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Why Connection Is Important

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The Sunday Times | London

Why connection is important

I'm not like most people, why not? Because I AM somebody. This is the attitude many youngsters, or the y-generation, have today. The Y-generation asks for an environment full of creative, dynamic and hardworking people. Youngsters set high standards and are demanding towards job-possibilities. This is unlike their parents, who have a more humble attitude towards working. This humble attitude has been wrapped around the x-generation, because it historically has been more difficult to get a job, than it is today. Daughters and sons are not always following their parents' career path like in the old days, and this adds to a renewed or redefined labor market - a market, where both the X- and Y-generation are colleagues, but also competitors. This will of course lead to some problems or should I say challenges?

The two main challenges are the layout of the working place and the differences between the X- and Y-generation. It is rare to see a young person in a new job, who manages to gain control of things right away. Respect is not something you have; respect is something you have to obtain. This is in broad ways the philosophy of many X-persons. Of course this makes common sense, because newcomers must learn all the routines and such, but something is fundamental wrong with this statement. Respect should not be measured by the time you have been a place, but by your qualifications and personal qualities.

The X-generation obtains an old fashioned view, partly because new technology wasn't developed as fast as it is today. The Y-generation is a much more dynamic generation, who constantly seeks to improve things. The X-generation is, looking generally at it, a much more conservative generation, who wants to keep things as they are. Two different points of views meet and it causes problems. The X-generation claims the Y-generation for being demanding and workshy and on the contrary, the Y-generation claims the X-generation for being inflexible and not thinking outside the box.

It is pretty obvious that these two poles are not working well together, so how can conflicts be prevented? Each others background and the differences between the generations must be put into consideration first. The Y and X both posses some tools that are useful for the company, but sometimes companies do not allow these tools to be used together. There could be problems with bosses, older employees and such, who are neglecting ideas from newcomers. There could be older employees, who are being bullied because of their age and so on. It's important for the company to identify these kinds of problems. Most of the times, these problems occur because of prejudice or the lack of good communication. It's therefore important for companies to educate and to hire leaders, who are able to both identify and solve problems of these kinds.

Although problems, as described above, could be solved by dividing the generations up into branches, where an employee is only work together with people from his/her own generation, it's not sure that companies really will benefit more from it. Companies should instead aim at balancing their staff, so that they would have some from both generations - of course this depends on the specific type of company. Having folks with a lot of experience and some young folks, who see things in a whole new perspective, allows companies to expand their knowledge and their potential growth. People from the X-generation could then work as mentors for newcomers, so that every person from the Y-generation had a father figure that they could develop new ideas with.



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