In the previous posts, we have looked at the general characteristics of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. In this post, we will look at the emerging workforce of Generation Z and what we might expect for tomorrow’s work environment and culture. Aligning the mix of perspectives from each generation takes effort. Be aware not to completely categorize your employees by the generation they were born in. For example, there’s a term called “cuspers” for people born within a few years of the beginning of a new generation. Cuspers may have a blend of characteristics from two generations. Remember that each employee should have their own personal needs met in the workplace to achieve the business goals.
For business leaders and human resources partners, this is a unique time – the merger of potentially five generations in the American workforce. Being able to get the most out of the workers of each generation and being able to get the most out of them working together very well may be the difference in a business’ success or failure. The differences in these generations’ formative years – their family structures, the economics of the time, and, particularly, the massive advances in technology – have shaped their views on work, life, and the balance between the two.
Why is Generation X also referred to as the Sandwich Generation? And how does it help explain the way workers in this generation approach their jobs? It’s crucial that business leaders and human resources partners know the answers to those questions if they want their business to achieve its goals. Each generation has its own outlook on how it works best and how it’s best motivated. Recognizing these differences and understanding how to mesh generations together is increasingly vital to any business.
Born in the post-World War II era, between 1946 and 1964, the Baby Boomers are 74.9 million strong, which makes them the second-largest generation. “Strong” is a good word to describe them. They’re often viewed as a generation of optimism, exploration, and achievement.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for business leaders and human resources partners to know how to use the talents of each generation of workers. Why? Because there are tremendous differences in how each works and is best motivated. In this series of posts, I’ll discuss those differences and lay out strategies for integrating workers from each group into your business’ culture to reach your goals.