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R - E - S - P - E - C -T! Bridging the Generational Gap

CHAD TISONIK
President of HNI Wisconsin

We all want it from those we work with, but each generation defines respect differently. 

Most people in the workplace operate with the thought process of giving respect as they want to receive it.  Sort of the “do onto others as you would have done onto you” approach.

Well, that’s your first mistake. One generation expects respect based on their title and position and another generation wants to have respect shown to them based on their ideas and performance. 

Do you see the conflicting views? Many managers may not see it but they FEEL it daily.

The 50-year-old manager is angry because the 20-year-old worker is not listening when he says, “I am a manager at this company and you should do what I tell you to do. You are not respecting my authority."

And the 20-year-old worker is angry because he/she keeps suggesting new ideas and the 50-year-old manager doesn’t listen. Both sides want respect — and neither side is getting it!

Sound or should I say “feel” familiar?  It’s costing organizations greatly in both productivity and overall morale.

Watch this video to see what one organization is doing about it: 


You need to CHANGE your approach to these generational issues. If you want to learn more, we'll touch on these issues and other barriers to employee engagement in our upcoming HNI University workshops, including our June 23 session: Creating a Magnetic Employee Experience: Nurturing Talent From Recruit, to New Hire, to Evangelist.

Consider this chestnut next time your feel like you don't get any respect:

"There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age. I missed it coming and going."

— J.B. Priestly
Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits