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How Do I Become an Effective Leader in a Multi Generational Work Environment?

Autor:   •  June 10, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  3,180 Words (13 Pages)  •  1,103 Views

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How Do I Become An Effective Leader In A Multigenerational Work Environment?

Leslie D. Harris

Current Issues in Leadership MBA 595

Instructor Webster Baker

April 22, 2012

For the first time in history, workplace demographics now span over four generations, meaning that 20 year-old can find themselves working side-by-side with people who are older than they are by 50 years or more. By now most employers know today's workplace is multi-generational, and includes different values and work styles. The four generations are typically categorized as Traditionalists or Veterans (65 years and older); Baby Boomers (48 years and older); Generation X (28 years and older); and Millennial or Generation Y (who began to enter the work force in 1990). With employees having grown up in different times, experiencing different world events, and raised with different values and philosophies, clashes of perspectives, expectations, work habits, and communication styles are expected. But that's no reason the focus should be on the differences between the generations, rather than what they all have in common.

What I have found at my job is that the people with experience on the job are learning that they need to have a good working relationship with newer hires. The people who have been hired recently, regardless of age, were trained using more modern technology. We know how to navigate through online publications and use PDF marking tools to highlight and bookmark pages so that we can assist the tax payer more effectively. Older employees still have tons of publications on their desks and it takes too much time to find information. We have come to learn that we all need eachother. New people need to understand the job and older employees need to learn how to do the job more effectively. It's a win, win situation.

Managers who want to motivate employees of different age groups are more effective in keeping them engaged. Employee satisfaction is greater when they believe the development opportunities are equal for all.

My research shows that we must close the gap in multigenerational workforce differences. We have to respect the differences of others while avoiding stereotypes. It is important to understand that people have all grown up in different times and have different ways of thinking about work and technology. This doesn't mean that all older works can't learn new technology and every young person is not technologically sound.

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