Khoa Nguyen 1
Prof. Kathryn Ready
Questions for Critical Thinking – Chapter 4
Nowadays, “this is the first time in American history that we have had
different generations working
side-by-side in the workplace.” (Hammill, 2005) It creates situations in which managers easily make comparisons
between distinct cohorts of employees. Referring to generational differences in the workplace, a manager remarked:
"Thirty-five years ago, the young employees we hired were ambitious, conscientious, hardworking, and honest.
Today's young workers don't have the same values.” Although I hold an obvious perception that today’s workers
have different values, different attitudes, and different motivations from workers a generation ago, I partly disagree
with that statement. In my opinion, it is unreasonable to assume that values of hard-working, conscientiousness,
ambition and honesty disappear in youth generation today.
At first, in order to clarify discrepancies in values between cohorts, one necessary thing that should be done
is to identify exactly which generations will be mentioned, compared and contrasted. My idea is that today’s young
workers are a combination of Xers and Nexters who have entered the workforce since 1985. Meanwhile, young
employees thirty-five years ago encompassed a majority of Boomers and a minority of Veterans. Each generation
definitely has distinct attitudes and values. For instance, Boomers are conservative, committed to work, and loyal to
their career. In contrast, Xers are open-minded, interested in life pleasure, and loyal to their relationships. Those
discrepancies are going to be analyzed in more detail thorough following paragraphs. However, it is difficult to
assess which values are more precious and more desirable. I believe that the most important role of a manager is to
have thorough understandings of each dominant value and to bridge generation gaps to create authentic teams for
high performance at work.
In respect of hard-working, this is the only part I feel agreeable to the statement above because employees