Four generations, four different perspectives, and thus divergent expectations and approaches to work. The labor market has always had a mix of ages, yet never has the division between generations stretched so wide. Each has its own unique outlooks, behaviors, goals, preferences, and triggers. Getting everyone on the same page requires a lot of effort, and understanding the differences between them is vital for successful business operations.
Generational storm in the workplace
Effectively blending and managing generations in the workplace is no easy feat. Communication is strongly influenced by our heritage, and as I said before, it is more than just the words we use. To be successful, we must recognize the needs of our workforce, and show respect for their perspective. Baby Boomers desire stability, Gen Xers seek personal contact, and Millennials prioritize shared responsibility and the ability to ask questions. Generational differences have a far-reaching impact on the workplace, from recruiting to team building and managing, as well as keeping productivity high. Respectful dialogue and proactive collaboration are essential to bridge the gap and ensure that everyone feels valued and heard.
Gen Z: “Work, but don't overwork yourself”
The world has been abuzz for months about the entrance of Generation Z into the labor market. When Boomers joined the workforce, it was all about the job, but the cult of work as the supreme value has gone by the wayside. As the first wave of digital natives, who were already born with a Facebook account, Gen Z is at risk of job burnout and mental health problems even before their careers have really taken off. Characterized by a strong sense of individualism, this new generation is putting their own well-being first. Work itself is not something that defines them. What matters is who they feel they are, not how much they earn. They tend to look for rapid career advancement and are open to the idea of changing roles frequently, rather than seeking stability. If you want to encourage them to cooperate:
1. Be in constant contact
2. Make their work meaningful
3. Develop teamwork
4. Include them in the decision-making process
5. Motivate and give feedback
Although Generation Z may only make up 20% of the population, the future belongs to them. These young adults are passionate about their beliefs, from environmentalism to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and looking for jobs that reflect that. You will be working with them, hiring them, and maybe even competing with them for better positions, so you need to accept and embrace their values.