Published: 14 Mar 2024

Many companies, or any organization for that matter, are currently facing issues related to generational gaps. They are hiring new employees, most of whom come from Generation Y, born between 1981-1996, or Generation Z, with birth years ranging from 1997-2012. Meanwhile, many companies or organizations still employ workers from Generation X (1965-1980), or even Baby Boomers (1946-1964). Each generation has its unique characteristics. When they all come together in the workplace, problems arise.

This is one of the issues addressed by Dr. Iman Permana, BS (PE), MM, Dean of the Faculty of Business at President University, in his new book titled "Leadership Gap Syndrome," published by CV Bintang Semesta Media, Yogyakarta. Iman co-authored the book with his colleague, Jazak Yus Afriansyah, SE, MM.

In addition to being a dean, Iman has also worked as a business practitioner. He has been a human resources manager for a multinational company. Meanwhile, Jazak is a consultant and human resources and business development trainer. The two of them have previously collaborated on a book titled "Growing Under Pressure," published by Kompas Gramedia.

The latest book by Iman and Jazak was launched at an event held at the Master's Program in Communication Sciences, Universitas Pembangunan Nasional (UPN) Veteran, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Saturday, March 2, 2024. At the book launch event, in addition to Iman and Jazak, Theodulus Vikko Abineri, SI Kom, General Manager of Hotel Ayaartta, Malioboro, Yogyakarta, also spoke and provided his testimonial.


Resignation Abounds

Through the book, Iman and Jazak share their analysis of the leadership gap syndrome issue. "Such gaps can occur in any organization, whether it's a company, educational institution, government, or other community organizations," Iman asserts.

Theodulus, as a practitioner in the hospitality business, acknowledged this. He admits to experiencing similar situations when managing employees at Ayaartta Hotel, where there is a generational difference.

Iman further explains the contents of their book. He describes encountering many employees in various companies whose performance declines. "Ultimately, they choose to resign," says Iman.

Upon further investigation, Iman found that many of those who resigned admitted that the reason for their resignation was not due to the company's performance system. "They resign not because of the system or performance evaluation, but more because of their superiors," Iman emphasizes.

So, what problems do they face with their superiors? Iman reveals, "Many. But, if we want to find a common thread, most are caused by differences in leadership styles." And, he continues, these differences in style arise from generational gaps or the generation gap. In the same workplace, Generation Y and Z encounter Generation X or Baby Boomers. One generation is digitally savvy, while the other is not. Their styles are very different.


Snowball Effect

This generation gap has a significant impact on interactions among individuals of different generations. At home, for example, there are differences in communication between parents and their children. In companies, there are differences in styles between managers, supervisors, and their employees. The significant age difference often results in each generation having different ways of thinking and acting. Unfortunately, this often affects the performance of managers, supervisors, or their employees. Eventually, these differences also affect the performance of the company or organization.

According to Iman, many initially see these differences as simple problems. Minor issues. "But, what is happening is the snowball effect. The problem continues to roll, and over time it becomes bigger and bigger," says Iman.

Subordinates lose trust in their superiors. Conversely, superiors also dislike their subordinates' approach. Instead of continuously conflicting, Iman explains, new employees—who are mostly from younger generations—eventually choose to resign. If this happens, it is certainly a significant loss for the company. Because the future of the company ultimately lies in the hands of young people. The new employees.

So, how can this be minimized, or even eradicated at its roots? That is what Iman and Jazak answer in their book. In this second book, they not only analyze the various leadership style gaps that can become problems but also discuss the indications of these issues. What are the things to watch out for so that anyone can recognize the signs and take immediate corrective action or minimize their impact?

What if the problem has already escalated, becoming more significant? Can it still be fixed? Iman responds, "Of course, it can." But, it's always better to address it when the problem is still small, rather than when it's already spread everywhere.