Generational differences can cause conflict in the workplace, but both young and old need to work toward a place of mutual understanding.
- Mentoring and developing relationships with younger workers is a valuable tool for managers in the workplace, but generational differences can sometimes make that difficult.
- Workplace expert Nina Nesdoly reminds bosses that yelling at staff does little to encourage productivity and can instead create tension and anxiety, Study Finds reports.
- Nesdoly found that one of the main factors leading to workplace conflicts is generational misunderstandings in the office.
- Gen Z and other younger workers are more likely to enforce boundaries and emphasize a work-life balance while older generations emphasize hard work, loyalty to a company, and are more likely to endure verbal abuse or toxicity.
Why it’s news
Navigating generational differences can be key to creating a harmonious workplace. Both older and younger generations need to give one another some leeway and meet each other halfway to create a collaborative workspace and strong company culture.
“With Gen Z, we are seeing that there is a stronger inclination towards boundaries at work and work-life balance. There is a balance to be struck between the older generation and the younger generation to ensure that they are both respecting employee mental health and that work is getting done that needs to,” Nesdoly says.
In this way, Nesdoly believes that both generations can learn from one another. Older workers have strong work ethics and a sense of duty that some younger workers can learn from, and Gen Z employees tend to set boundaries better than their more senior colleagues, Study Finds reports.
The relationship between a boss and employees is one of the most critical factors in navigating these generational differences. If a manager has a strong rapport with his team, they can develop an understanding that allows for some leeway when generational differences cause conflict.
Other studies have shown that the boss sets the tone for workplace culture. If the manager exhibits toxic tendencies and habits, those attributes will be passed on to the employees. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University found a “significant” link between toxic bosses and toxic coworkers.
Employers set the tone for the workplace, and it is their job to ensure all team members feel supported and secure.