Some believe there are a lot of differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials in the workplace, especially when it comes to values, work behaviors, and preferences in supervision. At least that is what most have come to believe. But what does research say about the generational differences and stereotypes that are so commonly referred to?

L&D professionals are highly influenced by their generational perceptions in everything from hiring practices and office design and design of learning experiences. In More Similar than Different: What the Research Says About Generations in the Workplace, Jane Bozarth investigates the most common perceptions in generational differences and uses empirical research and academic literature to unmask the truth behind how these differences really affect the modern-day workforce.

Here are a few of the key points that are discussed:

  • The idea of “generation” is difficult to define and study. It is not clear whether any existing differences are due to belonging to specific generations, or just differences that occur to age, living situation, developmental stage, phase of career, or any number of other factors.
  • Academic literature increasingly suggests that problems are more related to perceived differences than actual ones.
  • Takeaways for L&D professionals include undertaking extensive user testing, approaching from a position of empathy, tips for avoiding bias, and checking one’s own biases to see whether generational perceptions are interfering with effectiveness.

Download this report now to read more from Jane Bozarth about the research behind generational differences and how generations may be more similar than most of us tend to believe.