Gen Y are disrespectful, lazy, demanding and want everything now. The middle child of the workplace, Gen X, are apathetic and disengaged. Baby Boomers are stuck-in-the-muds, technologically challenged and just biding their time to retirement. All these stereotypes can have elements of truth but by bringing generations together in the workplace you can help foster respect and learning.
As Baby Boomers approach retirement, many still feel driven to be involved and relevant in an organization, but may want to gradually reduce their hours or responsibilities.
At the same time, Gen Y employees want guidance and development, as well as a clear career path, and it’s vital that HR keen Gen X staff engaged and interested.
Many organizations have introduced mentoring systems that answer all three needs.
“We’re finding a number of companies are offering mentoring programs where they can impart some wisdom to the younger generations as part of their work week,” Monster.ca’s Sheryl Boswell said. “By mentoring and sharing knowledge younger generations will get up to speed faster, and for the companies losing those baby boomers won’t be as painful.”
It can also help develop respect between generations that frequently misunderstand each other. It’s easy for a young employee to be impatient with the older staff who may not be as tech-capable or adaptable.
“It’s a collaborative, sharing process. It makes the Baby Boomers happy and it fosters more respect within the workplace,” Boswell said.