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  /  Generations

I’m a nerd. I’m proud to be one, and like most of us out there, I didn’t realize I was one [a nerd] until there was absolutely no turning back. I wasn’t just one of the recent entrances to information technology, I’ve been lucky enough to be there at the start of the Internet. I was developing websites when a website was simply a way to say, “hey world look at me, I exist, and can anyone else see me?” And I did it without knowing any of the native language beyond the basic terms like HTML, Google hadn’t been born yet.

For the first time in the history of our workforce, the four generations are working together all at once. Or are they? When employees’ perceptions vary on what it means to be accountable from one generation to the next, employers will be challenged with raising both team and individual levels of accountability. “There is a growing realization that the gulf of misunderstanding and resentment between older, not so old, and younger employees in the workplace is growing and problematic. It is a rift that will not heal itself of just go away…it is a problem based in economics, demographics, and world views that must be confronted to be solved (Generations at Work, Remke, Raines, Filipczak).” This situation presents two distinct opportunities that employers and employees need to be intimately aware of:

Since the time of my Healdsburg High School graduation ceremony in 1993, the speech topics have taken a dramatic shift from the what the students are learning about to what they are learning about each other, and, more importantly, the degree to which they are socially accepted by others, accelerated and facilitated by social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter. This is part of the Millennial Shift, in which the 13 to 30-year-old generation is quickly rising to take the lead or dominant cultural position in leading what the norms, values, and beliefs. The shift will be revealed and evident through the behaviors adopted by this generation, and will not complete until the Millennials have entered the workforce.