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financial crisis of 2008 and high unemploymentSocial media, election of Barack Obama, financial crisis of 2008 and high unemployment
Broad TraitsPatriotic, loyal, disciplined, conformist, possessed of a high work ethic and respect for authorityWorkaholic, idealistic, competitive, materialistic, possessed of a high work ethic, in search of personal fulfillmentSelf-reliant, adaptable, cynical, independent, technologically savvy, distrustful of authority, in search of work–life balanceEntitled, civic minded, close parental involvement, cyberliteracy, appreciatediversity, multitasking, in search of work–life balance, technologically savvyMultitasking, online life, cyberliteracy, communicate fast and onlineDefining InventionFax machinePersonal computerMobile phoneGoogle and FacebookSocial media and iPhone appsSOURCE: Adapted from J. C. Meister and K. Willyerd, The 2020 Workplace(New York: Harper Collins, 2010), 54–55; and R. Alsop, The Trophy Kids Grow Up (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008), 5.Table 4.3summarizes generational differences using common labels: traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials/Gen Ys, and the incoming Gen 2020s. We use such labels (and resulting generalizations) for sake of discussion. There are always exceptions to the characterizations shown in Table 4.3.77Millennials account for the largest block of employees in the workforce, followed by baby boomers. Thus Millennials are often managed by boomers, who possess very different values and personal traits. Conflicting values and traits are likely to create friction between people. Millennials also tend to change jobs more frequently than other categories of workers. For example, the median job tenure of people between 20 and 24 is less than 16 months. This puts pressure on companies to find ways to retain this talented segment of the workforce.78Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is addressing the issue head on. According to TheWall Street Journalthe firm is “rethinking the way it structures bankers’ early years at the firm. The bank is dangling carrots, including promises to speed the path to promotions and eliminating some of thegrunt work that often falls to younger employees.” In addition to lightening workloads, the company started having “town-hall-style meetings to address grievances to keep young people onboard.”79Will other groups of employees view these changes as unfair? Time will tell.Have age-related differences at school or work caused any conflicts for you? The following Self-Assessment was created to assess your attitudes toward older employees. Because the
term olderis relative, define older employeesin your own terms when completing the assessment.Educational Levels: Mismatch between Education and Organizational Needs There are three potential education–work mismatches:College graduates may be in jobs for which they are overqualified. The US Census Bureau estimates that26.8 percent of the US workforce has at least a college degree.