The multi-generational workplace
The multi-generational workplace is very desirable from a succession planning point of view. However, a multi-generational workforce requires managers to be knowledgeable and empower three generations of employees; Boomers, Gen X and Millennials to work together as a team. For example we know:
►Baby Boomers, now 50-68 are still the most influential group in any organization, still leading change and still challenging the established rules. Defining events that have shaped their view of the world include:
– 1963 the assassination of JFK
– 1968 Pierre Trudeau first elected Prime Minister of Canada
– 1969 the first moon landing and Woodstock
As employees, Boomers may not personally embrace technology like their peers, but they understand the importance of using new technologies to move ahead. They are also delaying retirement as they assess the impact of the global economic downturn and their continued desire or need to work.
►Generation X employees born between 1965 and 1980, now 34 – 49 is the smallest group in the work force and unlike the Boomers, are less interested in leadership and more interested in the project, the challenge and social impact. They are best described as flexible, communicators and respond particularly to feedback and inclusion. These are the employees who embraced technology after entering the workforce and truly understand the necessity of lifelong learning. Boomers struggle to understand this group who are so different from them. Defining events for Gen X include:
– 1976 Apple Inc. marketed the personal computer
– late 1980’s internet service providers emerged and the Internet was born!
– 1989 the Berlin wall fell and the cold war thawed
►The newest generation of employees are called Generation Y, the Millennials or if you prefer “Gen Screwed.” They were born between 1981 and 2000, and are 14-33 years old. Defining events that have particularly impacted Gen Y include:
– 1990 Apartheid ended
– mid 1990’s the mobile phone became available
– 1997 death of Princess Diana
How Gen Y employees use technology and social networking differentiates them from all other employees. In their world, technology is not an option but an essential. They are also described as semi-traditionalists, generally wanting marriage, home ownership, family and a job. These are the folks who were raised believing they could do anything and now are struggling just to get started. Gen Y employees are fighters and this is perhaps why Boomers understand and identify with them. By 2020 they will make up over 40% of the work force.
I am not suggesting these generational descriptions are the only way to understand employees and build a successful team, but it does offer a glimpse into how groups of employees think, use technology and work together.
More useless information from a librarian! LOL
Have a great week.
Kitty Pope #23 June 2014