New York Times workplace trendspotter Lisa Belkin writes today about the culture clashes arising now that four generations are in the workplace at one time. The World War II generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y have very different values and expectations that are not always compatible co-existing in the workplace. Think belly rings clashing with Brooks Brothers, or flex-time worship versus yuppie ladder climbing.
Belkin writes about programs designed to translate workplace standards and communication styles across these boundaries: "Summer is the season of culture shock in the working world, when the old guard comes face to face with a next wave of newcomers, and the result is something like lost tribes encountering explorers for the first time."
This trend story feels a little pat and overgeneralized, but Belkin's article made me smile because I had just been thinking about what it means to have four generations online. In this case, the tables are turned with the younger generations as the experts who have grown up with online technology as their native culture, and senior family members more or less along for the ride. In our family, the grandparents are online, which is a good thing, but I have run into my own case of culture shock when my father reads my blogs. … Read more