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Understand Your Team: Generations in the Workplace

The workplace consists of different generations and is changing constantly. Human Resource professionals need to adapt to the change and first understand who needs to be considered in the workplace and proactively identify their human behavior, in order to have more engaged employees and productive environment.

Let’s consider these different generations in the workplace.

Generations in the workplaceThe following generations exist: Baby Boomers (54 years +), Generation X (42 years +), Generation Y/ Millennials (23 years +) and Generation Z (19 years +).

As a leader in business or a Human Resource professional there are many challenges with such a diverse set of employees.These generations communicate differently and have different work styles.

The table below indicates the general differences between the various generations:

  Baby Boomers (54 yrs +) Gen X

(42 yrs +)

Gen Y/ Millennials

(23 yrs +)

Gen Z /IGen

(19 yrs+)

Motivation Prestige/loyal Freedom Coaching Learning
Work style Formal Email / Tech Informal Rotational
Communication Face to Face Interactive Social Media Tech Savvy
Teamwork Competitive Individualistic Group Multi-task
Management Ask Questions Self sufficient Request Feedback

As a leader, a solution to working with a diverse group could be to change your approach as you work with various groups. Get the different groups to understand each other better through teamwork drives and working toward one vision so that each group has one purpose that they can identify or relate to and this will also strengthen the culture.

Employees are also living longer due to medical improvements and active lifestyles, which brings the opportunity for companies to utilize the experience of the aging workforce. This is an opportunity for Human Resource professionals to assign projects that require solutions and to make improvements to the business processes or an opportunity to setup a mentoring program to pass on their expertise and knowledge.

Younger employees require more freedom and flexibility; therefore, rotational opportunities will remain a relevant factor. They prefer to be multi-skilled and to keep learning fast and adapt easily to change. They are digitally savvy.

The leadership communication style and plan is also impacted by these generations. Leaders who want their message heard, need to use various communication channels such as face to face, email and instant messages.

Leaders in business and Human Resource Professionals should use these gaps and differences as opportunities to create a unique workplace culture that cannot be replicated. Collaboration, teamwork and mentorship are highlighted opportunities to create a competitive advantage.

Contact A.T.A for solutions to managing diversity and teamwork.

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