Generational Issues In The Workplace

Baby boomers (the Me Generation)

Born 1940s-mid 1960s

Characteristics and work ethic:
Belief in higher education
Rejected the previous “Greatest Generation” and believe in creating a life of luxury
Sceptical of those in charge
Community focussed

What you need to be aware of:

Hard work ethic, believe in earning what you make
Keen to progress up the ladder

Generation X (the forgotten generation)

Born mid 1960s to late 1970s

Characteristics and work ethic:

Put your head down and work hard to earn
Latch-key generation
Widespread exposure to daycare and divorce
“What’s in it for me?”
Best educated generation
Work hard, play hard

What you need to be aware of:

Committed to hard work

Generation Y (Millennials or Generation Me)

Born late 1970s to mid 1990s

Characteristics and work ethic:

Want to be wealthy and believe they can make it
Belief in higher education
Reject tradition
Want to be seen as individual
A belief of entitlement
Learned to use technology to take short-cuts
Huge scale is normal
Money is more important than service
Believe they are good at multi-tasking
Like seeking a bargain
Global generation
Co-financed with parents

What you need to be aware of:

Question why things are done the way they are
Not afraid to say what they think
Easily distracted
Belief in deserving a great job without sacrificing their personal life
Keen to review and improve systems

Generation Z (post-millennials)

Born after later 1990s

Characteristics and work ethic:

Born with a device in their hands
Global social networks
Ready access to celebrity personal lives every day
Expect immediate results or responses
Less focused
Better multi-taskers than Gen Y
Less interest in home-owning or car driving
Like to earn to spend
Not necessarily interested in higher education
Less loyalty to career paths, brands or employers
Feel previous generations have ruined everything for them
Happy to use social media to communicate with businesses and colleagues

What you need to be aware of:

Require immediacy of rewards and incentives
Use increased praise
Explain why they need to do a task (especially monotonous tasks)
Flit from one job to another without finishing
High expectations (leading to coming across as demanding)
Not interested in admin or repetitive tasks
Want to be doing creative and problem solving tasks
Likely to need to be taught how to answer the phone, reply to emails etc…



The Parent’s Guide to the Modern World, Richard Daniel Curtis

Thrilled to Death, Archibald D Hart

ID: the quest for meaning in the 21st Century, Susan Greenfield



Simon Sinek on Millennials in the workplace – View

How To Make Millennials Want To Work For You – View

Millennials In The Workplace Training Video – View

Sh!t Millennials Say……In The Workplace – View


Courses that cover this topic:

The National Apprentice Mentoring Qualification

The National Workplace Mentoring Qualification

ACT for Mental Health Accreditation Programme

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