Generational Diversity in the Workplace
Generational diversity is still a challenge for organizations at-large. With a blend of Traditionalists (born 1925-1945), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), Gen Xers (born 1965-1979), Millennials (born 1980-2001), and soon Gen Z, organizations are challenged in finding a consensus for the ever-evolving social norms and perspectives. Resistance to change, biases, assimilation, technology, and organizational culture are all hot topics when blending the generations together. In addition, the innate differences among the generations have emerged as a latent deficiency and barrier to transferring tacit knowledge in the workplace.
All of the above “hot topics” lessen the transfer of tacit knowledge. The aftermath of generational differences is mounting as 50% of the younger employees are cavalier regarding the capabilities of the older generations. It does not help the situation that 70% of the older generations are cavalier toward the capabilities of the younger employees. Conflict in the workplace can be generated with just varying perceptions that each generation brings to the work environment.
In order to configure a strategy to bridge the generations together, we must first understand what keeps them apart. The challenges are born from the varying differences in the lifespan development of each generation. These latent differences manifest into barriers against collaboration, change, assimilation, a progressive work culture, and sadly transferring tacit knowledge in the workplace.
Why are the generations so different?
Hedgspeth, S. (2019). Millennials: Understanding the challenges to transferring tacit knowledge, Northcentral University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. https://search.proquest.com/openview/1cc22496a2abbd94e5102761eb5a9425/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y