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Generations In The Workplace Essay

1691 words - 7 pages

Who or what is to blame for the work ethic of the new generation? From a glance and without much thought, I would have told you two months ago, that they, the younger generation was to blame. I would have said that the use of technology enables them to work without much thought. The pace of their generation, I assumed, has forgotten about some basic moral principles. As reported by Sheehy in Case 4.6, “there is a whole generation of workers with a frightening new work ethic: contempt for customers, indifference to quality and service, unrealistic expectations about the world of work, and a get-away-with-what-you-can attitude (Barry & Shaw, 2010, p.197).” From my recent studies, I’ve ...view middle of the document...

” “Older workers were the bosses and younger workers did what was asked of them, no questions asked. There were definite rules as how the younger generation would treat older workers (Hamill, 2005).” Today, this is no longer the case. Age is no longer a deciding factor on who your report to. Seniority no longer dictates a promotion. Respect is no longer granted to an elder or a person who has seniority. The basic rule of respect has changed in the workplace today. This simple moral principle has become more complicated. Not only do we have to learn different ways of earning respect we also have to respect new ways of doing business through the advancement of technology.
I have been a secretary for the past 17 years. From my own personal experience technology has changed my profession. Not only in tools and resources but also in basic moral principles of how business is conducted. For example, in my first job, my work was done on a typewriter; my work was filed away in paper folders. My most utilized resource at that time was the phone book. Business documents, agreements, proposals were sent via a local courier, post office, UPS or FedEx. All communications were handled by phone or in person. Most businesses and individuals did not have a voice mail system. Messages, reminders, and notes were hand written. If meetings were scheduled, you showed up for that meeting and were on time. There was rarely a last minute cancellation, and if there was it was because something serious had occurred. Resources weren’t readily available or found in one place. If an answer was needed, I had to think about what resources I would use and how to best utilize my time. “Outside of the box” thinking was common place. Business relied heavily on respect. Respect for another’s word, honesty, and loyality. Discrepancies were handled by taking someone’s word as the truth.
Within the first two years in my career I transitioned from a typewriter to a computer. A fax machine was introduced, and mobile phones were becoming more popular. Within a year from that email was widely adopted, then the intranet, so on and so forth. Technology has been on a fast track ever since, the need to rely on someone’s word isn’t always necessary. Technology now documents almost all transactions and communication. Problem solving and resources are at your fingertips and can be found at a click of a button. But those reasons alone shouldn’t make me think that I have a better work ethic. Back then we had time. Things now are at one pace….fast!
The respect that the younger generation yearns for is the same respect that the older generation earned sometimes solely through age and seniority. Respect was common place. Younger generations will need to work harder to gain this same respect. If the older generation can’t find a way to respect their ideals, the younger generation will no longer show respect based on age, as was shown in Sheehy’s report.

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