Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mixed generations

People usually think that it is too hard to mix different generations in one work team. Indeed, the parents would not work in the same team as their children and vice-versa. They do not have the same way of working because they were not educated the same way. But nowadays, nearly all the firms employ people from different generations. How can that work? Is it due to the new management, or to a change in mentalities?

Actually, we can notice that the number of  Gen Xers is growing faster than the number of Gen Ys, which means that the Ys do not replace the Xers. So they have to cohabitate in the same workplace. The youngest may be angry against the oldest, because they may think that they have less work because of them. This is the role of the manager to make them all work together. It may seem hard at the beginning, but actually, people are getting used in this new way of working.
This cohabitation is made possible thanks to the capacities of all the generations who work together. They make efforts to understand each other, and they share their competences. The oldest ones can share the experience they got from their previous works. The youngest ones are more aware of the new technologies, and are often more creative.
When we take that into consideration, work teams can be created, mixing the old and the young, the ones teaching the others.

The evolution of the demography, for the 60 past years, created a big change in the mentalities, which fostered workers of the different generation sto be inventive to work together.


  1. I definitely think that cohabitation is present in today's workforce. I think it's interesting because I can see it in a lot of different businesses. For example, I have work at different retail stores, and the age difference between employees differs greatly yet there is no problem working together. It definitely helps having people who are older or more experienced in the same business.

  2. I think it is important for generations to mix because it helps younger and older people to gain a new perspective on the world. If you only associate yourself with people your own age, you will not really care about anyone outside of that group, or sympathize with them. By gaining insight to others' lives, we can better make decisions that will benefit all people, rather than just ourselves and people who are like us.

  3. I have been a nursing major for three years in our school until last semester and this was something that I often encountered while doing clinical work in the hospitals. Cohabitation in the health care field, the way that I see it, has its disadvantages and advantages.

    One big disadvantage that I remember was the differences in the care given to the patients. For example, just the way older generation nurses gave shots to patients, or the way they took a patient's blood pressure, was different from the way we were taught in class. This then led to many disagreements between older generation nurses, new generation nurses, and student nurses.

    One of the many advantages, though, was that students and new generation nurses learn that there is more than one approach to a certain procedure. Older generation nurses have experienced a lot more than the new nurses and students, therefore helping them see that what they may have learned in class may not always be the most beneficial(or efficient)for the patients.

    I believe though that for cohabitation to work, it requires work on both the new generation and old generation's part. Just like what we learned in class, the idea of consensus is something vital to be able to work well as a functioning team. Once a consensus is achieved, one can see that both old and new generation can learn a lot from one another.

  4. Gen Yers (Millennials) are now the fastest growing part of the workforce. There are many challenges that Boomers have experienced managing Millenials. Gen Xers are serving as a bridge. They share some characteristics with Millennials, but they have had to put up with Booomer managers for a long time and can help both Millennial employees and Boomer managers to adapt.