generation at work review

The book “Generation at Work” is a realistic guide that sets out a business combination of participants from multiple generations. It was written by three authors: Zemke, Raines, and Filipczak. It depicts the tensions that occur as a result of individuals working together and presents a realistic guide to resolving these gaps in the workforce. The book further discusses the possibilities that exist in organizations as generational differences are bridged, ideas are changed, and there are constant creativity and capability growth. It introduces these concepts as the best management strategies. The book entails specific guides on how to handle each generation and to understand each other in the mixed setup. Thirdly, the book is traced with information that is purposively meant to mentor and guide generation Y in the organization. Lastly, it is a guide to the managers and experts to handle the mixed generation in their companies and structure to ensure sustainability and continuous skill development in working, communicating as well as thinking (Zemke, Raines & Filipczak, 2013).

The book focuses on the workforce in United States of America. The three generations discussed in the book, that is, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials, represent USA as a developed nation that has a high replacement rate fertility. The situation where the ratio of 2:1, children per couple, has exposed the country to a status of demand to have more workforce of various ages in it. Baby boomers are few in the workforce, followed by the Millennials and Generation X. This game-changing representation is a reflection of the various generations who have to coexist in the workforces for the sustainability of themselves and for the organizations they work for.

There is the depiction of a multigenerational workforce and their interactions through the examples given in the book. For instance, the fifty-five-year-old Baby Boomer in the same project with a team of 22-year-old Millenials and reporting to the 45-year old Gen Xers. The book presents this situation whereby, there are a lot of forces that affect these workers. The book lays an outline of dynamic change, economic, social, political and also psychological effects that these multi-generations are diversified. The workers at their fifties have a lot of expectations from those at twenties and vice versa. External organization factors are attributes to all of them in a different way.

It also describes the situation with adequacy by demographic, social, political and economic factors that continuously affect individuals, organization, and workplace. All in all, the book shows the inseparability of these elements from the individuals in the workplace and organizations. The demographic, social and economic factors influence these generations variedly and they are hardly eliminated. Each individual possesses peculiar and unique attributes in the generation related characteristics. For instance, the old man working with the young and reporting to a medium aged manager will be expecting respect and obedience from the younger ones. However, the book describes that, amidst all these generation issues, the constancy of human lives and attributes are unchanged and people ought to cope, understand each other, and work for unity across generation diversification.

Regarding the impact of the multigenerational employees on the workplace and its design, the book primarily focuses on the active engagement of the team members. In the book, Zemke, Raines and Filipczak (2013) say that, individuals look for the connection to each other, their work, and the organizations they are attached to. Organizations are called to focus on engaging their employees for the succeeding in the marketplace. The authors depict the ultimate success that is related to the engagement of the multigenerational workforce. As individuals strive to survive in such an environment, there is connection between the workers. A well-developed communication channels and networks are seen as key variables that guarantee co-existence in a multigenerational environment.

The book mentions the game-changing technology that the generations perceive variedly. For instance, the Baby Boomers are presented to have the first time experience with technology in the workplace. The radical change in innovation has come with challenges as people are forced to get back to learn the new skills. For the same skills, the Millennials have less struggles since they are technology-oriented from early stages of their development. Therefore, in the organizational workforce, the Millennials possess a skill that is hardly possessed by the Baby Boomers. While the Millennials are dynamic and easily adapt to change, the other generations may not be as flexible as such, because of the influences from the economic, social and political factors. Therefore, the new office behavior has demanded skills and expertise that can be offered by Generation X and Millennials. In the organization with different generations, the book Generation at Work presents multi-generation as an efficient strategy for organization development.

According to the book Generation at work, knowing the characteristics of each generation helps in interacting, engaging, retaining, developing and advancing the individuals in their generation strata. The book lays it clear that the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials have different experiences. These familiarities have shaped them differently. Some of the Baby Boomers are very much experienced as a matter of time they have lived while the Millennials have less exposure and expertise. The identity of each of the generation and expectation is different and thus, knowing one another’s characteristics and abilities will aid in the way to relate to them. However, the book responds that however much the misunderstandings, individuals are expected to act well, and provide the opportunities for mutual growth and shared understanding. People are called to learn to respect, appreciate and understand generational differences. By so doing, the book predicts a successful, productive and value added organization. In affirmation, the book lays another claim that, similarities in attitudes, values, and goals, cross generational lines and can help erase multigenerational misunderstandings (Zemke, Raines, & Filipczak, 2000).

In the workplace setting, the book talks about the environment that fits every stakeholder. The workplace should not let anyone feel excluded regardless of generation. The mentioned generations prefer a particular environment. For instance, Boomers and Generation X would like a cool place for them to concentrate and carry out their issues. The workplace setting is presented as a strategic tool that supports the workers and the organizational processes, nurtures and develops strong relationships between various generations. Also, it promotes employee retention as every person feels a part of the organization amidst the age factor.

To sum up, Generation at work is an outline of diversity based on one’s generation. The book reviews the generation categories in various workplaces in the US setup. The Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials are a representation of the workforce whose performance is maximized by the organization amidst their differences. However, their differences are described as a benefit to both the individuals’ growth and the organization if diversification policies are considered (Zemke, Raines, & Filipczak, 2013). Regardless of age, the generations are blended for their unique experiences, and for their skills to be unlocked.


Zemke, R., Raines, C., & Filipczak, B. (2013). Generations at work: Managing the clash of Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers in the workplace. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Zemke, R., Raines, C., & Filipczak, B. (2000). Generations at work. New York: American

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