Creating Synergy in a Four-Generation Workplace

This case study, written by Ritz Rizzo, MSc, CMC for undergraduate students, is based on generational differences in a metropolitan children’s museum. Employees from four generations - Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials - experienced communication challenges, differing values systems, disparate approaches to work, and interpersonal conflict. Learners assume different generation roles and address these issues in a team setting. By the end of the case, learners explore the preferred communication methods and styles to use to be effectively heard and understood in each generations; identify the work ethic characteristics of each generation in today’s workplace; respond to generational differences that affect workplace performance and productivity; and collaborate with others to create and sustain a work environment that capitalizes on generational diversity. This module requires three 50-minute classes to complete; instructional materials include an instructor’s manual and a student workbook.