Background Differences Between the Generations in Your Team

Background Differences Between the Generations in Your Team

The background differences between the generations in your team are the main factor in the formation of their attitudes and values.

Effects of technology: The use and understanding of technology are a main difference among the generations.  The Traditionalist had very little exposure and need for computers and other devices that we take for granted today.  Even some Baby Boomers may struggle with technology.  They tend to use it only as needed, and usually only at work.  On the other hand, Generation X and Y grew up with technology and they use it more as a part of daily life.  Technology changed the way humans communicate and process data.  The use or nonuse of technology creates a gap that could be seen by a generation as either an advantage or disadvantage.

For example, a Generation X or Y could become easily frustrated with their older generation counterpart when they struggle with technological issues they see as easy.

Effects of media: Media has boomed over the last 20 years.  Television, computers, the Internet, and smart phones have increased the amount and availability of entertainment programming.  Many Generation X and Y’s were raised with media as a large part of their diet.  On the other hand, the older generations relied on human interaction for their daily entertainment.  This affects how the generations interact with each other.

For example, an older generation may prefer to speak with a coworker face-to-face, but the younger would rather text or instant message their conversation.

Finally, social events like war and culture revolutions distinguish a generation’s background.  Traditionalist lived through many years of war and it became a real part of their lives.  Baby Boomers experienced the Hippie revolution of the 1960s, which opened the door to changes in our society.  Generation X and Y’s enjoy the benefits of the changes, but they have not lived through such dramatic social events.

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