A friend of mine told me recently that she had e-mailed a funny story about her pre-teen daughter to her 75-year-old mother and promptly got the response, “LOL.” My friend said she was glad her mother was LOL, because had she been ROTFL, then she would have been worried if her mother could get up. My friend went on to tell me that her mother thanked her for the gift certificate she had e-mailed to her 85-year-old stepfather for his birthday. My friend told me that he applied the gift certificate to his online account and used it to download books for his new e-reader.
A story like this makes you wonder if we’ve got this whole generation gap concept right.
The bottom line: It’s time for HR and talent management professionals to stop looking at what divides us among the generations and start with what keeps us together—our desire for our organizations to succeed, our need for good leaders, finding success in our careers, and recognizing that we all face aging and uncertainty in our futures.
Some things all generations have in common:
- We all want our organizations to succeed
- We all want the same thing from our leaders
- We all want some measure of success in our careers
- We are all aging
- We will all face challenges in the future
Download UNC’s white paper below titled, Rethinking Generation Gaps in the Workplace: Focus on Shared Values. This white paper reviews emerging studies that suggest, while there are some tensions among the generations, the generation gap has been overly exaggerated in the popular press. In fact, the different generations may actually have more in common than previously thought. These studies will be used to highlight the values generations share in the workplace and provide guidance to HR and talent management professionals on how to improve organizational culture and communication by focusing on and leveraging these common traits.