Two young professionals work together

How Diversity and Generation Gaps Can Affect a Company

Although the workplace in the 21st century is more culturally diverse, there is still a generational gap that must be handled carefully. This generation gap can affect a company’s overall performance and success. According to an article by Elizabeth Andal, a writer for Life Hack titled “8 Communication Skills to Overcome the Generational Gap,” she mentions how “In every generation, communication plays a vital role towards a functioning society… It comes as no surprise that several distinct generations are mingling more now than ever before, and communication between these groups is increasingly important and challenging.”

While I agree that communication is a major factor in helping different generations within a company better understand each other, and thus create cohesion in the workplace, I would also argue that the differing work styles between the generations creates a dissonance.

For instance, take a person born in 1976, a part of Generation X (those born between the mid-1960s to 80s) and place them in the workforce. In an article by Rider University titled “Intergenerational Communication Issues: Management Tips for a More Effective Workplace” it places Gen X with those who “grew up with more advanced technology than baby boomers and are more comfortable using modern devices, but lack the native understanding of tech that younger generations possess. Many members of Generation X can use technology as effectively as millennials, but value the same face-to-face social skills that baby boomers prefer.”

As you can see, members of Generation X have a somewhat better understanding of technology than baby boomers, yet as we see with Generation Z and presumably millennials, we’ve grown up in a world rife with more advanced technology than those of Gen X, but what we lack are the communication skills necessary to have a good work relationship.

Diversity, too, plays a role in the gap in a company. This includes not just the racial gap, but the gender gap as well. Throughout much of America’s early history, the workforce was dominated by white males. Now, though, diversity has become a major part of companies’ hiring processes which can lead to more and more young people appearing in the workplace. While this may bring new perspectives to a company, it can also cause older, more experienced workers to have to adapt to an ever-changing work environment.

Should older, more experienced workers have to adapt?

I don’t think they should. If a company wants both young people and old to enter their company, there has to be a balance between the working styles of the older generation and the more technologically savvy Millennials and Gen Z. One way that this can happen is for young people to earn to let go of stereotypes about the older generation. Companies can invest in ways for the older generation to teach the up-and-coming younger generation.

In an article by Ola Danilina, a writer for BuiltIn, titled “Tengia Introduces Service to Bridge the Generation Gap & Redefine Retirement,” she mentions how, in 2016, more Americans over the age of 65 were continuing to work (rather than retire) than in the past.

Danilina says that “By making the workforce more accessible for people over the age of 65, Tengia ultimately aims to bridge the generation gap between millennials who dominate the workforce today and those who wish to continue working past the traditional age of retirement.”

In conclusion, in order for the generational gaps to push the company towards its future, there has to be a balance between the older generation and the new. A way for the older generations to feel that the work they are doing is important to the company while simultaneously bringing in those within Generation Z who will carry the company into the future.


Andal, Elizabeth. “8 Communication Skills to Overcome the Generational Gap.”, Lifehack.

 “Intergenerational Communication Issues: Management Tips for a More Effective Workplace.” Rider University.

Danilina, Ola. “Tengia Introduces Service to Bridge the Generation Gap and Redefine Retirement.” BuiltInLA, Built In, 7 October 2016


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