Bridging The Generational Divide in The Workplace


The Other Side of the Enigma: The Z’s

Well, they come with expectations and ambitions and we have to fulfill good part of that, then  re-engineer the younger people to help them achieve the rest, But!

New comers sometimes overdo it, that’s true. Some of the Z cults feel the market need and do overestimate or misinterpret their employers demand on their services. This becomes a cause for misbehavior like arrogance, true lack of discipline and self-centeredness.

Thus  all parties carry some  responsibility in raising the issue in the workplace. But, with some wisdom implemented, the bigger load  in resolving the enigma lies on the shoulders of the X and Y people. They have to provide the fertile soil to grow something good for organization to reap.

Before we discuss solutions and responsibilities, let’s first see the  impact of the divide on the workplace.

The Impact in The Workplace

Anyone in this business can write this section as good as I’ll do, and maybe better, I’m sure. We all witnessed it, just be frank!

Today, the Generational Divide is tacitly impairing the work environment which is comprised of a  majority of Z’s  controlled by those  Y’s and maybe a minority of X’s. You can feel it first in the churn rate. The younger leave either to younger organizations and sometimes to their own or their colleagues’ startups. They want them: Autonomy and Enablement, and that’s where they think they can get them.

And if they stay, that would be on the expense of their wellbeing.  You can notice it in the nagging and discomfort, absenteeism and lack of loyalty you may observe there.

One more thing  that gets degraded without relating that to the environment anomalies is quality. The quality that  a human produces, especially in cognitive work, is  in fact is a reflection of his/her wellbeing. If you want better products, use happy people, nothing can be said simpler than that.

If things get worse, the organization experiences what can be called Cultural Silos. Whereby you may find loosely coupled teams  with different views to things and complete lack of collaboration and integration. This happens when the “wiser” layers of the X’s and higher Y’s don’t engage to form that backbone of soft influence that all people can gather  around.

Last, but most dangerous, is that operating under these conditions long enough actually “brands” the organization for being “Old fashioned”, sometimes “Gloomy” or “Schoolish”, as they describe it when they leave it. In many cases, I heard those younger ones saying that they feel like school boys/girls working with this or that organization.  “We are always told what to do, and how to do it and we are rarely asked for our opinions and suggestions”. Just that!

This is really dangerous, and is becoming more dangerous as the digital transformation is hitting the industry with its winds of change.