You’re on vacation in the Bahamas and your colleague e-mails you a question about the report she is scheduled to present to the board later that day. With your Blackberry close at hand, you quickly answer her message and get back to your hot rock massage.
Monday morning, you return to the office sun-kissed and ready for a 10 a.m. meeting. During the meeting, your boss volunteers your time to stay late every night that week to prepare an important proposal. When you protest, your boss, a veteran at the company, questions your work ethic.
Research has identified four distinct generations of employees in the workplace. Each generation brings their own set of attitudes and behaviors; managing expectations is a challenge for employers. However, if employers ignore differences between generations, there can be an adverse impact on staff motivation, engagement and retention according to management expert Claire Simmers, Ph.D.
Simmers, chair and professor of management at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, recently participated in a panel sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce where she offered advice on how to bridge generational gaps in the workplace.