· 1 min read · News

Hot topic: Political generation gaps


The Brexit referendum revealed a considerable generation gap in political opinions

While most young voters chose to stay, many in the older generations voted to leave. Is this an issue when managing multiple generations in the workforce?

Jon Hull, group head of resourcing at Carillion, says:

"While there was a split in the way older and younger generations voted, I think the analysis shows a much more sophisticated picture of a divided Britain. How this plays out in the workplace I think is irrelevant. There has been much heat and light talked about Generation Z and how different they are. The reality is, they have very similar needs and desires to other generations.

"Myths abound that Gen Z want more flexible working and want to change jobs every five years. The research suggests this is not the case. Like all generations they want to gain skills and knowledge and progress.

"For this generation, a stable income is economic rationality when faced with student debt and high property prices."

Anna Shields, director and co-founder of Consensio, says:

"The most common post-referendum comments I hear from those in the older generation who voted to leave is: “I’m doing it for your future.’’ Yet the child or grandchild responds: “But I voted to remain.” Here lies the conundrum that I often see in my job as a workplace mediator; each party feels passionately that they are making the right decision not just for themselves, but also for their team, the department, or the organisation. However, difficult conversations at work often arise because of different perceptions, intentions, expectations and experiences.

"Is this exacerbated when mediating conflicts between different generations? I see the age dynamic at play, but I am not convinced that it is the root cause of the issue. Yes, there are differences, but far more important is the need to be listened to, to be heard, and to be understood. These needs are ageless."

Check back tomorrow for part two of this Hot Topic