During my final years in Corporate America, I started noticing just how different I was in comparison to my younger colleagues.
The truth is, there have always been differences between generations within the workplace, and as new generations enter the workforce, business etiquette has become one of those issues. One of the main etiquette issues on the table is dress code. Baby boomers came up during a time when women still wore dresses to church and men wore ties to work. In today’s culture, you don’t necessarily need to wear a dress to church, nor do you have to wear a tie to work. However, baby boomers still feel that maintaining a somewhat formal dress code in the work place is a sign of respect. Generation Y views things a little differently, and think business casual might mean flip-flops and shorts. As a result, baby boomers view Generation Y as disrespectful, and Generation Y view baby boomers as illogical, while neither one is true.
There is also the issue of communication. baby boomers tend to want to have face-to-face meetings, while Generation Y want to know why they can’t just text you. Again, baby boomers misconstrue this to mean that Generation Y is disrespectful and unprofessional, and Generation Y feels as though baby boomers are unreasonable and inefficient.
Is there a clear cut way to close this generation gap in the workplace?