Dr. Rhetta Standifer discussed generational and age diversity in the workplace
A higher education workforce today can easily encompass four, or even five, generations. Even though the oldest and youngest are sparsely represented now, such a generational span—as people live and work longer—signifies an unusual time in the history of work. And while research on generational challenges in the higher education workplace is limited, there is more information available on the impact on the workplace in general. Research has found that generational differences are far more often perceived than real; nonetheless, if people think there are real distinctions, they will still make assumptions that can hamper workplace relationships.
Dr. Rhetta Standifer, associate professor of management at North Central College, interviewed with The Chronicle of Higher Education, where she addressed the generational similarities and differences of values at work, such as preferred forms of communication, teamwork, security, recognition, autonomy, and fun.
“We had subject tell us what they personally valued, but then had them go through three different iterations—‘this is what I think a millennial would think, this is what I think a boomer would think, and this is what a Gen Y-er would think,” said Standifer. “By far the generations are much more similar to each other than different. They all had the same core values, but their perceptions of each other differed widely.”