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How to Bridge Generation Gaps In the Office

Valuable lessons for working in a multigenerational workplace​

The American workforce is changing as boomers increasingly find themselves working alongside millennials, the oldest of which are now adults themselves, and new graduates alike. These generational gaps may reveal a need to improve the way in which we engage with one another in the workplace.


Misconceptions have stunted communication between generations in the office, with experienced workers often assuming others are simply too lazy, and younger generations sometimes ignorant of the benefits and wealth of knowledge a seasoned workforce can offer.


As one IBM study revealed, “The fundamental distinction between millennials and older employees is their digital proficiency. Millennials are the first generation to grow up immersed in a digital world.”


But while younger generations may have an advantage on the technological front, that technology has also limited the ways in which many millennials have developed social skills, particularly in the workplace. When it comes to bridging this generational gap, often lost in translation are the skills and benefits that each group can bring.

Read on to discover lessons that each generation can learn from one another in the workplace.


Lessons from 20- and 30-year-olds Often fresh out of college and eager to hit the ground running, what those in their 20s may lack in office etiquette, they make up for in fresh and innovative new ideas. Need help converting that PDF document into a Word doc? They’ve got you covered. Confused about the difference between a Snap or a Tweet? They can assist with that, too.


Then there are those in their 30s. Frequently overlooked, the first generation of millennials are able to remember life before the internet, yet young enough to move between new technology and trends with ease. It’s also the first generation to face ballooning education costs and staggering student loan payments, making them less likely to stay with a company in hopes of rising through the ranks the way their parents did. This group is more willing to move around in search of jobs and roles with fairer compensation. In the workplace, this group can approach business challenges with a mix of real life and technological solutions that may include apps to streamline projects and processes.


Read this story in full at AARP's "Sisters From AARP Newsletter" - April 2019

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