Boomers & Millennials: Capitalizing on the benefits of a generationally diverse work climate

When we think about generational differences in the work environment, we often think of the challenges that derive from adjusting to generation diversity.

However, researchers have found that our focus should be less on adapting and more on understanding. According to Dr. Kimberly Moss, an international consultant and researcher in the area of inter-generational dynamics, if we learn how each generation works (literally), both our communication and teamwork will reap the benefits.

Dr. Moss’s article, Decoding Generational Discourse: Cracking the Code to Improve Communication Across Generations, focuses on the following concepts and discusses how each are understood from the perspectives of various generations: respect, accountability, loyalty, engagement, and coaching. This post breaks down Dr. Moss’ argument on respect.

Members of one generation often complain of disrespect from colleagues of a different generation. Dr. Moss suggests that one problem could be that “respect is defined very differently by each generation.” Here’s a chart that breaks down Dr. Moss’ arguments across generations.

*dates are only estimated as there are currently no clearly defined ranges.


Dr. Moss’ solution for ensuring everyone feels respected:

“Talk to each other.

Acknowledge assumptions and differing definitions.

Tell each other

how you define respect,

how you show respect,

how you understand respect, and

your understanding of various behaviors.”

How does/can your team benefit from age diversity?

A model for looking at the communication of modern-day biases

A model for looking at the communication of modern-day biases:


Our message:

Get yourself/team updated — or as some gen-Z-ers might say, get woke.

And get on the same page with your team.

Prevention is always ideal. Awareness is the key.