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How to bridge generation gap in workplace?
How to bridge generation gap in workplace?
Posted Date:14-03-2011 Courtesy:
Bangalore: Most of the businesses today are facing a peculiar problem. This is not something which is derived from downsizing, change, foreign competition, cubical envy or greed. It is difficulty of generations in conflict. Modern businesses are having tough time in handling different generations of individuals who make up their workforce. Lack of attention to generational differences will make any company less efficient. Therefore, a good understanding of differences among generations to strengthen work relationships between employees is very crucial.
How to bridge generation gap in workplace?

To some people, the requirement to manage generation in the workplace may look like an unnecessary task, but this generation problem commonly found in businesses is worthwhile to take note of. In an organization there may be different generations of workers like veterans, who are above the age of 60; "Baby Boomers", employees in the age group of 45 to 65; generation X, employees in the age group of 30 and 45; and generation Y, employees in their 20s or even younger. It's very obvious that these employees will have their own sets of mind, and because of that they will clash with each other due to the differences in values, ideas and work style.

So what it takes to bridge the generation gap? As research shows, in an organization, employees interact on the basis of their upbringing, values and ideas. Thus, different generations have their own way of thinking and working, according to their background. Therefore, to be effective in the process of bridging the gap, an organization must know its employees as individuals, their background, personality, preferences and style. Realizing this issue and knowing how to deal with the gap will bring employee efficiency to an organization.

An organization can follow certain steps to bridge the generation gap in the workplace. It can provide training to the employee on the communication and working style of the different generations. Practicing this can be very useful in avoiding misunderstandings as well as confrontations in the workplace. Conducting regular seminars and special events can serve this purpose well. If the employees begin to understand other employees belonging to other generations, it will be easy for them to work together in a better way.

While making policies, related to motivation or any other aspect of business, the needs of different generations should be kept in mind. For instance, those employees belonging to generation X can be motivated by a higher salary or bonus, while those employees belonging to veterans can be motivated by giving recognition and respect.

One of the most typical problems that face a modern business that is operating with a number of different generations in its workforce is related to technology. Generally, Younger generation communicate with e-mails, text messages or instant messaging. On the other hand, in most cases, the older generations want to speak face-to-face, or at least over the telephone. In this case, a balance has to be maintained.
Apart from this, there can be problems with communication between different generations of worker, physical limitations of the older personnel in an organisation and so on. Hence, the need to fulfil a range of diverse wants and aspirations to keep an entire workforce satisfied.

Today, organizations require a varied range of skills, and this requirement cannot be fulfilled by just one of the generations discussed above. The organizations have to understand that the route to success depends a lot on discovering a balance between different generations. The human resource managers in organizations have to make sure the utilization of advantages, mitigation of weaknesses and at the same time encouraging as well
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