Hi, I’m John and I’ve been an HR manager for many years now. It may surprise some to know that there are as many as five generations working at a single workplace. With workplaces being more age-diverse than ever before, it’s important to remember that different generations have different needs.
With several generations working side-by-side, it’s essential to consider how their typical workstyles and needs might differ since each generation has distinct experiences and preferences, especially when it comes to technology. With the right insights though, you can give individuals the right tools to maximize productivity and get your teams collaborating more effectively.
Generation 1) Traditionalists
People are retiring later today and there are still many people born before 1945 still working. Traditionalists are civic-minded and loyal, they’re team players, and tend to stick with one employer for as long as possible. They like to work as part of a structured team, with a focus on longer-term projects and although they’re not afraid of technology, they tend to rely more on desktop computers, landline phones, and fax machines. Traditionalists need robust voice capabilities and traditional desktop applications to be more productive.
Generation 2) Baby Boomers
While Baby Boomers tend to stay in the same field for longer than Millennials, they switch employers more than Traditionalists. Boomers focus on individual performance and are driven, with their identity defined by their profession and they care deeply about climbing the organizational ladder. Baby Boomers are less likely to use social media at work or use smartphones compared to younger generations. This generation relies heavily on email so make sure your organization is equipped with proper email tools to allow this generation to be more productive.
Generation 3) Generation X
Gen X has begun to replace Boomers in managerial positions in recent years and they’re more independent than their predecessors, value authority less, and are more likely to walk away from an inflexible workplace. Since this generation embraces technology in the workplace including smartphones, email, laptops, and tablets, it’s essential to implement video conferencing and team-based digital workspaces to meet their flexibility requirements.
Generation 4) Millennials
This generation is the driving force of today’s workplace and they crave interaction, feedback and collaboration, and are even more informal than Gen X. Millennials are strongly driven by a sense of purpose and crave continuous workplace learning and growth. Since this generation grew up fully immersed in digital technology, Text, IM, and social are their primary modes of communication. This generation prefers to communicate electronically so make sure you implement the proper tools to allow them to do this.
Generation 5) Generation Z
This generation is just beginning to enter the workforce but is the largest cohort of the U.S. population, and the most ethnically diverse. This generation is fast-paced and they tend to be independent and competitive. Most of this generation’s job decisions are based on how tech-savvy a workplace is but they also prefer face-to-face communication at work. This generation appreciates technology that provides a personal experience like video meetings.
Now that you know how to make each generation in your workplace more productive while catering to their unique preferences, you’re ready to make all generations at your organization work seamlessly together.
If you want to learn more about how to manage five generations in the modern workplace, click the link below for more information.