The European Youth explains the age gap in European business in the 21st century

Bienkowska Youth

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,to Poland. Elzbieta Bienkowska during the closing ceremony of European Forum for New Ideas EFNI.© Unknown , 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

This article was exclusively written for The Sting by David Gomes, the President of JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE). The opinions discussed in this article belong to the writer.

The age gap has become a hot topic nowadays, especially when in workplaces many people start to feel the difference among different generations.

More than a hot topic, the age gap is becoming something more meaningful because of the constant changes in society. Changes not only in the behaviors, ideas or ways of working, but also in generations itself. Right now, we have 4 different generations working side-by-side in the workplace: Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1964), the Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), the Millennials (born between 1981 and 2001) and, finally, the Generation X (without consensus on when they born). This is caused by the fact that the generations are changing faster every decade, having different traits, ideas, tastes and even mindsets.

Having 4 different generations working in the same place it can be seen as a threat, but also an opportunity for companies.

It is seen as a threat for those who believe that the younger generations are only used to have everything they want, so they should respect and obey the elderly. Nowadays, it does not work. At least, not with the Millennials or the Generation Z, which are generations that believe in their value and their ideas. This shock of ideas can turn some workplaces into battlefields, because on one side we have the experienced people, who have worked in the company for years and, on the other side, we have the younger ones, whom bring new ideas, new ways of increasing productivity, and can add a lot of value to the enterprises. Although, once the war is started, the workplace is undermined.

Still, this shock of generations is (and should be seen as) an opportunity to add a huge value to companies. As said before, on one side we have people who are extremely experienced in what they are doing, they have a lot of knowledge not because they have degrees, but because they have been working in the specific area for decades. On the other side, we have young generations that have degrees and different experiences, as well as different ways of approaching problems and challenges. These young minds bring innovation and new efficiency levels to companies, since they are restless in their way of working. It is part of their generation’s DNA.

If we think about the opportunity of creating the right dynamic between these different types of generations, companies can achieve a bigger impact. If an organization manages to create a culture where there is understanding and cooperation among everyone, the results will be amazing. Mixing experience with theoretical knowledge can bring better results for companies.

There are a lot of activities that companies can (and should) apply in order to avoid this shock of generational mindsets. The first approach can be starting a mentoring programme in the company, where people can find a mentor or coach to help them achieve their best results. A success case of this mentoring programmes is IBM, where they have the “CoachMe” programme, nowadays with 55,000 participants across 80 countries, with around 2,000 coaching sessions a month. Also, this programme has a specificity: the older people in the company can choose a younger one to help them developing some skills.

The Human Resources structures need to be prepared for this kind of changes in their organizational structures. It is essential, more than facing this reality, to act against it and take out the most out of it. Also, as a second approach to this reality, companies should always listen to their employees. It is not enough to just guess what they need, it is important to understand their thoughts and beliefs, in order to adapt all the structure and activities to their own needs – in the end of the day, companies are made of people.

As an example of the output from the generational gap as an added-value to society, we as JADE have an event called Generations Club – our Public Affairs event organized in Brussels every year in November/December.

It is composed by 2 elements: The “Senior” generation, represented from figures of both the public and private sector, and the “Junior” generation, represented from student NGOs and members of our Network.

It started in 2007 and has the aim of bringing together the “Senior” and the “Junior” generation, discussing up-to-date European issues and building bridges to foster a more collaborative entrepreneurial society.

This year’s event will be about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For the past editions, we have discussed various sets of skills needed in the business world. In this year’s edition, we want to discuss how we can apply these skills in order to take concrete actions towards one of the most important matters of today: the SDGs.

The invitation-only event will gather around 30 people and will see the guests taking part in parallel discussions in different focus groups to share opinions and ideas on the topic and collect concrete conclusions to be disseminated to relevant stakeholders and policymakers.

About the author

David Gomes, 21 years old, is the President of JADE – European Confederation of Junior Enterprises. He is in charge of keeping the activities aligned with the long-term strategy of the Confederation, coordinating all the European Network’s events, managing the human resources of the organization, and maintaining the international relations of JADE.

David is a graduated in business management from ISCTE Business School (Lisbon, Portugal). He was Management and Strategy Director of his Junior Enterprise, ISCTE Junior Consulting, responsible for managing a 12-people department, and as member of the Executive Board, he was part of the decision-making structure of the Junior Enterprise.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 rules for making employers and employees trust each other again

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

Collective action now, the only way to meet global challenges, Guterres reaffirms in annual report

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

How the gender commuting gap could be harming women’s careers

UN rights office appeals for peaceful Zimbabwe elections amid reports of intimidation

Peace operations benefit from improved cooperation between the UN and troop-providing countries, says peacekeeping chief

3 ways to fight stress at work

‘Immense’ needs of migrants making perilous journey between Yemen and Horn of Africa prompts $45 million UN migration agency appeal

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

Here are three key ways that data analytics can improve the workplace

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Millions of young lives ‘at risk’ says UN labour chief, calling for an end to child labour

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

Venezuela: Competing US, Russia resolutions fail to pass in Security Council

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

Developing countries should not be liable for emissions ‘accumulated throughout history’, key UN development forum hears

Female leaders warn about the erosion of women’s rights

Capital markets selloff: The financial moguls send messages to monetary authorities

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Four ways we can fix economics in 2019

Altruism can be good for business, as these companies show

EU Trust Fund for Africa: new migration-related actions to protect vulnerable people and foster resilience of host communities in North of Africa

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

Friday’s Daily Brief: human rights in Sudan, sombre anniversaries for Rwanda and Nigeria, and fears of ‘chaos’ in Libya

Berlin’s governing elite leads Eurozone to recession to win the September election in Germany

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

GSMA Announces New Keynote Speakers, Event Updates for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

This man is turning cities into giant sponges to save lives

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for smaller businesses to get financing through capital markets

The growing cyber-risk to our electricity grids – and what to do about it

Austria’s EU Presidency: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz aims to “build bridges”

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Monday’s Daily Brief: biodiversity and forests, labour and road safety, women’s rights, and fallen UN staff remembered

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

European Youth cries out: Sustainable Development Goals ambitious, but lack focus on youth

OECD strengthens co-operation with Morocco – Renews Morocco Country Programme Agreement

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

1.4 million refugees set to need urgent resettlement in 2020: UNHCR

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

How fungi could save the world

UN allocates $20 million in emergency funding, as Cyclone Idai disaster unfolds

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

AI-assisted recruitment is biased. Here’s how to make it more fair

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

These are the next big products in consumer technology

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s