Do you believe the descriptions given for the generations above are accurate?
Do you believe that the survey results were accurate?
If you were a member of the Green Globe Team, how would you structure the team's communications to ensure that project deadlines are met and that the communication methods utilize the strengths and preferences of each team member?
Green Globe Initiative
Do you believe the descriptions given for the generations above are accurate?
The descriptions of the different generational tendencies are accurate if kept in the context that they are to serve as broad generalizations. Obviously these models are not meant to describe individual personality traits or variances within the groups. Yet at the same time they do serve as a rather accurate (in the broad context) reflection of each generation and how cultural events and patterns shape that particular generation. The generalizations are formed by the connection with the major historical events that occurred in the period and the resulting social patterns that emerged.
To further illustrate the importance of the environment in which each generation lived through some examples will be provided. One example could be thought of by what the primary text refers to as the "traditionalist." This generalization is used as a description for the relationship created from the events that transpired in American culture. Many people included among this group faced many personal challenges that were a result of the Great Depression and World War II. These events formed a notion of reciprocity between citizens and the U.S. government which is often referred to as institutionalism.
Furthermore, members of this group would be more accepting of a top-down management structure with the sense of responsibility to the needs of the society on a broad level; similar to more collectivist societies. Traditionalist would feel that if they made their individual contributions to society that they could trust in government to reimburse them for their efforts. Most people living through this period could count on some degree of job security as many people worked for one company for most of their lives.
However, the younger generations have grown up in an environment where great amounts of job security are hard to come by. Many members of generation X and Y have had the experience in which members of their family have worked for a company for decades only to be let go during a corporate downsizing or through a merger or acquisition. As a result these generations are less likely to feel comfortable in any position they hold with a company. One result of this is that these generations are more independent and are less likely to be loyal to any particular company. If a better opportunity is made available then they are likely to consider it.
In the case, Kate may serve as an example of this type of mindset. Kate was concerned the Green Globe exhibit did not make enough accommodations or provision for its expected visitors. However, when members of other generations seemed to think that there was value in the unstructured approach to the experience, Kate believed that there should be greater managerial control over the experience that the visitors received. The comments regarding the sitting areas reflect can be considered another example of accommodating the physical needs of the visitors from a traditionalist view.
The overview of the Baby Boomers generation is a fairly accurate description of the historical experiences that this group shared which helped shape the generation. However, the generalization may not account for the fact that as this generation continues to age they are also subject to a wide array of new experiences. For example, the corporate scandals may have led to an underlying cynicism held by members of Generation X may also be held by members of the Boomers group as a result of the Civil Rights movement. Therefore, there really isn't a distinct breaking point for the timeline of the generational development. Many overlaps can be observed between the various groups when experiences are shared by more than one generation.
The description given of the traits commonly found in Generation Y does not seem to fully capture the characteristics of the generation that is currently beginning to enter the workforce. This generation includes members born after 1980 and the importance of how technology has helped to shape this group cannot be overstated. Technology has had such an impact that many members of this group have come to expect nearly instantaneous gratification. Furthermore they are more capable and open to multi-tasking and operating in environments that require an exceptionally fast paced comprehension and learning.
While other generations can remember the time before computers, the internet, and cellular phones, this generation does not have such memories. To them these technologies seem more natural as they were maturing just as the technologies were rapidly developing. They have no recollection of what is what like not to have a cell phone or be able to check a bank account online. Thus this generation really has no choice other than to take these technologies for granted in a broad sense. However, as a result of this the younger generations generally have high levels of technological capabilities. They often learn new systems quickly as they have been doing this nearly all their lives. When a new technological system is introduced into their daily lives they are far less likely to feel intimidated or overwhelmed by it than older generations.
Question Two: Do you believe that the survey results were accurate?
The survey results seemed fairly accurate however it is reasonable to suspect that they do not fully illustrate the differences that are fueling the generational gap issues. The article reports that forty percent of human resource management practitioners that responded reported to observe significant levels of conflict between employees that could be attributed to "generational differences." Furthermore, nearly sixty percent of HRM professionals reported the same observations in organizations that contained five hundred employees or more. Such observations reveal that there are stark differences in the way the generations have formed opinions about their work ethic and other issues such as the work-life balance.
It is intuitively obvious that many cultural views have evolved over the years in terms of work ethics. Older generations, such as the Traditionalist and the Boomers, seem to represent much of the descriptions for the generalizations. These groups are less likely to question authority and follow orders as given. However, when the employees are provided more options for completing more work related tasks out of the office then this acts to blur some of the lines of the traditional work environment. Younger generations are more likely to be able to complete such tasks while they are out of the office while they are engaged in other activities. This is arguably another source of tension between the groups.
Such differences suggest that the survey results are largely accurate. The differences in the preferences of the style and preferences of the how the different generations can complete various task changes the dynamic and can create misunderstandings and resentments. While some generations may perceive the younger generations as lazy or unengaged this perception might not be entirely accurate. For example, if a younger worker can maintain productivity levels while on the go then they may perform the same tasks as more traditional workers at roughly the same productivity level or sometimes even greater. However, since the other generations don't consider the actual productivity and base their opinions on the perceptions of the style then a lazy perception may be created.
As Generation Y population is beginning to infiltrate the workplace the generational differences and resulting tensions are likely to be further amplified. The survey mentioned that roughly thirty percent of the respondents noticed an increase in the number of generational driven conflicts among employees. Another third of the respondents believed that these conflicts would likely to increase indefinitely into the future. As a result it behooves human resource personnel to not only to understand these trends, but to find various methods to try to mitigate the intergenerational conflicts in organizations.
The situation is also amplified by conditions currently prevalent in the global economy. Unemployment is at record highs which results in less of the younger generations being able to gain full employment. Also, many of the older employees are less likely to retire voluntarily. Many of them experienced a tremendous financial setback largely due to the Great Recession. Their financial portfolios as well as their pension funds were most likely significantly reduced by the falling values of market assets. The significant reductions in real estate values have also influenced this trend since this generally represents individuals' most valuable assets.
As a result of the recession the competition for jobs has greatly risen. Therefore this adds another layer of tension between intergenerational communications. For example, if a traditionalist is trying to stay in the workforce as long as possible to make…