With Gen Zs, Gen Ys, Gen Xs and Baby Boomers working side-by-side today, being able to work with different generations is a vital skill many young people might overlook.
In their parent’s guide, Apprenticeship Support Australia says these challenges come down to the huge differences in how each generation was raised.
“Each generation had significant events and ways of living that shaped their lives. Whether that be world wars, the trend of starting part-time work at 14, or simply having both parents working, how we were raised significantly influences who we are,” it says.
And of course, each generation thinks they work harder than the others.
“This is fact, not fiction. In a government white paper on social trends it was reported that each generation believed they worked harder than others.”
So as a parent how can you help guide your child to work more harmoniously with older generations, whether they’re starting their first casual job, embarking on an apprenticeship or traineeship or starting their TAFE or university studies.
Apprenticeship Support Australia recommends following four, simple principles.
“Explain that each generation has been raised differently and it’s often because of the way they are raised that they behave the way they do.”
“Remind them that even if they know of a ‘better’ way of doing something, sometimes when it comes to following instructions, things are as they are for a reason and sometimes they don’t know the reason.
“It’s important to respect the people supervising them and do as they are told.”
- Learn and earn
“Explain that when working with older people, you usually need to earn their respect first. Explain that even if this is unfair, it’s usually the way the working world works.
“They can earn respect by taking little actions such as turning up on time, making an effort to communicate with everyone and trying hard at work.”
“Most people in the workplace don’t use technology the way that Gen Ys do. Discuss with your child what is considered appropriate and not appropriate when it comes to using technology at work.”For more advice on how to support your child in working with different generations, check out Apprenticeship Support Australia’s handy guide here.