Sethi Learning


Generational Gap – Can It Be Curbed?

In today’s times, the differences between the generations have become evidently vast. This generational gap makes it difficult for us to not only relate with each other but also communicate effectively. It comes as no surprise that you do not need a magnifying glass to see through the prevalence of this problem, as it has gotten deeply ingrained in both our personal and professional lives. Keeping in mind the problems that arise due to generational gap have been present in every era. However, the pervasiveness of technology as well as the shift of the century have created a major gap that sometimes seems impossible to bridge. These issues have infiltrated the workplace, putting a question mark on age diversity.
Productivity and effectiveness of work is compromised when generational gap gives way to new problems every day. It is significant that the older band of employees display openness to new ideas from the younger employees. Similarly, it is equally important the younger band of employees display utmost respect and acknowledge their experience that has allowed the organization to thrive.
There are ways in which Generational Gap can be approached to ensure it does not affect work productivity:

Effective Communication for Generational Gap:

Communication is the key to building good relationships, be it with your family or your colleagues. It opens up ways to solving issues right when they start to bud their heads out. It is a known fact that lack of communication leads to a minor problem turning into a big fuss! Similar is the case with workplace problems. Often times, due to generational gap, employees are unable to effectively communicate with each other. In turn, this builds up the tension between them as unrealistic expectations are set and conflicts occur. It is also very important to consider the communication method of the employees, as each generation has their own preferred way which they rely upon. Therefore, it is essential for smooth running of the organization that each piece of the puzzle is taught to communicate their way out of problems.

Embracing Generational Gap Differences:

Lack of awareness of the differences between styles of conduct is one of the main reasons why problems occur in the first place. Both the younger and the older generation is clueless about why the other behaves in a certain manner, and this creates unnecessary misunderstandings. To curb the differences, one measure that can be taken is introducing intervention programs and workshops in the organization. These methods can be used to educate both the employers and employees on generational differences and making them accustomed to each other’s ways.

Shedding Light on the Similarities:

As important as embracing differences is, it is equally necessary that the main focus remains on the similarities that bind them together. These similarities may not come from their generational background as much as they come from keeping the company vision aligned. To do so, the weight lies on the shoulders of the founders to make sure their employees, both old and young, remember what the organization stands for. This is very crucial to ensure productivity is not at stake and work flow is not disturbed because of conflicts between the employees. They must be able to keep aside their personal vendettas and look at the bigger picture, that is to make the organization prosper.
To put it into perspective, it is the responsibility of each one of us to acknowledge that generational gap does exist. Not only this, but it is also possible to minimize the effects of this gap that may sometimes seep through in the workplace.