Generations United in the Workplace
Posted on February 5, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
The future of the workplace will eventually be, if not already, filled with at least 4 generations at one time: Veterans, Baby-Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials. Can you imagine a team comprised of all four gens?
More and more veterans are coming out of retirement to survive the ’08 housing crash just to be able to pay their taxes. They are still allowed their social security, but it’s not enough to live happily ever after. USA TODAY reports “just last week that more people are delaying retirement and continuing to work past 65 mostly because they need the money. According to 2010 Census data, the share of workers 65 and older in the labor force rose to 16%, up from 12% in 1990.”
A vast majority of Boomers aren’t likely to retire any time soon with reports that most of them aren’t even close to saving for retirement – let alone a rainy day. According to USA TODAY, the average social security check for Boomers is $1,230 a month. Many Boomers are just resolved to working for the rest of their lives. Gen X isn’t far behind the Boomer Blues, but will have to learn to save, save, save, while trying feverishly to pay off their student loans. Many Millenials are graduating colleges with no less than a master’s degree, and some are going straight to getting Ph.Ds in order to earn the big bucks right out of the gate. Student loans outweigh the national credit card debt to the tune of a cool trillion dollars! And that’s not all, you cannot default or go bankrupt on student loans. You have to pay those loans off after death.
For whatever reason, many Americans of all ages will be in the work force at once for the first time ever.
As hard as the economy is right now, I still believe in a democratic America and free enterprise. We’ve bounced back before in more dismal times, due to our resilience, independence and spirit. I truly believe that no other nation on earth can boast the unity and camaraderie like the people of United States in times of jubilation or desperation; war, economic downturn, market crashes, and natural disasters. One of my favorite examples of American unity is when an American is visiting overseas and meets another fellow American. Both can be from different states, be Republican or Democrat, white or black, of Polish or Italian descent, but when it comes to being American, that’s all the matters off shore! Those differences are of no importance until we get back home for some reason.
You may think I was a bit off the track there for a moment, but I think I’m onto something here. When it comes to the different generations working together, there may be the same social phenomenon occurring. Outside of work, we may have our sets of prejudices already lined up against older or younger gens, when dealing with parents, children, strangers, but in the workplace, the playing field is leveled and there should be no “age walls” between the gens when it comes to work. Everyone should be treated with respect, and have the right to voice his or her opinions and ideas no matter how absurd, old-fashioned or outrageous.
We should accept all generations for their experiences, young and old. There’s so much more to draw upon. That is the richness of our culture, which embraces all age groups, races, ethnicities and personalities.