Boomers vs. Generation Y: Bridging The Generation Gap At The Office
Rigid, closed-minded, overbearing -- just some of the words sometimes used to describe Post50s in the workplace.
Entitled, lazy, self-absorbed -- equally harsh words used to describe some young employees.
It's no surprise. Generational conflicts have always been present in the office. Put a group of strangers together from differing generations, ask them to work side-by-side for eight or more hours each day, and you're bound to have some tension. But experts say baby boomers and Generation Y, in particular, have clashing values and views of the world.
According to a 2011 poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), as reported by The Fiscal Times.
Forty-seven percent of younger workers complained that older managers were resistant to change and had a tendency to micromanage. About 33 percent of older respondents griped that younger workers informality, need for supervision, and lack of respect for authority were problematic.
Those age 65 and older now exceed 35 million in the United States. They represent the heart of today's management. At the same time, though, a recent survey found that about 20 percent of midlevel corporate employees now report to a boss who is younger than they are, CNNMoney reports.
As Baby Boomers delay retirement and work until older ages, it is more likely they will have a younger boss.
So how do boomers cope when workplace conflict heats up? The Huffington Post asked that question to author and human resource management consultant Dr. Linda Gravett, whose area of expertise is leveraging workplace diversity.
"Many boomers are not coping well. I've had so many boomers say to me, I'm not going to learn how to text, I want to talk to someone face-to-face doggone it and I'm going to track them down till I find them face-to-face," she said. "I say, have to learn that if you want to communicate with people across all age groups then learn how to text, learn how to instant message, get out of your comfort zone and your rigidity that every kind of communication must be either by letter or email or even face to face because that isn't necessarily practical."
Here are Gravett's eight tips for boomers to bridge the generation gap at work:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story cited Business Insider as the source for information on the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management Poll. The reporting was actually done by David Koeppel of The Fiscal Times.