The Gap

I am not talking about the chain of retail clothing stores. What I’m speaking of is the “Generation Gap” that can often create conflict and complicate communication in the workplace. Althought there will always be differences between age groups, the key to bridging the gap and forming a cohesive atmosphere is recognizing the potential value of multi-generations and finding common ground to build on.

Baby boomers may or may not retire, depending on the state of their retirement savings. At the same time, due to the love affair with what’s new, cutting edge, and technologically cool, firms are recruiting new (and sometimes less costly) talent in the belief that this can be the way to develop a competitive advantage. The best managers today, realize it is vital to encourage their organization to understand that each generation brings something unique and valuable to the operation.

The new generation of professionals is smart, creative, achievement-oriented and tech-savvy. However, their more experienced counterparts are often highly competent in strategic planning, leading people and managing change, which are equally impressive in a very different way. A firm’s success can depend on how well they meld the generations into a cohesive, exciting, productive, highly motivated workforce. When leaders create cross-generational teams, they can take advantage of the strong suits of each age group and break through barriers more quickly.

Mentoring provides one of the most significant ways for integrating these diverse abilities. It increases the chance for innovative ideas to grow and flourish. More experienced employees can benefit from fresh views and know-how of new technologies. All the while, younger employees can benefit from the wisdom and work of their experienced colleagues. Together the two groups can come up with progressive ideas for success. Everyone wants to make a difference and this is a great way to integrate the generations and put together a lasting legacy.

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