Anyone remember that LL Cool J commercial from a few years ago for the Gap where the key phrase was “fall into the gap”?
Well I ran across an post on Penelope Trunk’s blog, the Brazen Careerist recently that talked about the rising generation gap between baby boomer, X and Y at work. I’m part of generation Y, and I’d agree that in my experience there are times where I clash with the older generations at work on many things. I’d attribute some of these clashes to a difference in how I’m used to getting work done. By nature I am a collaborative person, I believe differing perspectives bring depth to a problem, project, etc. Thus, my workflow regarding a problem, site update, page redesign and so on often falls to asking those around me what they think of the issue. It’s my way of attempting to address the problem as a team, not asking for advice on what to do, but what they view the problem as. But as Penelope notes,
Being part of a team is the best way for today’s new workers to get interesting high-level work for themselves. However even though reams of research shows the effectiveness of teams in the workplace, Baby Boomer management has had a tough time with implementation.
More often then not in these times I’m asking for perspective, I get answers. What I mean is that I get definite “do it this way” answers as opposed to a collaborative/team process looking at various perspectives. In a world used to hierarchy, people who are used to making decision see “team”, and they only see the “me.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that by nature I ask a lot of questions, and often attempt to get a full understanding in lieu of making a decision, when I should just make a decision and learn from the result. But there is a shift that is happening in workplace culture, where a generation of teamwork-oriented employee’s, combined with the job-hopping culture trend will push companies large and small to make changes to accommodate them. Those companies that don’t accept these changes will not attract younger workers and the world changing ideas they bring.
What are you doing to appeal to these workers?
Have a good day everyone.