Manufacturing News

Generation gap affects workplace performance

A LARGE proportion of HR managers believe that conflicts between the generations affect workplace performance, according to a new study.

Nearly half the respondents (48%) to a survey of 1060 HR practitioners agreed that inter-generational conflict affects performance, and nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) said that organisations should have strategies in place to manage generational differences, with the same proportion (71%) saying their organisation does not have a strategy to manage the issue.

At the same time the study revealed a reluctance among respondents to express personal workplace preferences based on age, with roughly half expressing no preference on matters such as the age group they work with, the generation they report to, or the generation they manage.

Where the age groups express a preference, however, there is a slight bias in favour of generation X. Among gen Xers themselves 40% prefer to work with other gen Xers, 27% of gen Ys prefer to work with gen X, and 21% of baby boomers prefer working alongside gen X employees.

On the other hand, only 18% of gen Ys prefer working with their own generation, and a mere 7% of the baby boomer and gen X sample groups prefer working with gen Ys.

While only one in ten baby boomers (13%) prefer to work with other baby boomers, more than one in three (37%) prefer to be managed by other baby boomers, one of the starkest contrasts among the preferences. And while 57% of baby boomers express no preference for the generation they work with, only 47% express no preference about the generation they work for.

A substantial proportion of the sample indicated in their comments a strong readiness to acknowledge other things that matter more than the age of a work colleague, such as the person’s knowledge, skill, team work and personality traits.

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