The Generation Gap – It’s Alive and Well, and Thriving in Your Office!

How businesses are harnessing diversity for business success

With baby boomers deferring their retirement, and Generation Z workers soon to be joining the X and Y intakes, the cultural differences between generational groups have never been more apparent, creating real anxiety in some organisations around how they should be managed.

Aside from the obvious respective preferences in the use of communications media, there are, of course other significant differences in different generational groups’ attitudes to: leadership, authority, profitability, transparency, work-life balance, preferred training methods, clothing and language – especially in the written form – and even punctuality, from which it can be argued that there may be insurmountable differences in the work ethic of each group.

But others contend that this approach is giving in to the problem, rather than embracing the opportunity.

Henley’s leadership and management programmes promote a deep self-understanding and contextual awareness that gives participants the tools and techniques to make the best use of the capabilities of each generational group. So whilst typically, older workers might have been seen as more inclined towards operational or financial processes, and social media roles might be better suited to those classified as Generation Y, these should never be seen as stereotypes, and each individual’s talents need to be understood and utilised to optimise their contribution to the organisation.

From Developing Management Practice, which delivers pragmatic insights for new managers, to The Leadership Programme for senior executives, through to Advanced Management Practice, which explores personal values in some depth, Henley has a range of programmes which will enable you to bridge generational gaps, and embrace diversity – in all its forms – to create commercial success.

In the words of Ashton Ward of Eton Bridge recruitment, who recently completed Developing Management Practice:

‘Most of my colleagues are younger than me, in their late 20s and 30s. The programme gave me the opportunity to understand how to communicate more effectively with all of them. And having experienced the programme myself, I decided to bring the whole team to Henley for a strategic review following a period of significant growth.

The support of our brilliant facilitators, and having the time to reflect in the way we did, made it hugely productive, and as a result, the newer members of the team have been assimilated into the company culture much more quickly than might otherwise have been the case. As soon as you arrive at Henley, you want to learn. And learning together as a team has been incredibly beneficial.’

Developing Management Practice is a short modular programme for new managers and high-potential executives. Please refer to the programme page for forthcoming dates.

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If you have any questions, please contact our programme advisors, Hannah, Ruhi & Diana by email at exec@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418767.

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