Our philosophies on life and work vary from generation to generation, and it can sometimes pose significant challenges in how we deliver services to customers and clients. Do you realize that there are now four generations that comprise today’s workforce? Chances are that you come in contact with a member from each of these demographics on a daily basis–be it at the office, the grocery store, or even a call center customer service representative.
In case you aren’t familiar with the breakdown of the classes, here’s a typically summary:
The Silent generation was born between 1925-1945 and they believe that “Work comes First”
The Baby Boomers were born between 1946-1964 and they “Live to Work”
Generation X‘ers were born between 1965-1976 and they must “Work to Live”
Generation Y or, Millennials , were born between 1977-1998 and they “Live then Work”
Now that you’ve been exposed to the differences, does it make it any easier to embrace the mindset of the people you interact? Does it help you understand why the teenage cashier is more concerned with texting rather than ringing you up?
Probably not! However, if we are going to thrive in this multi-generational society, we must learn to respect the differences and become more understanding of each groups’ attitude toward life and work.
I challenge you to take time over the next week and get to know someone outside of your generation. There is a lot to be learned from each other in terms of our personal and business perspectives. Older folk may be more knowledgeable because of experience in some areas, but the young people are extremely innovative and fearless when it comes to taking risks.
Go to lunch, or perhaps connect via one of the social networking sites. Whatever you choose to do, choose to do something. It is in these small gestures that big steps are taken towards bridging our generational gaps!