10 Jan 2018, Ivana Nobilo
On the other hand, the young people say: ‘What the deuce, for these old people their time has passed. They get to know nothing at all so the young cannot prosper.’ Here, I do not want to argue what is exactly the truth, although I think the truth is always somewhere in between, the fact is that is happening an encounter between members of different generations. Most of the people such encounter call the clash of generations, but it is better to call it simply a gap, as it is possible to overcome it if we are about to revive the generational differences and try to use them all to achieve our success. Because the mandatory working life has been extended by law, today there is a mix of even four generations on the labour market – the traditionalists, Baby boomers generation, the so – called X generation and the Millennial generation, i.e. the generation Y. It should also be added that the generation Z is now at the very threshold of employment; by the time of the writing of this text some of the representatives of that generation who have completed vocational schools are just looking for or getting their first jobs.
Numerous studies have confirmed the differences between generations. Employed members of the Y generation generate significantly lower results when it comes to traditional leadership characteristics, such as determination, persuasion, and strategic thinking. However, they bring a completely different set of skills to the workplace that is relevant to today’s business needs. For example, Baby Boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, in the conducted researches they’ve shown as a generation that nurses strong, traditional, managerial skills such as management, as much as 34% more than Y generation, determination, up 26% more than Y generation, and also motivation, persuasiveness and strategic thinking. Generation X, or those individuals born between 1965 and 1979, is supposed to be a socially progressive generation, oriented to change, they are confident and culturally sensitive. Researches have shown that their ambitions average by 13% more when compared to the generation of Baby Boomers and by 12% more towards strategic approaches. However, the millennial generation is the best in abstract and conceptual thinking; they are socially confident and networked. They are also extremely ambitious; up to 32% more than the generation of Baby Boomers, and for 27% are more oriented towards people and their relationships than the aforementioned generation.
The digital age also contributed to the differences and shape of businesses, especially in the way of communication, which greatly contributes to the generational gap. Traditionalists still believe in letters, correspondence and live encounters; Baby Boomers mostly use telephone for their conversations, the X generation mostly communicates via electronic mail and by short text messages, and the Millennial group by social networks, and online chat, while we believe that the Z generation will communicate with the devices attached to their hands or even integrated in their clothing. Apart from the technical way of communication, the change also have taken place in the concept of speed of communication, thus the delay tolerance limit over the years has decreased. Apart from the fact that the generation of Baby Boomers had no reason to use acronym ASAP, the understanding and the meaning of that term – ‘as soon as possible’ has changed greatly. For the older generations, the well –known written note stuck in the door jamb or stick to the glass window ‘I’ll come back immediately’ of the local store meant just that – for the consumer really waited in front of the door for the salesman to return, while for the younger generation the word ‘immediately’ had quite literally meaning. Communication is multichannel and multiple, the required documents are stored in the cloud and they are immediately accessible, and there is no more reason to delay the respond information. Indeed, such postponement is considered as bad – mannered and non – professional.
Generation Y is the first generation that is thought to be a genuinely digital generation, so it is logical that they have changed their understanding and view of employment, and they are largely digital entrepreneurs, doing businesses for themselves, not for companies, and their main aspiration is their freedom and flexibility in work and life. Generation Z is completely technocratic and IT – dependent, and they see limited alternatives, and they also expected to have a parallel careers that will be invisibly arranged between organizations and pop – up businesses.
There are also a number of changes that have taken place and are happening in society; they are the result of social influences and know – how that the member is experiencing. For the purposes of this text, we shall only mention the authority. In the past, the authority was understood by the fact that someone is older by his or her biological age, and even so if it is more ranked in the company and / or society. Authority to the younger generations is by no means related to these two things, – for them influence is counted on the number of gathered likes and of the number of friends on social networks, rather than based on the years of life or the acquired career. Each authority is subjected to discussion and challenges.
When we bear in mind for all the above said, it is clear that in teams meets the members of several generations, so the way of managing them needs to be greatly changed. Former organizations of profound hierarchy and great authorities belong to the past. Contemporary approaches lead to leadership – based approaches, and also skills – based approaches, style – based approaches, situational approaches, and team leadership, as counted as possible leadership models – and the mix of all five generations actually questions the past and they are looking for a new derivative with each of the characteristics of each of these particular individual approaches. All the possible solutions I’ll present at this year’s Superseller, so I do hope that I’ll see you there, hopefully in large numbers.
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