Today’s workplace is a multigenerational and multicultural environment. As the workplace continues to advance, intergenerational influence is inevitable. Understanding the differences and impacts of generational differences in the workplace is very significant in the workplace. The following paper aims at using interview results to determine the impact of generational differences in the workplace understanding and communication. Different generations convey numerous characteristics with differing requirements that can influence the workplace.
The interviewees name is John who is of a different age group from mine. John other role models apart from his family members include the American president John Kennedy and civil rights activities such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X. John believed in human rights, freedom, and justice when growing up and could easily look up to these political and civil role models. The workplace is very diverse and having a role model when growing up definitely affects one’s communication and understanding. Having someone to look up to in life is very significant and each generation must respect each generation’s role models and set of beliefs. Different generations may have different role models and recognizing that there will always be a difference is the first step to promoting efficient communication and understanding in the workplace (Smith, 2008).
John grew up with numerous friends from different races and religion. He developed a strong bond in religion as a significant practice in his life. He also recognizes the right to religion and religious diversity. Different generations have diverse religious beliefs and viewpoints. For instance, the children of today have very little or limited religious diversity. Religion can be a barrier in the workplace in both understanding and communication. All generations must respect and recognize the religious diversity of their workmates in the workplace. When working with teams, generations must have the power to influence, encourage and drive execution (Smith, 2008) Appreciating and respecting religious diversity ensures that there is collaboration and effective decision-making in the workplace.
John’s first job was as a teacher waged with about $15,000 per year, working for 6 hours, free house and medical cover. He maintained the job for over 10 years. John also worked in 5 different organizations. Different generations grew up in different economic situations and times. John grew up during the economic boom era and it was easier to acquire jobs and get paid very handsomely unlike the current generation. These differences can cause different reactions or misunderstanding in the workplace. Moreover, the experience from working in different companies is very important in understanding the workplace and communicating effectively (Smith, 2008). John can easily improve the workplace by teaching other generations on effective communication and writing skills. Additionally, he can teach different generations the different aspects of the workplace.
John was born during the civil rights movements and it stayed significant in his childhood and early adulthood. The civil rights movement was very significant in setting up new viewpoints of making the world a better place. Having seen the struggle for freedom and segregation, John believes in condemning oppression. Oppression is common in the workplace and cannot promote understanding and communication (Smith, 2008). John learnt to solve problems in a civilized and upright manner. This can be used in the workplace to condemn oppression and maintain justice as the key to solving conflicts.
John had several interventions that have affected his life most. The first intervention is being involved or indulged as children from very serious and strict parents. His parents forced and controlled his childhood. This influence shaped his dedication and working hard attitudes. John also developed very significant skills such as working ethics and developed skills set. The control and strictness from parents enabled John to be goal oriented and improve overall communication skills. Another intervention is living a well-planned life that has meaning (Smith, 2008). When he was growing up, people valued meaning to the chance of succeeding. Different employees may have dissimilar interventions that may influence different aspects in an individual that may affect the communication and understanding in the workplace.
John experienced a remarkable change in education, economy, and healthcare though his lifetime. Technology has been on the forefront of change and these industries have undergone a complete transition to different technologies. Education has changed significantly forcing John to go back to school and improve numerous skills especially in technology. Furthermore, the education system has also advanced to higher levels of learning that require additional skills. Communication in the workplace depends on one’s education through their lifetime. Lack of certain skills can easily diminish understanding and communication in the workplace (Smith, 2008). Moreover, healthcare, economy, and education determine the workplace communication and understanding.
John was impacted by gender in different ways. For instance, John built trust and business relationships because he is a man. Gender is also a determinant in ensuring a successful workplace for the employees. Multi-generations in the workplace must promote gender equality in all areas including doing business. Coordination between men and women can result in better and more effective in achieving a successful workplace. John was born in 1958 and is a degree holder with upper-class honors. The 1950s and 60s are known as baby boomers. This is characterized by different beliefs and attributed to each generation. Such differences can easily cause conflict in the workplace. However, understanding generational differences helps in developing skills for working together with the common goal of success.