RT Vol XVI: Generations: Ch 5
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XVI: Generations: Strategies for Managing Generations in the Work Force


The basic tenet of diversity programming in the workplace includes the acknowledgement of, and respect for, difference. From the perspective of the employer, respect for the expression of individual diversity, this at work is most likely required and enforced. In essence “let’s all get a long.” The refractive thinker® will not be satisfied with a forced facade of integration, but instead will strive to create a workplace that thrives with an inclusive mindset that that authentically values the unique attributes of the individuals within the organization. Herein lies the true value of refractive thinking that brings to the current workplace environment. With up to five generations represented in the workplace, employing organizations can have the potential to enhance resilience at work as employees and employers thrive together with the benefit provided by exposure to age diversity among their coworkers.
Opportunities await today’s ever changing workplace as five generations of employees represented join together to shape the landscape of the future of employment. Opportunities, and questions! Do Baby Boomers find Generation X workers to be impatient, reckless, and rushed? How will Generation X and Baby Boomers get along workers view with their Millennial coworkers? Might the descriptors of Millennials be described by their coworkers of other generations as: spoiled and self-centered? Will the Generation Z group of young workers entering the workplace utilize their senior coworkers as mentors with sage advice ready to provide guidance based on their decades of experience; or will they find them to be distant, existing in silos and out of touch with the newest in technology and innovation?]
A focus on diversity and inclusion of generations in the workplace will demonstrate to employers that the best path to success includes a workforce comprised of employees with representing a variety of generations. Developing a multi-generational and resilient workforce that remains engaged and motivated towards organizational goals, presents a challenging task for any the employer of today. Generational bias has the potential to stall progress and innovation while facilitating disengagement and distance. The formation of a diverse and dedicated workforce allays the foundation for success in the workplace, which is both a possible and obtainable goal.

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