Skip to Main Content

ENG 1A - Generations in the Workplace: Home

Resources for researching inter-generational issues in the workplace. Guide based on orientations by Cheryl Warren, Charlotte Bagby, and Angela Amaya.


Research Assignment

This is a research guide for students looking for information about intergenerational issues in the workplace.  

What are the different generations' values, economic situations, etc.?

How and why have these differences developed and what effect might they have on today's workplace?

You'll find suggestions for locating books, e-books, and magazine and journal articles in print and Web sources.

Please contact a reference librarian if you need further assistance. 


Assignment: Write a thesis-driven essay that discusses current differences between generations.

You will need to address the following four elements:

1)   What are the differences? (values, attitudes, behavior, etc.)
2)   Why do these differences exist? (political events,
       economic situations, social issues, etc.)
3)   What are the issues resulting from these differences? (conflicts at work or
       school, etc.)
4)   What solutions could alleviate these issues? You may not simply say Gen
       Y way is best, so just do things their way. Your solutions must include
       aspects that utilize ALL the generations’ strengths.


  • 4-5 pages, plus a Works Cited page
  • Works Cited page must use at least 5 credible sources—not including dictionaries/encyclopedias
  • Use standard MLA formatting and citations

Concepts to Consider

  • definitions of generations
  • work values
  • work ethics
  • company loyalty
  • communication styles 
  • use of/facility with technology
  • work habits/styles, practices, and expectations (for example, Gen X vs. Gen Y, or Millennials vs. Baby Boomers)
  • expectations regarding compensation, benefits, perks
  • rewards and expectations for performance
  • competition for jobs between recent graduates and 50-somethings (recent grads are much cheaper than seasoned employees; 50-somethings take jobs that should go to the recent grads)
  • views on work flexibility (flextime; commuting vs. telecommuting)
  • concerns about retirement, economic opportunities, debt
  • marketable skill sets
  • education and training
  • digital natives vs. digital immigrants