Something amazing has happened in many workplaces around the nation in the last year. With a population of Baby Boomers living longer and putting off retirement, coupled with the latest in high school and college grads in the Generation Y and now Z range – the working world is made up of 5 distinct generations of employees!
That’s a lot of people coming from very different sets of values, work ethics, and career goals to deal with. And it’s creating a challenge for companies who are not prepared to respect and work with these generations.
There are many workers who are from the Traditionalist generation, who are still engaged in work to some degree. Then we have the Baby Boomers, who make up more than a quarter of the existing workforce. Generation X and Y, raised by the Baby Boomers, are a vastly different breed, having been exposed to technology early in life. Next comes the Generation Z, post- Millennial kids, who are just now emerging into the job market or within the next few years.
Let’s take a moment to look at each of these generations and their effect on the workplace.
Traditionalists – Tend to see work as something that is a necessity of life, yet they can be some of your most loyal and respected employees. They often struggle with new technology, but embrace working with others towards company goals. Traditionalists are often good leaders and strong communicators.
Baby Boomers – The is the first generation that experienced true wealth in the US following World War II, therefore they tend to be workaholics who are financially driven. While they are hard-working, optimistic and reliable, this generation often needs extra time to work out problems and communicate with others. They especially don’t like taking authority from younger colleagues.
Generation X – This generation was once referred to as “lost” because they were born between some challenging times in the nation’s economy. However, they are also the first to be presented with computer technology at a young age and know how to use it well. Generation X workers are communicative on many levels, but need interesting projects to stay productive.
Generation Y – Coming just behind the Generation Xers are the Generation Y workers, whom are the most technology-savvy workers in the world. They thrive on multi-tasking and collaborating, as well as coming up with new ideas and concepts. However, some tend to have a sense of entitlement, which doesn’t bode well with older generations.
Generation Z – Welcome to the newest generation to the workforce, the Generation Yers! These are the most innovative and talented employees you will ever encounter. Give them plenty of direction, opportunities to learn and advance in their careers.
Are you prepared to deal with these 5 amazing generations of workers? Get ready by educating your HR and management team about their unique qualities, and remember that they all need the respect they are due. Make use of all their qualities by developing multi-generational teams and incentives to keep them productive. Encourage open communication from all team members, regardless of age group. Augment your current staff members with those from other generations by using the services of a staffing agency, like TempStaff.