Leadership / Management | Organizational Development | Training & CPE

The rising rift between Generations X and Y spells trouble

Finally, another post about the widening generational divide between Generation Y (the millennials) and Gen Xers.

Check out Penelope Trunk's column in her blog, Brazen Careerist. She posts the words of millennial Rebecca Thorman from Thorman's blog, Modite.

I happen to think this is a major emerging challenge in the workplace. I wrote about this in my post, Something's Gotta Give. Read the view from the millennial's perspective (Rebecca) and then think about how her (probably) Gen X managers are sandwiched between these high-energy millennials and the workaholic Boomer partners.

Rebecca and Penelope do a great job articulating the subtle but significant differences between the Gen X and Gen Y generations. Here are some of those differences (read her post for the full articles):

  1. Different job markets: Gen Y has much more bargaining power due to the talent shortage than the Gen Xers, who entered in a poor market.
  2. Gen X's cynicism vs. Gen Y's idealism.
  3. You vs. us: Gen Xers tend to rely on themselves (versus others) and to be solitary. Gen Yers are pack animals due to their hyper-networked culture (think Web 2.0).

In our town hall meetings, the section on generational differences is always one with the most discussion. This is an area that we are all going to have to figure out.

What are you doing to bridge these generations? How are you dealing with these rising rifts?