The cooperation of several generations within one institution may create a dilemma for the employer, as misunderstandings occur and each group has different expectations towards colleagues and management. Therefore it is crucial to identify the fundamental differences that exist between the particular generations. The greatest challenge, not only for the employer, but also for colleagues, are young workers, the so-called generation Y, which is one of the most complex generations.
People from different generations usually perceive the same situations in a different way, looking at them from their own point of view, seeing them from the perspective of their own experiences. The situation may be complicated by the fact that modern generations change much faster than even before - previously the new identification took place every 25–30 years, now - even every 10 years. As a result, representatives of not two to three, but even five to six generations live side by side. Reconciling the various positions of employees from particular generations is a challenge for every superior. Especially nowadays, when the labour market is getting tighter and it is becoming more and more difficult to find a new employee. An effective solution in such a situation is modern human resource management, seeing and understanding the diversity.
Cooperation with the Y generation requires much greater flexibility and a new individual approach to manage people in the organization. A skillful approach to conflicts becomes an extremely important value, as the generational diversity often generates misunderstandings. Generation Y, the so-called Millennials, are best educated people who like challenges, with good knowledge of IT. This generation is very dynamic and prone to change, therefore an appropriate approach and creating appropriate working conditions is necessary. It allows to use the potential of those employees and influence the company's results in a positive way. Without implementing specific actions and steps in the area of employee management, it is impossible to effectively use the potential of this generation to build a competitive advantage of a company.
The qualities of an employee from the X generation include: searching for the meaning of their own life, rejecting the "rat race", instability, valuing work, being tied to one employer and being loyal to him, often putting their professional duties over their private life and resting, handling new technologies without any difficulties . However, they are often skeptics, pessimists without illusions, distrustful of authority, very vigilant about incompetence and inconsistency of people around them. They consider making a mistake as a personal failure. They are less committed to organization than the baby boomers, but more loyal than next generations. They don't like hierarchies, but they recognize the authority of their bosses. They are impatient, "politically" inefficient, and at the same time show less interest in leadership. They are not multitasking, they like to finish one job before starting another. They are afraid of losing their jobs, they are less mobile. They treat trainings as an employment anchor.
Generation Y is much different. What are characteristics of employees from this generation? Impudence, openness to new challenges, active usage of technology and digital media, overconfidence, strongly narcissistic, well-educated, tolerant, convinced of their own uniqueness. They often have unrealistic expectations (they think they can change the whole world, but are not aware of the responsibilities associated with their roles and tasks). They value their own comfort and convenience more than meeting the employer's expectations. They also have got poor interpersonal skills, what can be seen especially in working in teams of people from different age groups. They may have difficulties resolving arising conflicts. They prefer managers with an educational and positive approach, who are their coaches, motivate them and who are achievement and cooperation oriented. To keep them engaged, managers should entrust them with responsible tasks, reinforcing their sense of contributing to an important and bigger mission. They are also looking for opportunities to "pay back" through volunteering and philanthropic activities. This generation recognizes the problems of corporate social responsibility, accepts variability, independence and skepticism in the way of thinking and acting. Both at work and in official personal situations, the Y generation does not attach such importance to conventions, including, for example, appropriate clothing (dress code).
Each generation differs more and more from the previous one due to dynamic changes in the modern world. This also affects the situation in workplaces where representatives of many generations meet. This makes it necessary to modify the approach to human resources, communication, team building and management. At the same time, a team diversified in terms of age, including representatives of various generations, gives access to a wide pool of competences and experiences, increases creativity and multiplies methods of solving problems.
The key areas in "Next move", which is a complex educational program in the field of personal development and social activity of young people entering the labor market, include: teamwork, receiving and giving feedback, how to express your thoughts to be understood. E-handbook would be a practical resource to prepare the trainers to convey the message in an accessible way and help young people who are about to enter the job market develop their soft skills.
The project’s result is a joint compilation and promotion of the ‘Next move’ youth development program, which would include an e-handbook for youth coaches and HR workers, as well as ‘Your move’ mobile app, developing the youth’s soft skills necessary for taking up and keeping first job.
E-handbook is a compendium of information, divided into 2 units:
A: motivation, recruitment, case study - coaching tips.
B. 30 lesson scenarios: innovative methods and tools used in non-formal education in self-development of adolescents, based on best practice and new undertakings. Scenarios would cover various areas, e.g. building responsibility for assigned tasks, teamwork, information reception and feedback, how to speak to be understood, proactivity - take the matters in your hands.
E-handbook would be a practical resource to prepare the trainers to convey the message in an accessible way and help young people who are about to enter the job market develop their soft skills.
Materials provided in ‘Your move’ mobile app will further cover the topics discussed during the workshops run by trainers or HR workers.
E-flashcards will convey key information in accessible form. At the same time, the materials will be very useful, since after becoming familiarised with new information, the user will receive a series of coaching advice and learn how to apply new skills in practice.
The app will constitute a 30-day user transformation program, supporting their job market adaptation. The effects of the project will underpin new methods, tools and materials, perfectly tied with new challenges of EU growth strategies for the years 2010-2020, designed to enhance development: economy based on knowledge and innovation (intelligent, more competitive skill achievement), economy with high employment rates, economy that guarantees social and territorial cohesion, as well as growth supporting social inclusion. It will also be coherent with Europe 2030 objectives of flexible learning culture throughout lifetime.
Materials provided in ‘Your move’ mobile app will further cover the topics discussed during the workshops run by trainers or HR workers. It is important for the partnership to meet educational challenges related to the problem of youth's insufficient soft competences needed for managing personal potential in selfreliant and effective functioning on the labour market, and to create a new comprehensive educational offer in this area for young people (18-26y.)
Currently, company managers, leaders and HR employees worldwide are becoming more and more aware that in multigenerational workplaces it is necessary to create a vision, implement and constantly monitor coherent packages of generation management instruments. As you can see, the fundamental step in this process seems to be understanding the similarities and differences between the generations. It is important that the company offers solutions in which each employee will find something for himself in the area of development, motivation and work atmosphere, having the feeling that the organization can use his potential.
Czerska I., "The head down generation as a consequence of the ‘smartphoneization’ of society" Wrocław University of Economics 2016,
Kaczorowska J., "Generational diversity of employees - a challenge for modern employers" Faculty of Management, University of Lodz 2019,
Wiktorowicz J. and others, “Generations - What is Changing? Compendium of multi-generation management ”, Wolters Kulwer, Warsaw 2016.