Future Of Work: Research Shows Millennials, Gen Xers And Baby Boomers Make Better Decisions Together

from Forbes

Is it better to have “up-and-comers” or “more seasoned” employees making decisions at your company?

It turns out the best answer is a mix of generations, and it’s a wake-up call to companies everywhere, from a tech industry enamored of young workers to global enterprises managing large aging workforces:

Decision-making teams that include a wide range of younger _and_ older employees significantly outperform more narrowly young or old teams. These multi-generation teams are more likely to identify better choices and deliver results that meet or exceed expectations.

Let’s see why.

More here.

Posted in Careers and tagged .


  1. The results this article produces does not surprise me at all. It is no secret that the most creative, and arguably best, ideas come out of groups that are from different backgrounds. Be it age, sex, ethnicity, or any other factor, diversity contributes greatly to the success of a group and project. When there is a group made up of people that are all the same with the same background there is little deviation of thought. The ideas one comes up with to an extend are interchangeable with another. Individuals from different generations however have different backgrounds and thus are able to contribute to the product in a different and specific way.

    The article stated the importance of both age groups perfectly. With a mix of generations there is the wisdom of experience plus the creativity of youth. Multi-generation decision teams it was proven have more than twice as many positive outcomes. Narrow age ranges appear to hinder teams while wide age ranges let to expectations being exceeded.

    With that said I believe it important that companies take this information into account when designing products and in all the respective business they do. Older groups may not remember to include the voices of their younger counterparts while developing and the same goes for the younger teams. Although a single aged teams do produce positive results, groups spanning generations are obviously much more successful.

  2. The results this article produces does not surprise me in the slightest. It is no secret that the most creative, and arguably best, ideas come out of groups that are from different backgrounds. Be it age, sex, ethnicity, or any other factor, diversity contributes greatly to the success of a both a group and their respected project at hand. When there is a group made up of people from the same background there tends to be little deviation of thought. The ideas one comes up with to an extend are interchangeable with another. Individuals from different generations however have different backgrounds and thus are able to contribute to the product in a different and specific way.

    The article stated the importance of both age groups when working on projects perfectly. With a mix of generations there is the wisdom of experience that comes with the older generation, plus the creativity of the youth. Multi-generation decision teams it was proven have more than twice as many positive outcomes. The narrow age ranges appear to hinder teams while wide age ranges let to expectations being exceeded. It has been proven time and time again that groups of individuals produce more ideas than individuals alone. People from different backgrounds have different opinions and people of different ages by definition have experienced different events in different ways. That is why more creative products come from groups with individuals of different ages.

    With that said I believe it important that companies take this information into account when designing products and in all aspects of the respective business they do. Older groups may not remember to include the voices of their younger counterparts while developing and the same goes for the younger teams. Although single aged teams do produce positive results, groups spanning generations are obviously much more successful. They are more inclusive and keep in mind individuals of all ages. This practice should be put into effect in a variety of capacities. Be it group work, product designing, marketing, etc., when it comes to all aspects of a project creativity has been proven to flow strongly across generations.

  3. The results and implications of this study are intriguing to me. In my short experience working within a business setting, younger professionals are typically given less important jobs and tasks to accomplish. While those with experience tend to have the harder more rigorous tasks and more important jobs. Perhaps in our society, we trust those we have known longer with the more sensitive jobs. Maybe the opposite is also true, maybe we do not trust younger professionals to do the same jobs as older ones. Whether it is a matter of trust or simply the way people have been operating businesses for decades, that norm seems to be in question.

    The results imply that the creativity of younger workers and the wisdom of experienced workers is a mix that really helps businesses in the long run. Younger workers tend to have more creative ways of solving issues that they are faced with. That creativity compiled with the operational and technical experience and wisdom create a very productive and efficient group. If perfected this new way of structuring groups may lead to a brighter future.

    Like all new ideas, this is likely to be met with opposition. The major opposition may come from older generations. It may seem as if they have been demoted or put in a position that is not for them. That opposition seems like it would mainly come from a sense of pride. However, if they were to put pride aside then it would be apparent which system works best for everyone involved.

  4. The results of this study speaks to the masses of applicants and employees of different ages. With each generation comes different viewpoints and seeing that the viewpoints vary between ages, it brings much more diversity to the table when discussing matters. In the study, it revealed that more generations together bring in better work performance because more viewpoints, more compromise, more knowledge of the situation. This is the best way to work in groups and the information given can bring new opinions and more knowledge to light on certain situations. The more information one can know, the wiser you will be walking into a conversation and offering insight on the matters. When more diverse groups come together it can be seen as poetry in motion. Everyone in the group can contribute to a certain project that will make everyone happy in the process, or at least for the time being. That being said, certain jobs require certain credentials, and some credentials can only be achieved through experience. When a younger employee takes on a project they do not have as much knowledge about than someone who has worked on that idea for a longer amount of time, the preferred choice to take on the project would be the more experienced worker. One example of the viewpoints of a group showing through, is the recent case with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, got off easy with his hearing in Congress because since he is well versed in technology and social media, he could answer anything about the issue. While the members of Congress, about average age of 57, are not as knowledgeable in this are as someone who is well versed. So these situations call for certain groups of people who know what they are doing. However for group projects, as many people as you can get for the job, is the best way to go about doing things because more knowledge is more power.

  5. After reviewing the results of this study I have to say that I am not surprised by the results. The common stereotypes of older people are that they have a lot of experience and tend to be more cautious in their decision making. The opposite can be said about younger generations which are said to be much more energetic and willing to take risk. So it makes sense then that younger and older generations would work very well together as their best qualities tend to compliment one another. The experience of older generations allows younger generations to make better decisions.
    Now in applying to this every companies business model I think this could change how companies do business. The job market for Millennials would probably shrink just due to the fact companies may want more of a diversified group of people working for them. However as the article notes younger people when working in teams do have a tendency to out perform older groups of people. I would also be interested to see how these mixed groups work together in person and if younger people would tend to cede decision making to older people and how the power dynamics of the group would work.

  6. I’ve never seen so many comments begin with the word “results”.

    As businesses expand and plan to establish an edge over other companies, studies have shown that a mix of generations working together on a team are more likely to meet or exceed expectations 73% of the time. When compared to younger teams and older teams, multi-generation decision teams were two times more likely to meet or exceed expectations. Forbes claims this should be a big wake up call for companies across the countries and all over the world.
    Research showed that older teams were less likely to consider younger viewpoints while younger teams were very likely to include one or more older viewpoints. Nonetheless, it is not that only young or only older teams get bad results, it’s just that decision teams that have a wider range of ages get better results.
    The outcome of this study makes sense in my opinion. It’s logical that a team with a more diverse culture would breed more success. For the younger generations provide creative and ambitious goals while at the same time the older generations are weeding out what ideas are realistic and offering their knowledge and experience too. Age diversity brings a broader range of perspectives and skills. Businesses that do not capitalize on these new findings will fall behind fast and lose their competitive edge. Companies that cultivate diverse teams that embrace new and old thinking, promote various work attitudes, and consider different learning patterns will be at the forefront of innovation in the next years to come.

  7. The problem with society today is the common notion that you have to pick a side and stick to every single aspect of it, or else you’ll be labeled a hypocrite. Examples include Republicans supporting the LGBTQ+ community, or Democrats advocating for capitalism. The article above refers to the division between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
    The article says that firms function best with a staff of diverse generations, and cites statistics that agree with this. As someone on the line between generations Y and Z (born 1999), I think this is the best way to go.
    The difference between individual decision-making and teamwork is that one person cannot come even close to a perfect conclusion. Individuals may not immediately understand the struggles of people they have never met, and may make hasty decisions.
    Observe these two-sided examples.
    A straight person does not know how a gay person goes about their day. Gay people have few people to turn for advice to without judgement, especially on, say, a Roman Catholic campus, even after so many years of progression toward social equality.
    Meanwhile, women don’t usually know what’s on the male mind. Men are often raised to think that the concept of facing emotions head-on is emasculating, and therefore bottle up their thoughts.
    A millennial, then, would have no idea what Cold War America felt like. The novel The Catcher in the Rye has become less popular in classrooms, as teens today usually have more people to relate to. However, a Boomer may have no concept of rising college tuition prices, or the constant fear of school shootings.
    The problem is that we have begun to devalue communication. Single life is on the rise, social media memes devalue friendships in favor of staying indoors, and people (still) prefer passive-aggressiveness over talking about each other’s problems.
    If, however, people chose to communicate, we could get somewhere. It would be absurd to decide whether or not to hire people on account of their generation, but if the job-hiring process had checks and balances, we could achieve proper diversity.
    An example would be a divider that obscures the identity of an interviewee, including their race, age, or gender. This method would not be perfect, but it could help.

  8. This article from Forbes is really interesting and I happen to agree with it, because when there are more perspectives and opinions about the same issue, usually people have a better understanding of the situation as a whole, and thus, are able to make a more assertive decision. As such, is important to have people, who work a long time for the company, and are from an older generation, thus, having more life experience and being able to relate to similar situations in the past and what happened when certain decisions were made. It is important as well to have younger people, which have less life experience, but are most likely more up-to-date with what is trending in the world, especially relating to new technology advancements, new solutions which are coming up, and perhaps, most importantly, they have a more accurate understanding of the market, because usually they are the market which heavily consumes, along with their peers. Still, it would be very soft for me only to relate different people making decisions based only on the age criteria. It is important to have people from the most backgrounds as possible, including different race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion and many others, since they can all relate with their personal experiences and overall, decide which action is better for the company to take. However, even with all this diverse background, I still believe it is important to have some sort of hierarchy, which would be important in order for the process of making a decision to be run as smooth and as efficient as possible. If there isn’t a firm leadership the process easily can be ruined with so many people who think different, as there would be “too many chefs in the kitchen”, and the company would not be efficient, and thus, losing money. Thus, I believe the future of businesses will be people from different backgrounds working together and making a difference. Diversity is not only including minorities in society, but also giving those opportunities and doing so, improving the world’s economy by smoothing processes and having a more complete looking on the situation.

  9. With the rise of millennials and generation X young adults come into the work force, there will be a transition period. Baby boomers are on the way out and the new wave of employees are flooding the work force. Different generations will have to work together to get their jobs done. At first glance, it may seem this is a bad idea or just a bad mix to have. Different ideas and concepts have been an issue with people within their generation let alone the introduction of a brand-new generation.
    Generation X and Millennials have grown up with technology and answers right on our finger tips. Meanwhile baby boomers have had to transition from the typewriter into an age of digital platforms and hardware. Even in the past 10 years, there has been a shift of many things done with pen and paper move onto online media. Industries have been revolutionized and efficiency has been maximized ten-fold. The introduction of the smartphone and tablets allows people to go mobile, being away from the office to complete tasks. This is a new concept for baby boomers who had to adjust to this new age of technology.
    Through research, it has been found that generations working together have allowed the work force to come up with more positive outcomes. The diversity of ideas and different suggestions introduced by young people can allow the older generation tweak or accept the ideas. The older generation is dissatisfied with what the younger generation is doing, but they tend to forget how they were as teenagers. The only difference is the widespread media access available today. The cell phone camera and social media has allowed anyone view what is on there. In their times, they only had photographs, or a news reporter live on the scene. The cell phone and other portable media has given the power to the people to record and stream what data they want at any time.

  10. It is a necessity to have diversity in the workplace in order to fulfill and carry out full production. A company’s goal is to appeal to as many different audiences as possible, and in order to fulfill the demand, the company must employ individuals of all age ranges. Age discrimination in the workplace is an epidemic that is under recognized, and individuals both young and old must collaborate together for the company to work at full efficiency.
    Nowadays, companies either have a staff that is solely made up of millennials, or have a staff made up of much older individuals. However, when these two age groups merge together, they are able to form a better and more balanced team. By having executives of a company be in the older age range, they are therefore more experienced in the field, and are able to perform the tasks demanded better than an individual who is much younger and does not have this type of experience. It is essential for a business to keep their more experienced employees in higher positions being that they have a higher amount of knowledge and understanding of what the job entails. From the study portrayed in the article, we look toward our elders for advice and to reign us back in when a conflict arises. It has been proven that in workplaces that have older individuals oversee the company, they are able to problem solve in a better manner in comparison to a company that has a sole age group.
    However, by hiring younger individuals, a company is able to obtain more ideas that are current within today’s trends in society. Individuals of the older generations only seem to appeal to their generation when it comes to marketing to an audience, so it is more difficult for them to get in touch with the younger audience. The best way to stay on top in business is to keep up with the ongoing trends in society, and the best way to fully achieve this would be to hire younger individuals to help stimulate newer ideas. As good as it is to hire younger individuals, it is also important to recognize the older generations in the workforce as well. The older generations are the backbones of companies, meaning that their level of experience plays a highly significant role. The older generations ensure that younger generations continue to run the company with ethics in mind, in addition to the morals and standards the company has always followed. The morals and values of a company are those that always stay true and never change, which is why millennials must understand and respect the grounds that the company was created with.
    Success within a company all begins with its level of diversity. Diversity is what makes the employees of a company more willing to work, as well as making them feel that they have a greater sense of purpose within their company. For a company to run efficiently, management must listen to their employee’s input to understand what the company is doing right and wrong. Through feedback, the company can determine what they can do to make their company better for not just their employees, but for their consumers as well.

  11. In retrospect, the main argument of this article seems fairly obvious. Simply put, the more diverse a group is, the more positive outcomes there are because of each individual member’s different backgrounds and viewpoints. The process is very similar to higher education, and how universities will go to great lengths to accept students who come from minority backgrounds to ensure a diverse student body because there is knowledge to be gained that cannot be taught in a classroom easily. Just within my first year here at Seton Hall, I have learned so much about cultures I hadn’t even thought of before just from talking to the people around me.

    The same philosophy holds true in the workplace. We learn more and get more accomplished when we are receiving knowledge and input from a wide variety of sources; this article touches on age differences in the workplace specifically. The younger members of the group benefit from the experience and wisdom from the older members, and the older members of the group benefit from the creativity and stronger connection with the current cultural environment from the younger members. Possessing wisdom, experience, creativity and a strong sense of where the culture is and where it is headed towards make a group invaluable to a company when a major decision has to be made. Both parties bring something incredibly beneficial to the table.

    A majority of the Baby Boomers have little to no experience with technology and computers simply because they did not grow up with them, whereas the Millennials and Gen Xers grew up surrounded by technology and adapted quickly. My dad, for example, knows absolutely nothing about computers and technology in general because he has never been in a position where he needed to know how. My sisters and I, however, are much more capable of adapting to the rapid change in technology fields because we grew up with computers, video game consoles, fancy TVs, and the like. Even though my siblings and I are much more technologically advanced than our dad, my dad has wisdom and experience beyond his years, which my siblings and I benefit from on a daily basis. While my family is not a business, the same philosophy still applies; each age group has something to bring to the table, and those gifts and talents should be combined instead of separated. The more diverse a group is, the better off everyone is.

  12. I certainly found the results to this study to be interesting to me. Even though I have very little experience in business settings, I know for a fact that those with more experience have more important jobs in the industry. In my opinion, the results that were given showed that both the creativity of young workers and knowledge of more experienced workers helped shape businesses in the long run. Younger workers always seem to have the more creative ways of solving issues while the more experienced workers seemed to have the more quick-witted and traditional way of doing business. I feel that both types of workers are needed in today’s society, as the business industry continues to grow in both aspects.

  13. When I first read this, I was not surprised to find that the multi-generational teams make better decisions together. I always intuitively thought that a team full of different people from diverse backgrounds performs better than that of like-minded individuals. From having multiple perspectives, this type of environment allows teams to make better-informed decisions, no matter the situation. In general, diversity often inspires creativity, which is a much-needed asset in today’s workforce. Now, a country’s economic strength is from innovations that led to successful enterprises such as Facebook and Amazon. For the longest time, the United States remained the top dog of innovation. However, according to the latest Bloomberg report in 2018, the United States surprisingly dropped out of the top 10 in innovation ranking (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-22/south-korea-tops-global-innovation-ranking-again-as-u-s-falls). With the current political situation, we are no longer the leading figure in the fight against climate change. China took over that role (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/donald-trump-success-helps-china-emerge-as-global-climate-leader). At the same time, South Korea remained the dominant global innovating nation for five years in the row with Samsung receiving “more U.S. patents in the 2000s than any firm except International Business Machines Corp.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-22/south-korea-tops-global-innovation-ranking-again-as-u-s-falls)
    These current events show that the United States is not the top country in the world anymore. In order to be relevant in this rapidly changing world, the United States needs to revamp its education system and workforce to meet the changing global demand. As we are in need of new ideas, collaboration is going to play an integral role in facilitating ideas into reality. On the business side, it means creating a more efficient and convenient method of providing customer service to introducing a new iPhone that exceeds all expectation. Of course, companies have been trying to become friendly to new ideas and collaboration on different levels. Interestingly, the Harvard Business Review article in 1994 discussed the difficulties of businesses to fully go green (https://hbr.org/1994/07/the-challenge-of-going-green). Therefore, people already have ideas on how to push forward. Then it is the question of having the right measures to implement those changes. However, this means we have to deal with the politics.
    The fundamental issue of public-private partnership has always revolved around trust. For every political cycle, a new administration always has its own agendas that it wants to pursue. However, this means that a business agreement between the previous administration and corporations may no longer exist or be relevant. The Trump administration repeatedly threatened to end the DACA program and other Obama’s led initiatives. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-daca-dreamers-programme-scrapping-blocked-judge-young-immigrants-barack-obama-a8150761.html)
    In today’s world, we need collaboration with everyone to solve some of the biggest challenges and to meet clients’ ever-growing demands, no matter what they are. It starts with an open dialogue with the relevant parties involved. In this case, inter-generational workers will have to work together to solve future problems.

  14. Generally, people think that the older and wiser generations always make the better decisions as opposed to the younger generation. On the flip side, there are some instances where some feel the younger generation who just earned their degrees and began their careers make better decisions because they just learned it all and can work textbook. A recent study conducted and analyzed by Forbes found that a group with a combination of older and younger generations made the best decisions, ones yielding positive outcomes. They also found that overall, in each age group, decisions made by teams yielded better results than those made solely by individuals. In the younger teams where the median age was below 35, decision outcomes met or exceeded expectations 60 percent of the time while decision outcomes for older teams, where the median age was above 45, met or exceeded expectations 44 percent of the time. Now, one could speculate that it’s possible the older teams had to take on tougher problems to decide on or on the other hand, it’s possible the energy of younger teams significantly affected the results, but it’s a different story when you look at the results of how the outcomes are affected when the age groups are combined. Multi-generation decision teams were found to have had more than twice as many positive outcomes. The multi-generation teams consisted of an age range spanning 25 or more years and the decisions made met or exceeded expectations 73 percent of the time while those with a narrower range of less than 10 years did so only 35 percent of the time. Sometimes it’s better to have a combination so you can get the best of both worlds for the most positive result. Combining experience with youth seems to be the best way to do it. The study also found that older decision teams were less likely to include younger people and viewpoints into the decision making team and process, but younger teams were more likely to include single or multiple older teams members. Most, if not all, companies want the best results coming from their decisions regardless of who in terms of age was involved in it. To achieve this they need to break down the barrier and solve the “cross-generation challenge”. According to the Forbes article that talks about the study, people belonging to each of the working generations have similar career goals, work attitudes and learning patters, and it’s our biases, not our differences that are the biggest barriers that inhibit the formation if multi-generation teams. It seems that when we have a choice of who to work with, we work with people similar to us, including in age. Another way to combine the generations in the growing age diverse workplace is through the utilization of technology. It helps push people in a better direction and helps them to avoid their unconscious bias. I think this is a good idea. Technology has always been developed and used to solve yesterday’s problems and if strong collaboration between different generations and expertise is the best way to get work done, companies should certainly work toward achieving the goal of getting them to work together through the means of technology.

  15. I can see how a company that has mix generations decision making groups may be more successful because, there is way more diversity then a group of people with similar ages. In general, a company with decision making teams are more successful due to the fact that there are multiple people on an assignment rather than one person. It is surprising to read that teams with members, the age of 45 and older did not perform as well as younger aged teams. A person would think, the older teams would have a higher percentage of positive decision making outcomes. A person would assume that the older aged groups would have more experience, in the industry. The younger teams do not possess, the same amount of knowledge about the industry as an older team would.

    The article states that multi-generation decision teams were two times more likely to meet or exceed expectations. Groups that contain multi-generations have, a broader spectrum of ideas and abilities. It also talks about older decision making teams were ten times less likely to include younger viewpoints. In my opinion being closed minded is, the reason older teams perform not as successful as younger or mixed generation. I believe when an employee is part of a decision making team, their opinion is just as important as everyone else’s. Every member in the group should have a chance to share their ideas. The reason why younger decision making teams perform better and have more positive outcomes is because, they acknowledge anybody’s view point regardless of the age.

    Does the benefits to a multi-generation group, the broader range of perspective and skills outweigh the negative issues? The negative impacts that multi-generation decision making groups tend to be a conflict because, they have a different set of goals, difficult communicating, and building trust across age-group. These set of problems may be an issue for the group and may cause them to become counterproductive. In the long term, it may affect the amount of work that has to be completed.

    In conclusion, if companies want to continue seeing positive decision making outcomes with teams, they need to consider teams that are multi-generation. A diversified group of people will bring an array of ideas to any company that utilizes decision making teams. Decision making teams that are multi-generation can utilize, the broad skill set and skill level. The digital process may help introverts and other people share their ideas reducing, the level of closed mindedness. At work everyone in the group deserves to have the chance to be heard, and perhaps their idea will make a difference. Suppressing someone from sharing their thoughts just because, a person thinks their ideas are always better. This may deeply hinder other people’s abilities and, the potential successful ideas that are meant to happen.

  16. After reading this article all I could think about was one thing: ageism. It is considered by some to be a very big issue in today’s society. Ageism is the problem seen in America today in which less and less companies are willing to employ people that are on the older side, typically 50 or above. Whether it’s the fact that companies just downright will not hire them, or these individuals are either forced to leave the company or are forced into early retirement, ageism persists in America today. Many feel that this phenomenon is occurring because of the rapid shift towards new technologies and technology companies arising out of this shift. Since it is a stereotype that older people cannot grasp technology or work as fast as younger people can, there is a reluctance to hire them.
    Well if the findings in this article say anything, it is that this theory is completely debunked. This study shows that age does not matter in the work place, the only thing that matters is the combinations of ages that companies are using. Highly positive results come about when a decision making team is comprised of both younger and older members. I feel that this occurs because there is much diversity to this type of group. The productivity, energy, and creativity of the younger group coupled with the experience of the older group would obviously equate to success. I am curious as to why this has not been discovered before. It almost seems like common sense.
    If this study picks up any steam and the results get spread to the business world, I think a change could occur. I think the rejection of older people will occur less and less and we will start to see companies putting an emphasis on diversity. Companies, especially in the exponentially growing tech industry, will put an emphasis on diversity. They will work to have a similar amount of older people and younger people on their decision making teams. This will create the utmost productivity and companies will increase their chances of meeting or exceeding their goals.

  17. As millennials have been trying to prove for years, our generation holds so much creativity and knowledge that other age groups simply cannot grasp. However, the same goes for older age groups. They have experience and comprehension that younger adults have to develop. When you intermingle these two groups, you produce a diverse and better group making smart decisions for the company. Although it may be more comfortable for the employees to work with those of the same age, being too similar can lead to limitations of ideas and methods for the company to use. A good mixture of generations can vary the ideas created and eventually will lead to more productive form of working.
    Older generations tend to have more knowledge on history and the precedented ways business is done. This can be a good and bad thing. On the upside, these qualities essentially provide the individual with the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work. They know the business they’re dealing with, and they have experience that is crucial. However, following how business has been done, one can find limitations in the way older generations do business. For example, they might not want to use technology to do paperwork or communication because business has been done in other forms in the past. This is where the mix of old and new generations work. For the new generations, their best quality is that they bring forth the technological age with creativity and knowledgeability. However, they lack experience due to their young age. By mixing the two generations, a perfect balance is found that can benefit both generations and consequently the company at hand.
    As being part of a younger generation, almost every adult I interact with tells me my generation is basically ruining everything. However, this article shows that younger generations can contribute so much if they were given a chance to truly work with older ones. I feel as though older groups of individuals tend to block out the ideas and workings of younger people because they “know better.” While they may have experience, older generations need to realize how younger generations are experiencing a whole shift in the way our world works. This may seem like a silly example, but when I was younger we had Toys R Us, where entertainment was Polly Pockets and board games. Now, Toys R Us is going out of business because the kids now enjoy entertainment on their iPods, game systems, or even phones, for some of them. The entire idea of childhood is being change around, and the younger generations are the ones truly seeing it as societal norms are being flipped upside down. By integrating different generations to work together, a strong form of decision making can be produced, and I think more companies should try it out.

  18. Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.
    Teams that follow an inclusive process make decisions 2X faster with 1/2 the meetings.
    Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results.
    These three facts come from a research done by Forbes in order to see exactly how effective companies can be in their decision making when it comes to a diverse team. When we talk about diversity in the work place throughout this study, we are not talking about chocolate and vanilla, we are talking about age.
    Older work teams think that because of experience that they have better ideas that stem from wisdom gathered over time. Younger work teams will believe that their elders are dried up of ideas and that due to youth they have an upper hand on the world as it is today with the never ending advancement we make in society through things like technology. Just by reading these two thoughts, it is easy to conclude. Young minds filled with new ideas and a hard work ethic combining with older minds who have seen change happen and have wisdom from years of work will come up with better ideas and decisions than a team of just younger people or a team of just older. When making decisions together, we regularly fall for false expertise. This causes people to unconsciously defer to the most experienced and extroverted people in the room, ignoring other inputs or failing to surface their own ideas and information. Age diversity brings a broader range of perspectives and skills, but also different sets of goals and difficulty communicating and building trust across age groups. However, at work, these differences exist in a shared context. Everyone working together inside a company has shared history, values and goals.

  19. The generational divide in America is something many people are keenly aware of. Some may not be aware of the large scale effects of generational divides but they can probably understand it when they have an argument with their 60 year old parents or when they try to tell their teenaged children what to do. Differences in people corresponding to the differences in when they were born is a very real thing with plenty of science to back it up. However, dividing people into large groups and labeling them universally is something we should take care to avoid as much as possible. This is of course because history has shown generalizations about groups of people are not always accurate and do not help bring people together. That is really what this article is about, bringing people together.
    When people talk about generations subconsciously what they are trying to do is fit people into a qualitative design where we can understand them just by looking at a small number of factors. By doing this you encourage separation and create a “me vs them” mentality. This happens quite often and when it does it becomes easier to identity and focus on the faults in people rather see them for their strengths. As I said though there are studies confirming the existence of generation gaps. For example, Millennials were brought up during the birth of the internet and the beginning of the digital renaissance, which means they are far more proficient in the use and integration of technology in the workplace. Older generations like the Baby Boomers are probably vastly more proficient in face to face communication as they have had to be far more reliant on that for a significant portion of their life. By taking that into consideration it should be fairly obvious that a combination of those skills can have advantageous effect on business operations and problem solving.
    What this article shows us is a reinforcement of the benefits of diversity. It seems that it will always be the case that groups with the widest ranges of characteristics and backgrounds will be the groups that achieve the most success in their endeavors. Looking at this study with that context it would be evident from the beginning that the group with the most variety would produce the best results. While I dislike the labeling of people into generational zones it is clear that there is at least some truth to the idea of general differences between different generations, and therefore those differences can be applied and utilized to solve problems in unique ways.

  20. The idea of working with other humans seems to be diminishing; however, I believe it is important to continually foster strong human relationships within the workplace and continue to hire human capital. Robots can only do so much- and they are programmed by humans. That tells you something- that the human mind has the capacity to reach and achieve things once believed to be unimaginable. To have a workplace that has both “up-and-coming” workers and “more advanced” workers creates an environment where ideas can flow and growth to happen. I personally agree with this notion because it is important to value everyone’s opinion when you are working. To have varying viewpoints enables others to start thinking- people of different ages and experiences can bounce ideas back and forth, creating growth and removing stagnation.
    There is always that notion of being older and possessing wisdom, guidance, and experience that the younger generations do not have. This is a valuable asset to bring to the table in any company and helps the younger workforce. The more experienced generations not only aid in the work aspect, but also serves as mentors to the younger, newer people. Multi-generation teams are the way to go as the Forbes article provides valuable and to me- unsurprising- statistics. People are working together for the common goal of creating a shared environment that benefits the company. Each worker has the mindset of growth and positivity for the company, enabling everyone to flourish together. Working with similar people of the same viewpoints causes stagnation and prevents the mind from flourishing. The human capabilities are cut short and workforces need to embrace the ideas of all people; essentially that is what makes a leader who they are. To understand and incorporate all ideas allows a company to be on the forefront to their respected industry. In having a multi-generation company, mentorship goes both ways. Many forget that the younger generation can teach the latter, as companies transcend to a more digitalized way of life. The older generation then can teach the younger about the “soft-skills” and the people skills that some are lacking, due to the lack of face-to-face contact.
    When I spearhead my own company in the future I will most definitely create an environment where everyone can learn from one another and create an atmosphere where people share in their ideas and viewpoints. Allows people to hear other ideas creates a company that grows, not only in culture, but can ultimately grow in profits.

  21. The results made from this article are quite interesting to say the least. The gap between stubborn older generations and ignorant newcomers often makes it difficult for the two parties to work together to achieve success. However, innovation, creativity, along with experience can only be fully maximized by the understanding that the generations must set aside generic stereotypes. When older groups stay together with similar individuals and younger groups do the same, there leaves little deviation of decision making and creativity.

    It is often perceived that getting older leads to intelligence, experience, and wisdom that is not matched by the latter generations. While this may be true in certain aspects, it does not necessarily mean that the younger generations cannot bring knowledge and creativity to the table. As one ages, so does their ideologies and thought process. A person just simply cannot continuously keep up with the trends and influence of his/her youth. The youth on the other hand are in the middle of the trends and influences that are present. Having an environment that infuses experience with creativity among multiple generations can generate improved success as well as an increase of productivity.

  22. This article was very interesting in my opinion. When we think of teams that work well together, we all think of people that think alike and have the same common goal. In the same instance, that usually means that the youth stay with the youth and the elder stay with the elder. From what this article said, though, is that mixing things up is the best way to go about things. It is an interesting concept, but the more you think about it the more it makes sense. When working in the same environment, everybody has the same goals. It is just the path to the goals that might be a little different. I think of it like this. Say a 21-year-old kid is on a soccer team with half the team around his same age and the other half 60 or older. The 21-year-olds might have a certain way they want to score a goal but the over 60s might have another way they want to score the same goal. Either way, they both have the same end point, it is just a matter of getting there. I never would have thought that this would be a logical way of looking at this problem though. It is usually said that people of older generations do not get along with the younger generations because they have very different mind sets. It is because of these different mindsets that production goes up when they actually work together. Seeing different viewpoints is very good when working on a project together. A lot of the times, the younger generation want to use technology to solve problems because that is all they know. However, if a person from an older generation throws out an idea that is just as effective and does not cost as much it might open up the younger generations eyes and realize that computers are not always the answer. This works both ways and I feel this is why mixing generations proves to be more productive.
    There is always a flip side to everything, though. There are times where mixing generations will just not work at all. There are certain subjects that are sensitive on both sides and just cannot be overcome. As said before, millennials specifically are a lot more tech savvy than say baby boomers. Some baby boomers a reluctant to use computers or anything that involves technology because they are used to doing everything by hand and at the power of their own finger tips. Since baby boomers are older, they usually have the final say in group decisions or even making up the teams to make the decisions. This is where the generations might but head because they are polar opposites.

  23. Multi-generational teams make better decisions in the work place – surprise! Well, not really. Combining the creative forward-thinking minds of a young worker with the experienced and wise mind of an older worker should definitely create the best decisions. Throughout history, humans haven’t tended to stick to their own peer groups. If they did, we probably wouldn’t be around right now. Younger people need to learn from the experiences and knowledge of older people, and on that same token, older people can benefit from the energy and perspective of a younger, more inexperienced person. Multi-generational families have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, with many cultures still holding multiple (three or more) generation families as a key aspect of their culture. Not only is it beneficial for families to take care of one another, but so much can be learned from every angle in that situation.
    As an example, kids in school learn from an older, more experienced teacher. They are taught the ways of the world and introduced to important new concepts from someone who has done it all before. But it is not uncommon for teachers to remark about how much they learn from the kids. Kids’ energy, enthusiasm for life and learning, unique perspectives, and innocence can reshape an adult’s whole worldview. Seeing people so eager to learn and so unfazed by things an adult may find frustrating can be very humbling. My mother was a teacher, and she often said that she learned more from her students than they learned from her.
    With this concept in mind, it makes sense that multi-generational groups can make better decisions. They have everything they need in one spot; if they can learn how to interact with and understand one another effectively, they will have all the tools they need to make the best decision in any scenario. Like the article mentioned, some of the difficulties associated with multi-generational groups are in a shared context. And although they may hold different viewpoints or attitudes, they have similar goals. A team where everyone is on the same page about goals is going to be more likely to be successful.
    People are living longer today than ever before, and with this comes people working longer than they ever have before as well. Now, teams have the opportunity to get the knowledge and perspective of someone with 50 years of experience in the same room as a fresh college graduate. Although they may disagree about many things, they are working for the same cause. This fact will allow them to easier reconcile their differences and create a force to be reckoned with in the decision-making world.

  24. There is a question that people employers have been considering for the last couple of decades. The question is whether it is better to have employees with experience or brand-new employees with no experience. It is better to have a mix of people that are both new and experienced. The mixture causes there to be an ideal working condition.
    Future employees can often come from an educational background. Either they typically are in school or have just finished. These people are assumed to be well versed on terms and general situations. The positive thing about educational backgrounds is that those people often have experience working in teams, and with different people. Schools know that business is changing and moving towards everything being group work. Therefore, schools often incorporate working in groups every chance that they get. Most students are not too thrilled with it; however, it teaches skills to work with people of all different backgrounds. It teaches them that business is no longer about one person getting ahead. Students often know that they are responsible both individually and as a team. It shows students that they need to work together to succeed. Often people with little experience also have a fresh mind. Newcomers often know how to use technology and manipulate for their advantage. This can improve work quality and cut down on wasted time, that can occur with older more experienced employees. They are not stuck in the ways that might be outdated, they are less afraid of change. Often, up-comers can offer ideas that improve the way things are done.
    There is a need for people with more than an educational background in the career field. School can prepare people for a lot of things. However, school is not the real world. The real career field will throw new employees through a loop. They will often need mentors who have been in the business and know the ropes. People with little experience might be eager to make their mark. Suggesting new ideas; employees with experience can offer feedback and explain how things will pan out and if it is a positive or negative. The experience one gains in the work field is something that has to be learned over time and through experience. No one knows it immediately, they go through situations and learn what to do and what to avoid.
    In order to have a thriving working environment, one needs both people that are new and upcoming, and people that have experience. New up comers bring fresh ideas, knowledge of workgroups, and potential. Experienced employees bring knowledge that cannot be taught in a class. Combing the skills that both new and experienced workers have can improve operations. The balance of the new and experienced is what makes a working condition ideal.

  25. In an age where there is a tremendous difference between generations, it can be assumed that working together can be a challenge. Surprisingly, this article uses factual data to explain that a mixture of generations produces the best end result. I found this shocking because a lot of businesses are looking to hire younger generations because of their skills and knowledge of technology. This study is a good thing for people already in the workforce who are afraid of losing their job to a younger person. These people can stress to their employers that having a team of mixed generations makes for the best decision outcome

    From reading this article and other blog posts, I agree with fellow blogger Mary M that success within a company begins with diversity. In many business classes, students are taught how to work in teams by working on group projects and presentations. There have been many times in group projects where my team has come to a halt because of a lack of different knowledge. This could be because we were all around the same age and have had similar experiences. A team would have more knowledge to bring to a project if different age groups were represented because of a greater amount of experience. Creativity for younger generations and knowledge from older generations makes the perfect match.

    According to the article, “Age diversity brings a broader range of perspectives and skills (good), but also different sets of goals and difficulty communicating and building trust across age-groups (not good)”. Like fellow blogger Lauren W, I have also been told by older generations that my generation is ruining everything. This type of interaction makes it harder for people to work with each other. In my experience, working at a small business with co workers of a much older generation was very difficult. They worked at a much slower pace from being at the same job for a long time. It was a lot easier to work with coworkers closer in age than me because of communication barriers. Every workplace should have an open mind for all generations to work together to produce the best outcome.

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