Posted by Nisha Amin on Jun 21, 2018 8:37:00 AM


Many Baby Boomers and Traditionalists are staying in the workforce beyond the customary retirement age, some for financial reasons, others because they have retired and come back in a part-time consultative role to remain active.

With the oldest members of Generation Z now entering the workforce, many organizations will face the challenge of managing five distinct generations while trying to achieve their vision and business goals.

To better understand how to work with each group, here are some elements that define them, workplace assets and liabilities, and how to motivate them for optimal performance.

Traditionalists (1922 - 1945)

  • Social Influences: Great Depression, Space Age, hard times followed by prosperity
  • Work Assets: Bring value to the workplace through knowledge and experience, disciplined, dependable
  • Liabilities: Don't adapt well to change, hierarchical
  • Motivations: Conservative, follow rules, want to see a structured environment at work

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)

  • Social Influences: Post war babies who grew up to be radicals of the 70s and yuppies of the 80’s, promised “The American Dream”
  • Work Assets: Anxious to please, good team players
  • Liabilities: Expect everyone to be workaholics, don’t like change
  • Motivations: Want to hear their ideas matter, expect to be valued in the workplace

Generation X (1965 – 1980)

  • Social Influences: Mothers work, first latchkey kids, increased divorce rate, first generation that will not do as well as their parents did
  • Work Assets: Adapt well to change, direct communicators
  • Liabilities: Skeptical, dislike authority,
  • Motivations: Want independence and informality in the workplace, allow them to have fun at work

Millennials (1980 – 1995/2000)

  • Social Influences: grew up on digital media, more sheltered than any generation by protective parents, received “participation” awards
  • Work Assets: Collaborative, tech savvy
  • Liabilities: Need supervision and structure, lack discipline
  • Motivations: Like a team-oriented workplace, want to take time to learn about their personal goals

Generation Z (1996/2001 – present)

  • Social Influences: True digital natives, grew up during the Great Recession and witnessed the impact on their parents
  • Work Assets – Entrepreneurial, independent
  • Liabilities – Competitive, multi-taskers
  • Motivations: Continuously learning and developing their skills, want to be evaluated based on their own merits

As your company begins to hire Gen Z and integrate them into the workplace, learn more about what drives them – download The Newest Kids on the Block: Is Your Organization Ready for Generation Z?

Generation Z eBook
This eBook outlines five key areas employers need to consider and offers management tips for each to ensure you harness their energy, encourage optimal performance, engage and retain them.

Source: Generational Differences Chart

Topics: generation z, millennials

Read More