Generational Differences: 3 Favorite Mistakes of Baby Boomers in The Workplace

Posted on Sep 22 2011 at 07:49:06 PM in Business & Economy

If you are a Boomer experiencing frustration with four generations at work, you are not alone. Many employees today, whether Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X or Gen Y, are finding it a challenge to understand what other generations are thinking when it comes to time at work, dedication and work ethic, how to dress for the job, and how many cell phone breaks are necessary. Many things that were taken for granted in the past have flipped!

Like employee use of leave time.

I was with a friend last week who told of a rather exasperating thing that happened when her younger boss reproached her for accumulating leave time. I know this company well and they encourage employees to use leave time rather than accumulate it so that they stay healthy and perform well at work but, what confused my friend was that in former workplaces she was rewarded for not using leave, for making a sacrifice for the company that probably saves them money.

In this scenario and others, a Boomer can make common mistakes that will make it clear to anyone that they are behind the times and feeling sorry for themselves.

Here are 3 mistakes Boomers will want to avoid:

Mistake #1 Tell your younger boss about how this would never have happened in your previous jobs and about how so many things were different "back then".

What to do instead? Thank her for reminding you that the company values you enough to make certain you take leave to refresh yourself and have time with family and friends.

Mistake #2 Argue with your supervisor that things should be different, that she should be more appreciative of the sacrifices you make for the company.

What to do instead? Accept the reason why your supervisor reproached you; it's probably important enough for her to have brought it to your attention. And hey, schedule some leave!

Mistake #3 Feel singled-out because you're an older guy in a workplace of increasingly younger managers and workers.

What to do instead? Try to understand why some things have the opposite meaning today from what they did years ago. Things are changing, that's for certain and what has been established by your current employer is best accepted without wasting your energy on what you can't change.

These are very easy mistakes for Boomer employees to make. If your employer could do a better job of explaining why things are done differently, then let your manager know this at the appropriate time and with a positive frame of mind. You might even suggest Generational Differences training for everyone. Above all, don't give in to feeling less of an employee because you are older. You have a lot of value to share and are probably appreciated for it.


And now, I invite you to get more about the benefits of learning about generational differences from my new white paper, "Workplace Frustration: How to Reduce It and Manage Generation Y For An Increase in Company Profits". You'll find it free at my slide-up when you visit

Tinker Barnett Generational Gap Coaching  "Keep Your People and Your Profits"

  Article Information
Created: Sep 22 2011 at 07:49:06 PM
Updated: Sep 22 2011 at 08:26:29 PM
Language: English