What frustrates young workers about older workers?

Working with different generationsQ: What do you find the biggest frustrations that young people have in the workplace when working with older people?

Top 3 Complaints from Youth about Older Workers

  • Speed of Using and Understanding Technology

The primary complaint I hear from young people about older people is that they find many older people struggle with technology and are slower to understand and get work done.

The solution starts with the company management who needs to make sure that no assumptions are made about technology. The speed that technology changes means that there will forever be a learning curve. Even if an person knows a program in a previous version, every time there is an upgrade there is a new learning curve. Proper training and access to continued training will keep all employees up to speed.

Secondly, this is the perfect opportunity for the younger worker to become a resource and learn valuable skills at the same time. By being willing to give tips and show how to use technology, the younger worker gains skills in staff training and development, a very marketable asset.

  • Complaining about work performance and other workers

This can easily go both ways but often older workers are guilty of categorically putting down entire generations. Communication is key. Instead of gossiping about how young people work or what wasn’t done, the older worker needs to find ways to help the younger workers develop a strong work ethic. Modeling and building relationships will go much further than complaining or gossiping about each other.

  • Speed of work in general

Older workers are often more thorough than the younger generation and this is perceived as being slow. Much like the technology example above, if young workers study the work habits of the older worker, two things can be learned. One is a solid work ethic of quality workmanship and the other is another training opportunity. Young workers can perceive faster ways of getting things done and when those ways are communicated successfully, it is an opportunity to improve overall workflow.

In general, as I said here, communication is key to resolving all generational issues. If you communicate with each other, many misconceptions are eliminated completely.

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  1. Kellie M. Mercie on June 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

    That’s right we must the ability of the worker before we hired them .We must know their performance and also there valuable skill . Thanks for sharing this .

    • Julie Walraven on June 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      true enough, Kellie. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Aaron D. Ferguson on June 15, 2012 at 3:13 am

    What frustrates young workers about older workers is that sometimes the older workers always using seniority.

    • Julie Walraven on June 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Aaron, I suppose you are right, I never thought of that when I wrote this post. So when they say they have seniority that means you don’t get to suggest new ideas or you don’t get the same benefits and salary?

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