The Traditionalists (Pre-1946):
These are the workers who believe in the old systematic way or basically archaic methods to get work done. These are persons who follow work processes to the latter and are not really concerned with new methods that make work simpler. They are wells of Knowledge and are the perfect mentors for new employees, due to their experiences and wealth of knowledge.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964):
The only difference they had from their predecessors is that they are more of team players and are comfortable with verbal and personal interaction as a way of communication. More often than not, they follow what their leader says and are not known for challenging the status quo. With strong work ethic, face-to-face communication skills, and work experience, professionals of this generation can be excellent role models for younger generations.
Generation X (1965 – 1976):
They embrace technology, work independently and prefer to use voice and emails to convey their messages and ideas. They have been able to make the world a global village by use of new media. They expect their company to be charitable, eco-friendly, and offer volunteer work during office hours. They appreciate training opportunities and enjoy monetary rewards, based on their individual performance. Gen Xers are very independent, but work well with others and even encourage others to think independently.
Millennials or Generation Y (1977 – 1997):
These are the current majority of workers in our offices. They are tech-savvy, have great ability to multi-task and their main motivation is to reach their own personal goals. They prefer an instant way of passing information; Instant messages, Instant emails, Instant video and voice calls, not forgetting the use of social media. They need constant communication with their peers and managers. Millennials expect feedback about their work as well as opportunities for training. They prefer working for organizations that are active in the community and offer volunteering during office hours. Millennials are very optimistic and highly energetic, which is great to energize other generations.
Generation Z (after 1997):
This is an upcoming generation. While both Millennials and Gen Zers share personal information online, Gen Z has placed social media at the center of their communication channels, rather than face-to-face communication. Gen Zers will appreciate more virtual work collaborations than Millennials. While Millennials have displayed a love for ambiguity and choice in work style and workplace, Gen Zers will require more structure and predictability in the workplace.
There is so much we can learn from this new breed of tech-savvy individuals. Sitting with these latest generations and giving them a chance to teach you new ways of getting work done actually improves the work relationship within the company. It is worth for a company to incorporate the energy, passion and creativity that they have. A baby boomer may be wiser but generation Y and Z may be more effective. We need one another and it’s vital to create a working environment that supports the growth and development of these young people.
Remember, they need mentors and teachers who will guide them as they move up the corporate ladder. The appeal is older people be willing to teach but also be willing to learn.
While most companies do their best to embrace millennials, they too must do the same due diligence to their employers. Work cannot always be fun, games and social media. Learn to do more than what is required. Step out and show the world what drives you and how effective you can be. Leadership is earned over a period of time and is based on your actions. Listen, learn and value everyone around you.