The Generation Gap is not a new concept, but the impact of mixing Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers with Millennials in the workplace has raised interesting challenges for today’s corporate leaders. Without an understanding of the key differences in mindset, motivators, values and attitudes, leaders can find themselves dealing with conflict, resentment and negativity between staff members.
To leverage the benefits of Generational Diversity it is crucial to understand the key differences and how to effectively lead your teams to work collaboratively and positively together, regardless of age differences.

These three focus areas will start you off in the right direction.

1. What Communication Means
Baby Boomers and Gen X are happy to join a conversation, call a meeting or pick up the phone and call someone for business questions and discussions. Gen Y (Millennials) tend to defer to email and text (sms) as their preferred tools, often using their portable devices, and avoid phone calls where possible. All of these methods can be effective in the right context.
Clarification around preferred communication methods and etiquette within the business environment will help keep everyone on the same page and prevent judgement and misconceptions.

2. Respect Goes Both Ways
Older generation employees often share with me, how disrespectful the younger generations are. They use words like “pushy and entitled” to describe their younger cohorts. In return, young employees tell me that they are “overlooked, ignored and dismissed”. Neither side is feeling or giving the other the respect they deserve.

Respect goes both ways. By encouraging senior workers to share knowledge and mentor younger staff, Gen Y begin to see the deeper value of their experience. Implementing open and inclusive innovation and brainstorming sessions within an organisation will showcase the new and creative ideas that Gen Y bring to the table. Understanding and recognising the value of each individual is a big step towards mutual respect.

3. Work Ethic
“If you want to get ahead work harder” is the ethos of the Baby Boomers and Gen X. Do your time, be loyal, and you will move up the ladder. The eight hour day and five day week are the practical applications of getting ahead for Baby Boomers and Gen X. They often see Gen Y as lazy and unfocused. This is because Gen Y are more results focused and believe in working smarter, rather than harder. They like flexibility and variety in regards to their hours and workspace, and are much more aware of work/life balance. They want to get ahead, but not at the expense of their lifestyle. They can also multi-task and work at a faster pace, so their time at the desk isn’t necessarily related to output.

By directing the focus to highlighting results and outcomes, leaders can enable recognition of individual strengths and achievements rather than just time investment. Encourage feedback and input around processes and improvements, and work with senior staff to help them understand the benefits of a flexible workstyle.

The real key to successful generational diversity is open communication and a willingness to look at things from other people’s perspectives. With understanding and inclusive leaders at the helm, multiple generations can work cohesively to the benefit of each other and the business.

Generations – Remember the past, Create the present, Inspire the Future

If you are having generational issues or would like to talk to us about our People and Culture Assessments or Coaching Programs you are welcome to contact us for more information.

Be Ultimate because Ordinary is Over-rated

What Our Clients Say

I have been with the same company for nearly 10 years. Although in a leadership role and successful, I felt burned out, stressed and unhappy at work. This was impacting my work /life balance as well as my interaction with others. I needed to re-evaluate my career priorities and level up my communication skills. Cheryl took the time to listen and understand my situation. We worked together to better understand my strengths and values and how important it is for them to be congruent with my career development. With Cheryl’s guidance I focused on the steps I needed to make to remain myself, whilst becoming a better leader at work. Cheryl’s style, attitude and easy to follow steps are pragmatic and realistic. She provided me with tools I could use every day to remain focused on changes I needed to make to achieve what I wanted.This is an ongoing journey but I am now more confident, have a deeper understanding of both myself and others, have the tools to perform better at work and am maintaining a more fulfilling work-life balance.

Catherine.R – National Manager

I met Cheryl as I started a personal journey in seeking greater clarity for my career. It has turned into much more and I am most grateful to her for helping me understand myself much better as well as how to interact with those around me. Both professional and private. Cheryl has been a source of strength and insight. Her warm and friendly nature makes it easy to relate to her. She challenges the status quo and help me improve many aspects of my life. A number of my colleagues have spent time with Cheryl and all feedback has been positive. I would highly recommend her.

Ross Cartwright, Managing Director – Head of Retail Aus/NZ, MFS INVESTMENTS

We were lucky enough to have Cheryl come to our Annual Team Conference where she presented a Creative Thinking Workshop for our Team. I would high recommend Cheryl and the workshop for anyone who is looking to open their minds and expand the vision of the business. The workshop was highly interactive with the concepts and ideas being able to be implemented relatively quickly and simply into our business.

Harry, Director of Projects, PLAN ASSIST PTY LTD

I have seen and worked with Cheryl on a number of events and projects she is a part of. So when it came to organising an EA/PA Networking event, I knew she was the right person to be our guest speaker. Cheryl is an engaging, humorous and energetic presenter, who can relate easily to a room of 10 to 100+ people. She brings a world of knowledge and experience to her presentations and her real-life business examples reinforce the messages she presents. Cheryl is definitely someone I would recommend to present at any corporate workshop.

A Edmonds, Events Manager, LUNAR PARK SYDNEY

I attended Be Ultimate’s workshop on Stress Management. It was amazing! It was exactly what I needed to understand how to manage my busy days. Cheryl taught us practical, easy to implement strategies that worked for me from day 1 and I haven't looked back since. I highly recommend Cheryl as a coach, and recommend her 2 hour workshops for anyone.


I have attended two LinkedIn workshops run by Be Ultimate and I have found them to be extremely informative, professional and succinct, whilst also being very personable and fun. I have already implemented new content and knowledge learned at the workshops ... starting at the actual workshops itself!

Thanks for your fun and informative workshop sessions.


Cheryl provides an incredible bouncing board to lead you through your journey of reinvention or simply to gain reinforcement that the path you’re on is the right one. Cheryl is an awesome person who truly cares for other people, wants to see them achieve their goals, isn’t backward in coming forwards when you need the prod in the right direction and will encourage you to see the great results you are accomplishing when they may not be as obvious to you.

I highly recommend Cheryl to anyone who is looking for business advice, a change in career or simply wants to gain some solutions to taking a positive approach to life.

A.Wilson, Business Owner, CATEGORACLE

Cheryl has facilitated a number of conferences for Liquid Learning in both Australia and New Zealand and has always been a pleasure to work with! Cheryl is helpful, punctual, reliable and always professional. She is very skilled in keeping the conference running to time and lifting the energy of the room as she facilitates Q&A sessions. Cheryl also frequently runs workshops with us and does regular speaking spots which she always receives great feedback for.

Jean Young, Project Executive, LIQUID LEARNING

With the majority of delegates rating Cheryl’s keynote presentation at the IOPO Conference 5 out of 5, she exceeded our expectations! Cheryl is truly passionate about helping businesses to succeed and thrive.

Linda, IOPO Advisory Board Member, IOPO

Cheryl has been a delight to work with over the past 7 years. She has assisted our business, Independent Garden Centres, with professional development workshops, she has been of great support to me as a coach. Cheryl has emceed the last two annual IGC Retail Conferences with an engaging and fun style, and she has been one of our conference keynote speakers who held the undivided attention of the delegates with ease. I thoroughly recommend Cheryl Alderman in any of these capacities.  Cheryl is a consummate professional who quickly builds rapport, she clearly enjoys sharing her knowledge with others, and there is always an element of fun which oft missing in many professionals.

Evan Mueller, CEO, IGC

In this workshop we were introduced to a range of simple strategies that the group could adopt to manage the inevitable stress and tension experienced in corporate and every life. The cynical group loved the practical and interactive approach of this workshop and were highly engaged throughout the 2 hours. The presenters brought in lots of great exercises. I am happy to recommend this Managing Stress workshop and both presenters to other corporate groups.

L Jones, People & Culture Business Partner, FOXTEL

Working with Cheryl has had benefits that have reached far beyond me as an individual. She has helped me to become a better leader and elevate the effectiveness and potential of my entire team. Cheryl's coaching has raised my self awareness, shifted my focus to control what I can control, and given me tools to realise opportunities that I wouldn't have thought possible before our first session.

Michael, Manager of Digital Marketing, DIMENSIONAL