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Closing the generation knowledge gap

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How well are you tapping into the knowledge held by your office’s most experienced workers, the generation known as “Matures,” born before baby boomers?

According to Randstad USA’s annual 2008 World of Work survey, the four generations of workers that comprise the U.S. workforce—Gen X, Gen Y, Boomers and Matures—rarely interact with one another and often do not recognize each other’s skills or work ethic.

What does it all mean? For one thing, it means U.S. businesses risk a shortage of skilled labor, because of a limited transfer of knowledge.

Consider:

• 71% of Gen Y respondents have little or no interaction with Matures.

• 67% of Gen X respondents have little or no interaction with Matures.

• 58% of baby boomer respondents have little or no interaction with Matures.

To help offset the effects of this “generational gap,” the survey advises seeking ways to collaborate with people from peers outside your generational group.

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