SUFU 2018: The Generation Gap: Effects in the Workplace

Austin, TX ( Dr. Kathleen C. Kobashi, MD, FACS, and president of SUFU presented the argument that the generation gap has always existed. Currently, the first time that four generations are working side by side is right now. Differences run deep regarding values, experiences, style, and approach. 

Transitionalists are 73+ (born 1925-1945), baby boomers are 54 to 72 years old (born between 1946-1964), Gen-Xers are 39-53 years old (age between 39-53 years old) and millennials (Gen Y) are between 12 and 38 years old (born 1981-2005) and finally Homeland Generation Z are born between 2006 and 2025. 

Transitionalists are 35 million and represent about 5% of workforce. They are characterized by hard working people, cautious and financially conservative. Baby boomers are 80 millions and 40% of workforce. They are egocentric, work defines them and expect lots from everyone.  Generation X comes in the shadow of the influential Boomers, they work to live, cynical and developed behaviors of independence. Generation Y/ Millennials grew up in consumer world and digital media and internet. Millennials are the largest most diverse generation in the US population. Differences in what’s valuable for each generation is different. 

For Transionalists it is family community, for Baby Boomers it is success, for X-ers it is time and for Millennials it is individuality. Differences also are found in “On time at Work”. Transionalists punch the clock and get the job done, Boomers are workaholic, X-ers are project  oriented while Millennials are effective workers but gone at 5 pm. Work for them is a “gig” between weekends. The take home message is to pay attention to these differences, tailor interaction to generation, and forgive each other. 

Presented by: Kathleen C. Kobashi, MD, FACS

Written by: Gamal Ghoniem, MD, FACS, FPMRS, Professor and Vice Chair of Urology, University of California, Irvine, California at the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction Winter Meeting (SUFU 2018), February 27-March 3, 2018, Austin, Texas