Cover image for Generations at work : managing the clash of veterans, boomers, xers, and nexters in your workplace
Generations at work : managing the clash of veterans, boomers, xers, and nexters in your workplace
Zemke, Ron.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : AMACOM, 2000.
Physical Description:
vi, 280 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5549.5.M5 Z45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HF5549.5.M5 Z45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Veterans...Baby Boomers...GenXers ...Nexters. Mix them all together, and what do you get? Sometimes disaster! Here are fresh insights and practical solutions for easing the inevitable conflicts of today's age- and values-diverse workplace, where people just don't see work (or life) the same way.

"They have no work ethic."

"So I told my boss, 'If you're looking for loyalty, get a dog."

"I will not attend meetings that start after 5."

There's a serious new problem in the workplace, and it has nothing to do with downsizing, change, foreign competition, pointy-haired bosses, cubicle envy, or greed. Instead, it's the problem of distinct generations--the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, the GenXers, and (coming soon) the Nexters--crossing paths and sometimes colliding.

So how can you manage this motley group with their conflicting work ethics, dissimilar values, and idiosyncratic styles? How do you get them to stop snarling at each other? How do you motivate them to work together?

Generations at Work is the first book to clearly outline each group's primary characteristics, and to explain the seminal events and cultural icons that shaped their attitudes and values. But it doesn't just provide an astute sociological portrait. The book also offers practical, sound solutions for avoiding (or remedying) the most common mistakes of managing in today's cross-generational workplace.

Readers will find profiles of companies with effective strategies for smoothing generational conflict...a true-to-life case study of a manager caught in the crossfire...and 21 key questions and answers for solving cross-gen problems.

For anyone struggling to manage a workforce with different ways of working, talking, and thinking, Generations at Work both explains the gulf that separates the generations and offers insightful solutions for creating workplace harmony.

Author Notes

Ron Zemke is senior editor of Training magazine and author or co-author of 23 books, including the bestselling Knock Your Socks Off Service series, Knock Your Socks Off Selling, and Service America! His work with organizations such as Ford Motor company, Microsoft, and Wendy's International bring him face-to-face with the pressures of the cross-generational workforce. He lives in Minneapolis.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book is a wonderful addition to any management collection. The authors, professionals who have written and consulted on the topics covered in this volume, profile four distinct generations: the Veterans (b. 1922-43), Baby Boomers (b. 1943-60), Gen Xers (b. 1960-80), and Nexters (b. 1980- ). They present information on the demographics of these different groups, the events that shaped their lives and times, predominant traits, work styles, and key messages to keep in mind when recruiting, developing, and motivating these employees. The key hypothesis proposed by the authors is that managers need to find effective methods to foster intergenerational harmony in the workplace, creating an environment in which people rally together for the organization, not against each other. They follow up discussion of these cohorts with case studies of five major companies facing intergenerational issues. Included is an exercise involving how to solve the plight of a fictionalized manager facing a cross-generational crisis. Seven outside experts present their views on how to solve the problems posed in the exercise. The text is organized in a manner that allows the reader to find key information quickly. Recommended for undergraduate, graduate, and professional collections. D. C. Kimball; Elms College