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Working with a Different Generation in the Workplace

24th December 2014

As Baby Boombers are coming to the ends of their careers and businesses are filled with more and more generation Y employees will it affect the way we work?

Some may say it already has, the use of technology in today’s recruitment world far outweighs the role it used to play a few years ago. Now a days we have internal systems that do everything but call and speak to candidates and clients for us – and let’s be honest, if they could we’d all be out of a job!

In today’s workplace we have Baby Boomers who are all about traditional work and the career ladder attitude, working alongside generation Y who believe in flexible working, the technical revolution and the work-to-live approach. This mix of characters and beliefs has the possibility to be either brilliant or a complete disaster.

Understanding and appreciating the different factors that shape each generation can help when recruiting new members of staff to fit in with your team and also when motivating your current team members. It also helps when you’re trying to utilise the strengths within your workforce and make sure you get the best from everyone regardless of generation. Since it’s recognised that a company’s financial performance is strongly related to the degree in which its employees are engaged it’s extremely important to understand what makes your employees tick.

The Generation Breakdown

Generation Z

Generation Z are those born since just before the start of the millennium so are still in their teens. People who fall into this generation have grown up in a world of political and financial turmoil and as a result they are keen to look after their money. They are generally highly connected due to having lifelong use of communication and media technology.

Generation Y

Those born in generation Y, also known as Millennials, were born between 1980 and 2000 and are the youngest generation currently in the workplace. People who have grown up in this generation have seen the world shaped by technology, including the launch of Google. Their ease with technology allows them to be fast and efficient as they’ve grown up with it integrated in to their daily lives. Generally this generation face high levels of competition, unemployment and stress but at the same time they want to earn great money and they want it now.

Generation X

Generation X were born between the early 1960s and 1980s and are the first generation to have grown up with technology in their lives. This generation has learned to adapt and thrive in an ever changing world and they were highly employable due to their knowledge of technology and confidence with computers. In an office environment people from this generation understand the need for movement during the working day.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1943 and 1961, Baby Boomers get their names from the massive increase in births during the years following World War II. These people were growing up during the civil rights movement and the women’s movement so they witnessed radical change and social upheaval. Baby Boomers have had to adapt to new technology both in their work and personal lives and at times this may have been a great challenge. For example two-thirds of Boomers say that they find laptop use during meetings distracting, where less than half of Millennials agree.

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