INDUSTRY NEWS & NOTES | QUOTABLES
Intergenerational conflict among employees is an
issue at almost three quarters of organizations—a
problem more than half of organizations are trying to
rectify, according to a poll from the Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM).
Released in May, SHRM’s study, Intergenerational
Conflict in the Workplace, revealed that 44 percent of
respondents said intergenerational conflict existed to a
“slight degree” in their organizations; 25 percent said to
“some degree,” and 3 percent said to a “large degree.”
More than 400 randomly selected SHRM members participated in the study.
Approximately one-quarter of respondents said conflict between the different generations does not exist in
their workplace environments. Respondents from organizations with fewer than 500 employees were more
likely to report the generation gap as a problem in their
offices, according to the survey.
People managers at organizations cited inappropriate
dress first and foremost, followed by poor work ethic,
as problems with younger employees. More than one
third of respondents also suggested informality, the
need for supervision and lack of respect for authority as
problems. Younger workers cited resistance to change,
lack of recognition and a tendency to micromanage as
problems with older managers.
Respondents, of all ages, expressed concerns regarding the other generations’ use of technology. Younger
employees said older employees’ “aversion to technology” is a problem; while older employees said younger
employees’ “inappropriate use of or excessive reliance
on” technology is a source of concern.
Despite the multitude of problems associated with
intergenerational workforces, companies are not shying
away from these tough issues, according to the survey results. Fifty-six percent of respondents said their
organizations are addressing intergenerational conflict
through increased coaching and mentoring for managers ( 61 percent); implementation or increased coaching
for non-managers ( 44 percent); and increased training
on job expectations for new hires ( 38 percent).
Abound in Workplace
“The superior man is easy to
serve, but difficult to please.
The inferior man is difficult to
serve, but easy to please.”
—CONFUCIUS, CHINESE PHILOSOPHER
“In the business world, the
rearview mirror is always
clearer than the windshield.”
—WARREN BUFFETT, AMERICAN INVESTOR
“ To open a shop is easy; to
keep it open is an art.”
“Aim above the mark to hit
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON, AMERICAN POET
“Man cannot discover new
oceans unless he has the
courage to lose sight of the
—ANDRÉ GIDE, FRENCH AUTHOR
“A man with a surplus can
control circumstances; but
a man without a surplus is
controlled by them, and often
has no opportunity to exercise
—HARVEY S. FIRESTONE, AMERICAN BUSINESS MAN
A goal without a plan is
just a wish.
—ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY, FRENCH WRITER AND AVIATOR