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Can you wash up your coffee cup? The Generation Gap in the workplace

Have you asked a new graduate to wash their coffee cup?

Have you asked them to leave their classroom neat and ready for the next teacher?

According to some experienced teachers, asking this could risk complaints about bullying.

Work Readiness courses

There are currently 6% of Gen Zers in the paid employment and that per centage is growing, while baby boomers remain at around 20%. The generation gap between 20 year olds and 60 year olds is causing both young and old workers to resign.

Ten years ago “work preparation” courses taught uni graduates that they were not the bosses and to do the work as they were asked, without being “creative”.

Perhaps that would help, but it is not enough.

What can older workers do?

Older workers often think we know it all.

We don’t.

Dave Turner, career guru, from South Australia, says saying “hello” and asking about their weekend will make young workers feel more accepted.

He encourages employers to engage more with their local schools to:

  • gain a realistic idea of school students
  • prepare students for the workplace

Zoomers, our youngest employees

Danielle Kabilio, is building a reputation as an expert in this field.

She recently spoke on the topic to a Food Fibre and Timber Industry Training Council seminar for employees who are struggling to retain younger workers.

She is speaking on the topic at the CDAA Good Theory, Good Practice conference on 23 September. Teachers , private practitioners and HR experts are all interested in how to address the issue.

The stereotype is not the norm

The stereotype of the young kid playing on a mobile phone with poor communication skills is simply not the norm.

Kids may not be joining Lions of scouts any more but they are volunteering on environmental projects and coaching junior sports teams. There has never been more participation in competitions like It Takes a Spark and the Gamechanger Awards.

Stereotypes are not the whole answer. There are many steps that we need to take.

I’ll follow up

I will let you know what tips Danielle has to offer at the Good Theory Good Practice conference and I will put any research that I find into my In Focus Careers Newsletter.

In the meantime, say “Hi” to your colleagues and put your mobile phone away.

To keep up to speed with career opportunities in WA. Subscribe to In Focus Careers News.