What do you think about generational stereotypes?
In the last several years I have seen more articles and talks about how to manage an intergenerational workforce than I care to count. I actually believe that these prescribed presentations have done more to damage intergenerational relations than help. It has given us free reign to slap labels on people and strip them of their individuality. It is no more than a list of traits attributed to someone based on a specific demographical category.
Part of the challenge is that generations typically span about 15-20 years. This puts a 15 year old in the same bucket as a 30 year old or a 45 year old in the same bucket as a 65 year old and assumes those individuals want the same things based on their life experiences. I don’t need to go into why that logic does not work. Another part of the challenge is that it suggests that all 35 year olds want the same things. Many 35 year olds have children, many don’t. Many 35 year olds are homeowners, many are renters. Many 35 year olds are engineers, others work for nonprofits. People who have different life experiences have different priorities.
So, what can we do? How do we design workplaces so that we can all just get along? Click here to read my full column in this week’s FLORIDA TODAY.
Erica Lemp is the of executive director of weVENTURE. Twitter: @Erica_Lemp