Topic 4 The Importance of Bringing Different Generations Together

Intergenerational learning is important to all generations, where studies have proved that it facilitates growth while providing several benefits such as:

1.Multiple points of view: Promoting positive views of children and older people as equal in status with each having a strong capacity for agency and autonomy. Each generation has different skills to find creative ways and ideas in solving problems, whether on the scale of daily life or on the scale of work. This age diversity results in diversity in solving problems because interaction with others to face life challenges is greatly affected by the life experience of each person.

Currently, generations are classified into five categories, each with different requirements and points of view.  Management at work should understand these requirements and focus on the strengths of each generation.  This, in turn, helps to know the motivation of each generation, which leads to the creation of a positive interactive work environment.

The five generations

2.Meaningful relationships:

Socially constructed learning through ongoing, active, and collaborative relationships in an authentic cultural context, where participants learn together, from each other and about each other; in culture, history, and based on experience or skills. In addition, the relationships that arise between co-workers of different age groups are like family relationships that meet the emotional needs of employees.  On the other hand, the different methods of communication between different generations may lead to misunderstanding.  The older generations like to communicate face to face or by phone call, while the younger ones tend to use technology in communication such as e-mail. Also, common stereotypes influence people’s beliefs, which leads to conflicts.  The older ones think that the younger ones lack respect, while the younger ones think that the older ones are traditional and do not like innovation. Understanding these differences helps to resolve the conflicts that arise between them to support creating a meaningful unique connection between generations.

Video: 81 year old and 4 year old form most adorable bond

3.Opportunities for lifelong learning

Lifelong learning with opportunities for formal, non-formal, and informal learning. It is a reflexive relationship for learning between generations – each generation provides the next one with its experience and wisdom, while the new generation provides the generation before with latest innovations and current technology. This affects society to prepare for future leadership. As for the scope of work, encouraging the sharing of knowledge between different age groups leads to creating a positive interactive environment through organizing mentoring programmes, for example encouraging older employees by taking younger employees to be under their wing to transfer their experiences.

4.Knowledge development and retention

Mobilising the resources of the community to enrich the learning of young and old. Even on a working environment scale, older employees are characterized by cognitive maturity and experience that help in making decisions.  This is because of the wisdom that they have earned over the years. This wisdom is considered as supportive of the younger to help them in creativity. This knowledge and cultural heritage remain within the work environment and helps increase productivity.

 In addition, the educational background varies between different generations for example, technology and computers have become an integral part of education and daily life unlike previous generations. This affects problem solving and decision making.