21st Century Workforce: Are You Ready for Different Generations at Work
Have you ever thought about what it would be like working with people who could be your dad, your brother (12 years old), and your son (20 something) in the same workplace setting?
This is exactly what is happening at the 21st century workplace. There are four generations working together. This phenomenon must be anticipated and understood.
Generation can be defined as a group of people who share the same birth years, their age, and have similar tastes, attitudes, or experiences. They have different views, opinions, ways of thinking and talking.
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These divergent views and incompatible ideas about how the workplace should work have caused conflict in the business world. To effectively manage the generational divide, you need to understand the values and motivations of each generation.
Who are the 4 generations?
Here are some interesting statistics about the generations discussed in “The Future of Work”, a 2015 publication from PWC.
About 14% of the workforce still consists of Baby Boomers. They are known for being work-focused, independent, goal-oriented and competitive. This group has been largely rewarded for fitting in and not being different.
They are the most influential and wealthy group in the US and are well-known for their delayed gratification: pleasure later, work first.
20% of the workforce is Gen X. They are entrepreneurial, seeking work/life balance, creativity, challenge and change.
This population was raised in a culture that valued individuality and stood out. They are loyal to people and not to companies.
30% of the workforce is made up of millennials. They are achievement-oriented, striving for personal growth, meaningful work, and apparently like constant change. They are all about self-actualization. This generation was shaped by the relative truth of Truth. They have been exposed to new things, both good and bad, and Technology has grown up with them.
Cam Marston, Generational Insights, says that “Millennials grew-up protected, praised, and programmed” by their parents.
They consider themselves to be smart consumers after they have graduated from college. They are known for their ability to get instant gratification, want quick feedback and being optimistic.
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They were raised to see their grandparents and parents as equals. This can lead them to be quite outspoken with their gray-haired superiors. They are tech-savvy and also obsessed with connection, so don’t be surprised if they text you while you’re talking to them. They expect a prompt response. They will be impatient with bosses and older advisors.
Gen Z will comprise 10% of the workforce. They are expected to value respect and responsibility as well as restraint. This generation was shaped by uncertainty and uncertainty. They believe that any goal is possible with hard work and sacrifice, and that diversity is normal. They grew up with technology. They are less trusting and more cautious.
Are you prepared?
How can organizations prepare for future generations, particularly Millennials and Gen Z.
They place personal growth at the top of their agenda. They want work to be meaningful and not just a means to an income or economic survival.
Cam Marston’s talk, “Leadership Lessons From the Wheelhouse”, he says that great managers can concentrate on doi