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Generation Generation can be defined as a succeeding stage in the reproduction from an original copy. In other words generation is also known as procreation, which means producing an offspring. But the generation referred to in this paper is the stage if natural decent for example, from grandfather, to father, to son. In present time’s generation a group of people born into and shaped into by a specific time period. For example, people born between 1946 and 1964 are called baby boomers and people born from 1965 to 1980 are called generation X.
The time gap in between these generations is known as the ‘generation gap’ and can be defined as the difference between the younger people and elders. For example in marketing many researchers are actually turning to a great deal of generation segmentation. Why? Because the idea is that each generation is mostly influenced by the milieu which means in which time the person grew up (it would include music, politics and events of the time).
Generation X is more sophisticated in evaluating products and many are turned off by the advertisement of the products which have too much hype.
There are some marketers who target the baby boomers as well because the marketers believe that people of that era are more attractive to communications and symbols. Types of Generation There are great deals of different kinds of generations for example, lost generation (1883 – 1900), greatest generation (1901- 1924), silent generation (1925- 1945), baby boomers (1946 – 1964), generation X (1965 – 1980), generation Y (1980 – 1994), generation Z (1994 – present). The generations that we are going to discuss are as follows.
(Gibson, Greenwood & Murphy, 2008) Baby Boomers The post world war II baby boom produced 78 million baby boomers born between 1943 and 1960. Since then baby boomers have become the one of the most powerful forces that shapes the business environment today. Today’s baby boomers account for 28% of the population but they earn more than half of all personal incomes. Baby boomers cut across all walks of life, the youngest boomers are now in their late thirties, the oldest are in their mid- fifties.
The baby boomers have evolved from the ‘youth quake generation’ to ‘backache generation’. The maturing boomers are experiencing the pangs of midlife and are also on the process of rethinking the purpose and the value of their work, responsibilities, and as well as relationships. The characteristics of baby boomer workers in a work place are as follows:- 1. Values:- a. The baby boomers believe in individual choices b. The do a lot of work for their communities c. Believe in self-actualization
d. Health and as well as wellness 2. Attributes:- a. Baby boomers are very adaptive to their environment b. Are considered to be goal oriented c. Mostly focus on freedom and individual choices d. Are also very adaptive to diversity in work environments e. They have a positive attitude towards their work and company 3. Work styles:- a. They do and complete their tasks with confidence b. They believe in team work c. Collaborative and group decision making d. The generally avoid conflict
The cultural issues and implications that are being faced by baby boomers is that even though baby boomers are the ones who promoted equal rights but they can still not comprehend the goals and objectives of their youth. And with the aging of baby boomers the differences in the income and wealth will increase day by day and it will become more pronounced. Generation X The baby boom was followed by a ‘birth dearth’ which created another generation called the ‘generation X’. There are 45 million people born between1965 and1980 in this era.
The generation X is also known as the ‘shadow generation’ after the baby boomers. The people of this generation are usually defined by the experiences they share with each other and through their age as well. Increasing divorce rates and higher employment for women have actually made this generation the first generation of the latchkey kids. The people of this generation share new cultural concerns, care about the environment and respond much better than the baby boomers in regards to socially responsible companies.
The generations X seek experience and success in their work life. The characteristics of generation X workers in a work place are as follows:- 1. Values:- a. They believe in contribution b. They require feedback and recognition in their field of work c. And like to spend time with their managers so that they know that how they perform on their tasks 2. Attributes:- a. They are also very adaptable and self controlled b. Very responsible c. They believe in independence in all walks of life 3. Work Style:- a.
Believe in good results b. Are very productive and flexible c. There is a balance in their lives i. e. is between work and home life d. Believe that they are marketable commodities e. Technically competent f. Ethnic diversity g. Believe in authority The cultural implications that are being faced by generation X’ers is that with technological advancements the people of this generation are able to understand different cultures exist and they are able to handle such kinds of diversity in all walks of like i. e. work and home life.
The people of this generation are embracing and accepting diversity with open arms. Generation Y The people of generation Y are called echo boomers as well. About 72 million children of the baby boomers were born between 1980 and 1994. It’s been researched that the people of this generation are smart, aware of their surroundings and are very fair minded individuals. It has also been found out that for example, the people of this generation likes to be entertained in ads that are directed towards them but they do not like ads that do not make fun of other people.
The people of generation Y have grown up with all kinds of technology for example; cell phones, pagers, answering machines, laptop and desktop computers and video games etc. if we look back the baby boomers believe that the future was theirs and the people of generation X believed that whatever the future held was extremely disheartening whereas the people of generation Y believe that they do not have a future in any walks of life, especially in the work environment. The people of this era prefer to work in teams rather than working individually.
The characteristics of generation Y workers in a work place are as follows:- 1. Values:- a. Self-expression is considered more important than self-control b. Branding and marking their values is important to this generation c. Violence is considered as a form of communication which is quite acceptable to them d. They believe that respect is to earned, it is not given freely 2. Attributes:- a. They adapt themselves very quickly to new things b. Believe in change and challenges c.
Resilient, imaginative and capable d. Very dedicated to their work e. Easily accept diverse background f. Have a global perspective 3. Work Style:- a. Need to have an understanding of all things that affect them b. Believe that the work they do expresses them c. Multi-workers i. e. they do more than one activity at the same time d. Active involvement in their work rather than passive involvement e. Believe in balance life style and work f. Are very flexible and adaptable to change and extremely ambitious
g. Except social corporate responsibility h. Believe in work teams and continuous learning The cultural and ethnic implications that are being faced by the people of generation Y is that they are very expectable to diverse cultures and are willing to work along them in a corporate environment. A very tolerant community is being built because of these beliefs and acceptability by the people of this generation. (Gibson, Greenwood & Murphy, 2008) Managing Differences in a Workplace
It is considered very difficult by the management of a company to manage different generations in a work environment, due to the generation gap between the 3 generations of people, starting from baby boomers to generation X to generation Y. The best way the management of a company can handle the differences by creating a non-traditional work environment by being more open to flexibility or by making sure that the talented employees are motivated and compensated for their excellent work etc. There are 5 ways through which the management can stop a conflict arising in these 3 generations (Workplace Influence):
1. The company should motivate and encourage talented workers so that they do not leave the company 2. Treat all employees equally starting from the newest recruit to the oldest employee of the company 3. Provide feedback and recognition to the employees so that they feel that they are a part of the company and what they do matters 4. Create an open and a diverse working environment in the company 5. The management should treat their employees like the way the treat their customers, that is get to know their needs and preferences.
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