Office Culture Wars Essay

841 words - 3 pages

There are compelling issues organizations have to deal with in order to successfully incorporate all generations currently in the workforce. Generational differences can affect the environment of an office both positively and negatively. “Office culture wars: don't be a casualty of generational battles” is an article written by Carla DeVelder in the Student Lawyer. DeVelder wants to improve the understanding between all the different generations breaking down labels and improving communication.
The main purpose of this article is to provide a contextual overview of the characteristics of each generation and the pitfalls of categorizing everyone into a perceived stereotype. The author clearly states the reason for the article by listing several stereotypes of the generations that most people identify as being matter-of-fact. Veterans hate technology and disliking change, Baby Boomers are workaholics and place value on teamwork, Gen-Xers are skeptical and disloyal, and Millennials feel entitled needing constant responsibility and feedback are some of the generalizations people make about the different age brackets. Of course, according to DeVelder, not every person will fit into one of these categories, but even if he or she does, those generational differences should not be ignored (DeVelder).
The key question that the author is addressing is how to be aware and sensitive to all areas of generational diversity by not dismissing it or ignoring it. The question expresses the complexity of the issue since most places of employment are comprised of a diverse group of employees with age being a part of that diversity. DeVelder believes by highlighting the cultural differences between the generations it will help to increase sensitivity and protect the workplace from inadvertently beginning a generational war (DeVelder).
The most important information in this article is the mode of communication used by the different age groups. Technology has changed the way workers are expected to communicate. The author points to the generational stereotypes and the preferences in communication, which can be impacted by the ever-changing technology. DeVelder feels that stereotypes lead people to believe that Veterans prefer a formal memo submitted in triplicate to Millennials who prefer text messaging; however, neither form of communication could be acceptable to the supervisor. It makes communication in the workplace challenging (DeVelder).
The main inferences/conclusion in this article is that broad generalizations concerning the culture of different generations do not provide much real-world guidance. In the areas of communication, dress code, work ethic, and feedback, all workers need to follow protocol. The author does a good job at emphasizing these particular areas. In the article, all employees are expected to be reasonable and make adjustments in their specific work setting according to the appropriateness...

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