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Office Chat: Managing Different Generations at Work

9:21 AM, Jul 15, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every office has old dogs and young guns.  Some are iPod users, others prefer to stick with the handy CD player.

Managing different generations at work can be a challenge.

There are the Baby Boomers (1945-1964) who are wary of diversity, are loyal, follow the rules, built institutions, used main frames, handle one thing at a time, and climb the career ladder.

"They believe in a hard day's work equals a day's pay," said Dr. Paul Fadil, or Dr. Paul as he's known on Good Morning Jacksonville.  "They believe in doing things the right way."

The Baby Boomers are followed by Generation X (1965-1976).  These folks accept diversity, they're pragmatic and practical, reject rules, mistrust institutions, used PCs, multitask and focus on the career lattice.

"They were actually seen as the 'rule breakers,'" said Fadil.  "They tend to reject rules, be more individualistic, and less loyal to institutions than their baby boomer counterparts."

The third group is known as The Millennials (1977-1998).  These workers celebrate diversity, they're optimistic and realistic, they rewrite the rules, see no need for institutions, live off the internet, multitask at lightning speed and focus on their career.

"They are incredibly tech savvy," said Fadil.  "They can walk, talk, text, listen and type at the same time, and they have a simple credo: their needs come first."

The workplace has had the toughest time adapting to the Millenials, in part because of their upbringing.  "They were raised by doting parents, played in little leagues where there were no winners or losers, and have the highest self-esteem and self-worth imaginable."

So how do you manage them?

For answers, be sure to watch Dr. Paul Thursday morning on Good Morning Jacksonville beginning at 5 a.m.  He'll be chatting online as usual.  If you have questions or comments put them on our facebook page. 

Fadil is a professor at the Coggin College of Business at UNF who specializes in organizational behavior and international management and appears Thursday mornings on Good Morning Jacksonville.

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