Meet the five different generations in today's workplace

Generational differences are not going away. As the generations age, they won’t become more alike, but rather the differences in their generational personalities will grow stronger over time. Indeed, when hard times hit each generation is likely to entrench themselves into old habits and ingrained attitudes and behaviors. Now is a good time to examine each generation individually. This allows you to study the events and conditions of their formative years and helps you visualize the point of view through which each generation sees the world. The objective here isn’t to create people strategies based on well-defined age brackets or to demand that employees conform to their peers based on a common age. The goal is to boost company productivity and minimize time-wasting, generational conflicts by better understanding your workforce, their generational personalities, and the messages that motivate each group.

 

Traditionalists: Born 1922 - 1944

 

  • Value privacy, trust, hard work

  • Believe in paying their dues

  • Respect authority & social order

  • Conformists, historically oriented, Loyal

  • Needs details, uncomfortable with ambiguity

 

 
 

Baby Boomers: Born 1945 - 1964

 

  • 76 million strong

  • Majority of today's workers

  • Love to be challenged

  • First Generation of TV addicts 

  • Speak clearly and directly

  • Use face-to-face meetings with follow up emails

  • Career ladder development

Generation X:  Born 1965 - 1979

 

  • Value portable careers

  • Looking for a chance to go global

  • Don't climb ladders

  • Looking for a leader or mentor, not necessarily a boss

  • The most misunderstood generation

 
 
Millennials:  Born 1980 - 1996

  • Generation "Why"

  • Children of Boomers, nearly 76 million strong

  • Sociable, optimistic

  • Talented, and a hot commodity in the job market

  • Have higher expectations & little experience 

  • Multitaskers, confident and loyal

  • Create "lattice framework" of experience

Generation Z:  Born 1997 and later

  • Multi-task at warp speed

  • Prefer digital conversations

  • Require connectivity between home, school & life

  • Realistic not idealistic

  • Want to start their own business

  • Very private about personal life & don't over share

  • Passionate about learning

  • Hyper aware of branding & marketing that isn't authentic

  • Financially diligent about preparing for the future

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