We hear so much about Gen X and Gen Y. But let’s start a little bit eariler … let’s begin by looking at the Baby Boomers. Here are some general facts about Boomers, who incidentally, are the largest contributor to the nation’s business and industry workforces.
Generally, Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. They are associated with rejection and redefining of traditional values. They are workaholics, and value staying with one company. They are associated with women developing careers and juggling work life issues.
When managing this group respect is key. Dedication to the employer is important for them. Encourage sharing, mentoring, and leading projects with boomers.
Gen X, born between 1965 and 1979, received very little formal training when they entered the work place. They will not sell their soul for 24/7 and tend to move in and out of the workplace. They distrust corporate motives and are quite adept at managing themselves.
So when managing this group consider flexible schedules, meaningful work, give feedback and ask for feedback, BUT don’t micro manage. Consider their capacity and desire for multi-tasking and problem solving.
Gen Y, born between 1980 and 2000, have been deemed by Fortune the highest maintenance but potentially the highest performing generation. They are outspoken, entitled, and unable to take criticism. They are technologically adept because they never knew life without it. They think globally and want to make a difference.
When managing Gen Y, support the technology they use. Consider flex time and tele- communting and encourage and support volunteer work. Commit to socially responsible causes. Support team based projects.
Every generation believes their work ethic is fine but flash points are erupting. This is because every generation has a very different set of viewpoints or values based on what they experienced and the world around them as a developing child.
Understanding these differences will help you manage the differenct generations and being adaptable will help your organization achieve continued success.