FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT GENERATIONS AT WORK (PART 1 OF 3)

This is the first part of a three-part blog series that explores generational inclusion: key concepts, myths, trends, facts, barriers and enablers. I’m focusing on what you need to know and to do as a leader to build bridges, rather than walls, between people and create an inclusive culture where people of all ages can succeed.

FOUR TO FIVE GENERATIONS AT WORK WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY COMMON

Managing multiple generations has become a very trendy topic. A whole consulting industry has developed around it. Some even talk about generational hysteria. The millennials, or the generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1996, attract a lot of attention. Indeed, they are the most studied generation ever. Many articles, books and ted talks can be found about them as if they were a new species.[i]  I post every day on social media, and my posts about millennials are much more viewed, liked, and shared than any other posts.

However, there is a lot of controversy regarding the empirical evidence of significant differences between generations. And if there are differences, are they due to generational differences, age differences, or differences in career stage? Generational conflicts have always existed; is there anything new about today’s generational tensions?

What’s true is that four to five generations working together will become increasingly commonplace. With longer life spans and the rise or abolishment of the retirement age in many countries, we’ll tend to extend our work lives. At the age of fifty, we could have one-third of our career ahead of us.

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