Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today! Kids! Who can understand anything they say? Kids! They’re a disobedient, disrespectful oafs! Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
-- “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” 1960
“ 42 percent of all employees say they have experienced intergenerational conflict in the workplace” --Kelly Services, Inc. study, 2008
“ Relations among the generations seem to be at a low point. Gen Y thinks Gen X is a bunch of whiners. Gen X sees Gen Y as arrogant and entitled. And everyone thinks the Baby Boomers are self-absorbed workaholics.” --“Gen Y, Gen X and the Baby Boomers: Workplace Generation Wars,” CIO Magazine, Jan. 30, 2008
Boomers: a constant career with one or few employers
Gen X: few if any career changes but multiple employers
Gen Y: self-employed and career mobile
Different attitudes about technology
Example: social media in the workplace
"You can have Gen Y-ers…busy looking at their BlackBerrys. They've got their laptops flipped open, they're engaging in social networking right during the course of a meeting, and you have a boomer rolling their eyes, not understanding it." --Michael Walsh, CEO, LexisNexis U.S. Legal Markets
“ It feels normal for Gen Y employees to check in by BlackBerry all weekend as long as they have flexibility during the week.” --Time, Jul. 2007, “What Gen Y Really Wants”
“ Everyone including Baby Boomers wants flexibility in their lives…To a Baby Boomer partner/principal/ director, flexibility may mean the occasional day working from home to catch up on personal matters or a work related project.” --Deloitte Human Resources, “Flexibility and Choice”
I respect your right to flexibility as long as it does not interfere with me getting my job done.
Be flexible How does this extend to communication? What effect would instant messaging have on communication in your workplace? Do those responses differ among different age groups? Why? What if your company took away your desk phone? Do those responses differ among different age groups? Why?