Generational Conflict in the Workplace Essay

1513 Words Oct 4th, 2013 7 Pages
Conflict in the workplace is not a new problem. Having many generations working towards the same goal will almost always cause some friction. It becomes the responsibility of administrators/managers in the workplace to not only understand the source of this conflict, but also diffuse it before it becomes counterproductive. Conflict can be a very powerful tool in the workplace if not allowed to get out of hand. Each generation in the workplace has much to learn from the others. They also have much to teach. Using “The Wheel of Conflict” to understand this conflict will allow for a more productive, and less hostile workplace.

Factors Leading to Conflict
With the recent downturn in the economy and the
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Communication Another common factor that leads to this conflict has to be communication. As stated before, the younger generation has grown up in a world of technology. They are perfectly confortable communicating through email, sums, or social networking sites. These modes of communication are well within their comfort zones. This comfort with impersonal communications has one major drawback. Many Gen Yers do not possess the ability to speak face to face, and express their ideas. Inability to communicate will cause great problems in the workplace.
Gen Yers may misinterpret constructive criticism from older colleagues, and older colleagues may feel that younger individuals are disrespectful within the workplace. The fact is that neither group is right, and neither is wrong. Most Gen Yers are not intentionally disrespectful; they simply need to learn how to properly communicate in the workplace. The comfort level they possessed at home is not appropriate at the office. At the same time the older generations need not write off the younger generations because of some communication miscues.
Values and relationships also play a large role in this conflict. First off Gen Yers consist of nearly 50% of non-native North Americans. Most Gen Yers have liberal attitudes towards gay marriage and interracial dating. They are critical of the ethics and morality of business. They

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