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Generation X vs. Y Communication

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Communications
Wordcount: 1884 words Published: 15th Aug 2018

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  • Areeba Shaikh


Effective communication is an essential requirement for the fulfillment of organizational objectives or goals. Without communication, no group or organization can exist. Co-ordination during work is inconceivable and the organization is likely to collapse for absence of communication. Co-operation additionally gets to be unimaginable in light of the fact that individuals are unable to communicate their sentiments and needs to others.

All acts of communication impacts the organization somehow. It is a string that holds the different associated parts of an organization in sync. When it comes to a stop, activities in an organization discontinue. An idea, no matter how extraordinary it is, is of no use until it is conveyed and understood by the rest.

When there is effective communication, the tendency of greater and better performance, as well as job satisfaction is encouraged. Individuals comprehend their employments better and feel more involved. (Chand, 2014)

However, many obstacles are to overcome in order for effective communication to take place. One of which, is the communication gap between generation X and generation Y.

Generation X and Y

Generation X consists of those individuals who are born in between 1965 – 1980. (Mikelson, 2009)

These are the latch-key kids i.e. kids who did not have enough or little parental supervision, due to their parents mostly being at work. They grew up observing their parents implement new working environment, also, this is the first generation to grow with the computer technology. In terms of work, they are concerned more about productivity rather than the time they spend at work. (Mack, 2010)

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Moving on to generation Y, also known as Millennial, consists of individuals born in between 1981 – 2000. They are quite different in many ways from generation X. Individuals of this generation are highly firm with using technology as well as comprehend better the importance of maximizing and leveraging any new technology than any other generation. Moreover they are able to multi-task comfortably, however are easily bored. (Mack, 2010)

In the following table are some workplace characteristics stated of both generation X and Y. (Hammil, 2005)


Gen X

Gen Y

Work, ethics & values

  • Self-reliance
  • Want structure & direction
  • Skeptical
  • Multitasking
  • Tenacity
  • Tolerant
  • Goal oriented

Work is…

A contract

Means to end fulfillment

Dealing with money

Save, save, save

Earn to spend

Communication media

Cell phones; call me at work

Internet; Emails

Communication styles

Direct & immediate

E-mail, voicemails, texts

Feedback & rewards

Freedom is the best reward

At the push of a button

Work & family



The gap in the two generation is evident looking at the information in the table above.

Bridging the gap

Further is a short analysis done between the two generations considering U.S.

Almost half of the U.S workforce will soon consist of generation Y/Millennial, therefore it is essential for employees to comprehend the importance of how to co-operate during work as well as maintain the age demographic. (McCarron, 2012)

Every generation determines success separately, therefore when mentoring, coaching and handling employees of different generations it is required that employers alter their approach.

"For the first time in our history we have four generations in the workplace, soon to be five." (McCarron, 2012) Every group is fashioned by experiencing their own exclusive encounters they have had as they grew up, as well as matured their own thoughts and ideas regarding what is essential to them at work and their personal life. The contrasts between those groups are really the basis for how they interact, judge behaviors and performances; “Gen Y thinks Gen X is a bunch of whiners. Gen X sees Gen Y as arrogant and entitled”. (McCarron,2012)

The major mistake in businesses is treating everyone as the same, “we keep trying to pound square pegs in round holes.” (McCarron, 2012)

To bridge this communication gap are some ways listed, that are implied in the U.S today:

  1. Through effective training (United Nations, n.d)

Gen X

Gen Y

Web-based training.

Give them flexibility.

Allow them to ask questions and challenge the concepts

Allow them to multi-task.

Offer multi-media learning opportunities.

Enable social networking through internet (My Space, Friendster).

  1. Through motivational factor (United Nations,n.d)

Gen X

Gen Y

Allow them to question experts as well as authorities.

Give them challenges as they are fond of them.

Give them freedom, as they prefer relying on their own power and resources.

Provide them with slight flexibility with their ways of working.

Specify what exactly is required from them in a task or project as it boosts their confidence.

Allow them to multi-task. Firstly they are better at it than Gen Y and secondly it avoids them from getting bored easily.

  1. Individualizing approach

This would help the organization evaluate individually what ways works with every employee instead of stereotyping. This is one of the most ideal approaches to communicate when it comes to generational gaps. (Forbes, 2014)

  1. Willingness to learn and teach

Both generations, X as well as Y, should be willing to learn each other’s ways in order for better co-operation and co-ordination with each other during tasks or projects. It would help in breaking communication barriers as well as bring ease to the organization in achieving its goals. (Forbes, 2014)


It is through effective communication by which an executive is able to get work done by his/her employees, which is why an outstanding executive is expected to know the art of communication. By working on this report my communication skills have definitely been enhanced and would undoubtedly help me at my work place.

Moreover, communication is a process which can be used in proper motivation of employees to deliver an organization’s plans enthusiastically. Every multinational expects its employees to contribute to its success as much as possible. The research I went through in the process of doing this report would help me communicate better with generation X and convey my ideas which would increase my level of contribution. Also this process can be made use of in terms of behavior modification, where change is in effect and goals are accomplished. (Chand, 2014)



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