Breath of Clarity

Comment #2: Multi-Generational Workplaces

Original Post by Ryan Hanlon:

Different generations can sometimes act like the boxes and descriptions that have been already devised for them. There are currently five generations working together and those typically include, 1) veterans, 2) baby boomers, 3) generation X, 4) generation Y and 5) i-generation. Those can span almost 20 years meaning someone who is 40 is expected to act like someone who is 20; however, this isn’t always the case. What is needed is understanding the underlying dreams, fears and emotions of every individual and understanding their “one-ness” (Georges n.d.).

Older generations should try to remember their own behavior when tested the tolerance and patience of their elders. Additionally, younger people should adopt the example of principled living and appreciate the enlightenment and information provided by the older generations. The result will be social structures that may enjoy knowledge and wisdom from the older generations as well as the spirit and vitality of the younger generations (Manning 2014, 336).

According to a study performed by a Boston Consulting firm, having a multi-generational and diverse workplace, has shown to provide 19% higher revenues due to innovation. This is significant for tech companies, start-ups and industries where innovation is the key to growth. Diversity can be an integral part of a successful revenue-generating business (Eswaran 2019).

The positives will hopefully outweigh the negatives and challenges; however, by changing unhealthy work environments through the triple filter test, changing how people work together through diverse environments can hopefully improve the workplace (Rolfsen n.d.).


Eswaran, Vijay. “The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming.” (World Economic Forum. 29 Apr 2019).

Georges, Leah. (n.d.) “Navigating the Multigenerational Workplace.” TEDxCreightonU. YouTube. May 30, 2018. Video, 15:17.

Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rolfsen, Glenn D. Year (n.d.) “How to start changing an unhealthy work environment.” TEDxOslo. YouTube. May 2, 2016. Video, 8:31.

My Comment:

Hi Ryan,

Great point that there is a large gap, 20 years, between the oldest and youngest individuals in a given generation. Your post highlighted the need for each person to look through the lenses of those who are different from them which is a main point of this week’s learning materials and the course in general. Empathy is a theme that seems to be reoccurring again and again. The unique past experiences of every individual that calls for empathy is partly based on the age group someone falls into and also other factors. I also appreciate that you portrayed each generation’s characteristics in a way that emphasizes the strengths people bring to the table. You’re showing that the challenge of having multiple generations in the workplace can truly be leveraged as an opportunity as it has shown to provide 19% higher revenues at companies that handle it well. A management that welcomes its employees having a say in innovation is going to encourage its employees to appreciate the differences amongst each other.