I don’t know about these kids today…

I remember hearing my parents say that and yet here we are discussing how we manage different generations.  One of the critical components to understanding the management gap is broken into defined sections and studying those sections so that we can better understand the driving factors that will, or could, influence behaviors.

Let’s go into more detail:

1.       First, we define the Generational Gap  

“A group of individuals that are roughly the same age and whose experiences are influenced by the same set of significant historical events during key developmental periods in their lives[1]”.  Each generation experiences defining events as will COVID likely have on the current generation(s).


2.       The Workforce is Changing

There is no denying that the workforce is changing generations.  Although the generational names are changing, the obstacles discussed today are not very different from what they were 10 or 20 years ago. It is important to understand that with more generations working, a need exists to work together and understand and appreciate the different viewpoints each generation brings to the table.


3.       Feedback desire is about learning and not just “why”

Our needs, wants, desire, motivation, understanding change the longer we are operating in a professional environment.  Those needs/ wants/ desires change based on the stage that we were at in life or, specifically, how long someone held a position, not because of the generation.  Generations were irrelevant but the stage of your professional career was much more relevant. A great example of this age base information is inside this survey completed in 2020 on desired of feedback based on age groups.   As our own Dave Taylor likes to say “when I left the military I was on the right side of this chart, I didn’t need as much feedback. After retiring and joining the corporate world and learning about running a business, I wanted and needed more feedback. And guess what, I am not a millennial”.


In summary, contrary to popular belief the generational gaps that exist today are very similar to what they were 30 years ago but the names and the stereotypes for those generations are very different.  Different, not because of the individual makeup but because of the key events that created meta experiences to each of those generations.

One generation is not right, and one generation is not wrong, they are just different. That is a great thing, and it needs to be embraced. There is a vast amount of knowledge, opinions, perspectives, that when brought together makes for a powerful organization and team.

If you would like to learn more about our award-winning leadership and performance training, please message us on LinkedIn. Or if you would like to learn more about our courses, including “Managing Multi-Generational Teams”, please visit us at www.ldrleadership.com.

[1] Costanza- Generational Differences in Work-Related Attitudes