Intergenerational communication is a communication that involves conversations among people of all ages; the old, adults, young people and sometimes children.
Families are the most used and best examples of intergenerational communication because there are communications between parent and child, child and grand parent, parent and parent (father and grandfather), aunt and niece and many others (Kaplan 9).
However, intergenerational communication also takes place outside the family unit. For example, it may occur in the fields where young people interact with adults while practicing or training. The aim of this context is to examine an intergenerational communication at the work place that involves all the primary means of communication. The best example to explain this is the Call Center Organization workforce and modes of communications involved during internal and external operations (Greenberg 38).
Immediately after my high school education, I got an opportunity to work at a certain Call Center Organization as a casual employee. The function of the Call Center was to install home networks to clients, receive calls, voice messages, and pass them to necessary parties and carry out cable installation activities.
The organization contained all workers from all age groups; young people, grown-ups and older individuals. In my department, the supervisor was an elderly person while senior manager and field coordinator, MR. Scott was a middle-aged person.
These two individuals were strong friends, but they never agreed sometimes due to their age and life span experience differences (Hummert 17). About 80 percent of the field personnel were younger people headed by an old person, Mr. James who was in turn under a middle-aged person, Mr. Scott. This supervisor commented on almost everything associated with us (young workforce) especially the personalities.
He could never fail to comment on the dressing mode which he disliked. We used to wear casual clothes in most occasions because the organization ignored how the field people wore. The organization issued aprons which we only wore during the actual operations in the field either during installation of cables or home networks but not during any other time.
Mr. James was against T-shirts and jeans, which we loved most, and he wanted us to dress on shirts and office trousers as he did. At one time, he told us that, “I wish I was the head of this organization; everybody would be wearing official as an employer, but since senior manager is a middle-aged person, he is not much concerned with dressing.
As a manager, you should ensure that everything runs officially in a smart way to portray a good organizational image. I wonder why I did not head this Organization after Mr. McDonald retired; I think I am the right person to head it” (Nussbaum et. al 23).
According to his words, I noted that age difference is also a significant factor influencing the performance of organizations. Mr. James could have been a dutiful manager in the organization, but then he could not be in clear terms with young people because he criticized almost everything we did. When installing cables and networks, he could criticize computers due to their multi-performance that he said they mislead young people.
He only noted the negative use of computers by young people, for example, watching porn through the Internet, the use of face books, online dating and such things, but he never noted the positive influence of computers in Organizations and society (Greenberg 90). In fact, despite working at a technology-associated Organization, technology was a mess to him because computers, for example, performed tasks that could be performed by people, meaning that they denied people opportunity to work.
Moreover, Mr. James once told me that young people do not deserve a decent wage because they waste a lot of money in unimportant things like purchasing jeans clothes, going to party in clubs, dating and many other related things. He wished that he were the manager so that he could pay us minimal wages that could only be enough to meet the primary needs.
This clearly show that the organization could not perform competitively because some youths would move to other Organizations or just resign because I do not think there is a young person who could withstand such principles from Mr. James (Mahwah & Angelis 44).
Mr. Scott, on the other hand, was a likeable person who was responsible for the operations and performance of the organization. He interacted well with young people who were the greatest workforce in the organization. He ignored the clothing because in as much as we wore casual, we looked decent, and the performance was excellent (Kaplan 92).
The only problem was that he did not allow us to use the computers exhaustively especially in accessing the Internet. He thought that we could waste a lot of time using email and web sites such as facebook and twitter. We could not use email to communicate to him because he hated typing back in reply and, therefore, he only wanted us to call him or see him in his office to talk face-to-face in case we wanted to communicate to him (Greenberg 114). They forced us to visit Mr. Scott’s office anytime we wished to see him.
This is because he did not want us to write to him. In fact, he could frequently arrange meetings to communicate to us about everything concerning the organization while young workforce preferred to remain at their working positions and communicate through emails. These differences resulted from the difference in age and life span experience (Mahwah & Angelis 80). He was extremely comfortable and confident with the way we carried out the duties both on the field and in the organization although he sometimes differed with us.
For instance, he abundantly educated and urged us to work together as a team to help each other whenever a need arose. This is because he had noticed that young employees loved working in isolation with their attention on their individual tasks. They did not mind checking and helping one another particularly during classification of projects.
Often, the reply was, “That is his job not mine: I am working on mine,” (Nussbaum et al. 23) when he approached some of us to help colleagues accomplish their tasks. Mr. James implemented the same during field installation works where he urged us to help one another in different areas to accomplish the work quickly and perfectly.
Therefore, apparently, middle-aged and older workers are at ease incorporating numerous parts of a scheme, and they expect to play a part in discussions concerning every bit of the project without counting on who was to accomplish the task. This show that elderly people view it as shared responsibility while young workforce views it as interference (Hummert 32).
My conclusion from the interaction during the normal operations is that age matters at the work place. In fact, the diversity of ages in the workforce is what determines how individuals learn about generational crowds distinct from their own intergenerational communication experienced at home.
This is the similar case in nonprofit Organizations during volunteer circumstances where an intergenerational leading board makes issues tough. It is effective in comparison to governing boards with most members coming from similar age groups. The differences develop from the fact that we were individuals who have lived through distinct history eras with distinct values (Mahwah & Angelis, 81).
Moreover, different age groups had different skills and habits holding to distinct standards of behaviors. Therefore, diversity of age, background, ethnicity, language, history, gender and other characteristics are particularly essential in all organizations because they present different views that contribute to the growth of the organization. Therefore, intergenerational communication is significant in organizations because it helps them grow and builds on skills and values of the workforce.
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