2.2 Generational context
In the workplace today, it is possible for up to four generations to be working together.
There is significant research available on this topic, but a recent online survey conducted in the US by professional services company EY, which focuses on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each generation in the workplace, found the following information:
Table 2 Workplace characteristics
|Generation||Age group||Perceived workplace characteristics|
Clearly these different characteristics and perceptions can bring challenges, particularly if the leader has different values from their workforce!
Context is a broad issue with many elements. In Activity 2, you’ll reflect on the context of an organisation you are familiar with.
Activity 2 Influences on leadership context
Choose an organisation you are part of, or would like to be part of, and consider its various influences. Under each of the following headings, list the issues that you would have to consider as a leader of your organisation.
International trends and issues (e.g. globalisation)
National trends (e.g. political policies)
Local influences (e.g. the role of local communities)
Internal influences (e.g. the culture of the organisation)
Cross-cultural influences (e.g. a variety of nationalities within the workforce)
Generational influences (e.g. a variety of generational viewpoints within the workforce)
Depending on your chosen example, you may not have issues to consider in every category, but the point is that all organisations and leaders will be subject to a range of external influences. For example, you may have thought of funding issues, attitude to risk, team motivation etc.
This activity is adapted from the OpenLearn course.
Many experts conclude that adapting your style to fit the situation or context is a useful approach, so in Section 3, you’ll explore leadership style and consider some of the different styles that have been defined.