Generational Differences At Work

by Michael Haberman on October 12, 2007 · 1 comment


Author/columnist/blogger Penelope Trunk wrote a blog on the 5 workplace practices that should be over, now. Trunk is a writer and speaker who provides advice to the younger generations in the work place. Her blog The Brazen Careerist is a great source for identifying generational issues in the workplace.

In her blog on the 5 workplace practices two of them are clearly generational. First, she states that voice mail is seldom used by workers under the age of 30. Only the “old” people leave voice mails. For the under 30 crowed, they either use texting, email or just return the missed call. They don’t listen to or leave voice mails. So if you are having communication issues with younger workers (or if you are a younger manager and have older workers) take a look at the communication system you have set up and give the “generational test.”

The second practice that might be considered generaltional is using the “reply-to-all” button in email. As she says “This was a great button to have in 1993 when even the busiest people only got fifty emails a day. Back then reply to all was a way to have an inclusive conversation.
Now reply to all is only a way to annoy people and make
yourself look foolish.”

Her other three practices that she thought should be gotten rid of are:

  1. The office candy machine.
  2. The office fundraising drive.
  3. The massive office party.

She is an interesting read, especially for us “older” HR types. So I recommend you link to her blog and keep up with this “voice” of a younger generation.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Clive Sexton January 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

I think one of the biggest differences between generations is their approach to technology. As I comment on my blog, Generation V and Y are hard wired to approach technology in a different way to previous generations.

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