencing. The millennials are more tolerant of other cultures or beliefs. They were born in an era of diversity; interacting with people from different social backgrounds (Tolbize, 2008). Millennials are realistic in that they like to voice their opinion regardless of the situation. For instance, they can even challenge the status quo. Millennials have a zeal for learning and are the most educated. They are eager to expand their knowledge and amass diverse skills sets in different lines of work.

Major differences

Millennials were brought up in a technologically charged environment. They are more likely to embrace the use of modern technological gadgets in work. On the other hand, baby boomers have little exposure to technology. As such, they prefer using modern technological gadgets only when it is necessary. With regard to attitude, baby boomers are likely to be loyal to a single employer. On the other hand, millennials value changing employers since to them, this is an opportunity to advance their careers or improve their earnings. Baby boomers revere their employers while the millennials are likely to challenge their leaders or employers. With regard to working style, millennials value flexibility. For instance, they prefer flexible arrangements between them and employers that allows them to spend time with family or even attend social events. On the other hand, the baby boomers tend to be static. Both of these generations have gone through different experiences in life such as in areas of technology and media (Gursoy, Maier, & Chi, 2008).

Solution 1: Accommodate personal employee needs

It is important for the organization to accommodate the employees’ personal needs. Since the employees are at different stages of their lives, they may have different challenges that the organization needs to address. For instance, the millennials mar require a flexible schedule to attend to their children’s social events such as parent/teacher functions. They can be allowed to attend such functions and make up for the lost time later. The baby boomers may prefer to work less hours or during specific shifts. The organization should ensure there is parity so as not to make one faction of employees feel secluded (Gursoy, Maier, & Chi, 2008).

Solution 2: Increase flexibility in the work place

Improving flexibility in terms working styles and communication styles can help relieve tension in the organization. These two generations have different working styles, with baby boomers being more of team players while millennials respond well to a structured approach and a challenging environment. In terms of communication styles, baby boomers are more appreciative of meetings, notices, letters, and to an extent emails. On the other hand, the millennials prefer a diverse mix of communication styles including the use of social media (Gursoy, Maier, & Chi, 2008).

Solution 4: Recognition programs

Baby boomers may want to feel encouraged through a higher status. In such a case, they may appreciate recognition when they meet expectations, for instance, recognition during meetings of their exemplary performance. Millennials may appreciate validation and the chance to have additional training opportunities as a way of recognizing their good performance.

Reference

  • Gursoy, D, Maier, T. A, & Chi, C. G. (2008). Generational differences: An examination of work values and generational gaps in the hospitality workforce. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 27: 448–458.
  • Tolbize, A. (2008). Generational differences in the workplace. Journal of workplace Learning, 13: 57-65. Retrieved from http://rtc.umn.edu/docs/2_18_Gen_diff_workplace.pdf

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