Aspects and Impacts of Generational Diversity
This paper examines several aspects of generational diversity and its impact on law enforcement organizations. As the law enforcement profession prepares to move into the future it must also make ready for a changing of the guard, which will soon take place. The Traditionals and Boomers have been joined by two younger and vastly different generations of employees who bring new perspectives to law enforcement. This paper briefly discusses a few of the characteristics most commonly associated with each generation and how generational diversity will:
ƒ¶ CREATE CHANGE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS.
ƒ¶ AFFECT RECRUITING ACTIVITIES.
ƒ¶ AFFECT HOW TRAINING IS VIEWED BY MANAGEMENT AND PERSONNEL.
ƒ¶ REQUIRE NEW SKILLS AND MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES TO MOTIVATE A DIVERSE WORK FORCE.
ƒ¶ RESULT IN CHANGING THE DYNAMICS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT MANAGEMENT AND CULTURE.
Managing generational diversity will be a challenge that will have a tremendous impact on the future of law enforcement. Organizations will adapt out of necessity, to meet the challenge of successfully integrating four generations.
Generational diversity is an emerging issue for law enforcement. Today¡¦s workforce is different from any other in history now that four generations are working side-by-side. Law enforcement managers will have to learn to recognize the changing dynamics of personnel and develop strategic new approaches to old problems.
Traditionals were simply grateful for jobs and focused on stability, they were not inclined to question authority. Boomers inherited the need for stability and wanted a better life; many focused so much energy on work that it became their identity. Generation X was the first group to question authority, they want to be involved in the decision making process and are unwilling to wait until retirement for their rewards. Generation Y also wants to be more involved in decisions, have more flexibility, and like Generation X see work as the means to support their lives, not as a basis for self-image as the Boomers did.
Creative new recruitment and motivational techniques become critical as the number of applicants drop and the need for qualified personnel increases. Younger members of Generation X and Generation Y are becoming more and more valuable, since their combined population numbers do not match the Boomers¡¦ generation. As the Boomers and older members of Generation X start to retire, competition for candidates will increase sharply.
The four generations make up a dynamic and challenging workforce. The differences each generation brings will create exciting changes through organizational change and a shift in management¡¦s perspective on personnel issues. Only by understanding and respecting the generational differences, can Management successfully accomplish the blending of these four disparate generations into a...