Understanding Your Employees: Generational Differences

Within many organisations, people from multiple generations work together to achieve their business goals. It is essential to address generational differences to create harmony and engage employees. Especially now that Gen Z employees are entering the workforce and Gen X’ers are replacing retiring Baby Boomers in senior positions.

Dangers of stereotyping people from other generations

We all have biases and stereotypes towards people from different generations. Studies reveal that we also have preconceived ideas about people in our generation! These biases can affect how your team operates and could impact things like training, expectations and communication. 

According to a study into the effects of perceived age in training, it was discovered that a person training an older person to use technology had poor outcomes. This was because the trainer did not expect the older person to perform well and provided inadequate training.

This psychological effect can significantly impact how teams interact and their expectations of one another. Therefore, trainers, managers or mentors must be aware of their age-related biases when interacting with their team members.

Different attributes of generations

According to Purdue University Global’s research, being aware of generational differences such as their values, beliefs and worldviews, you can make your workplace a more cohesive and inclusive place. The research findings revealed that:

1. Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964) are team-oriented and love to work. They value teamwork and loyalty to the company. Baby Boomers expect goals and deadlines and mentorship opportunities. Most plan to work past age 65.

2. Gen X (born 1965–1980) makes up the majority of company owners. Gen X’ers are flexible and independent and value work-life balance and immediate feedback. They are relaxed and informal and want to pursue personal and professional goals.

3. Millennials (born 1981–2000) will make up most of the workforce in the next few years. Millennials value the quality of their manager, unique work experiences, and fun work-life and work-life balance. They are competitive, open-minded about diversity, and achievement-oriented.

4. Gen Z (born 2001–2020) is the up-and-coming generation in the workforce. They value individuality, creativity, entrepreneurship and diversity. They should be allowed to work on multiple projects, do independent work, learn from millennial managers and provide formal training.

Knowing your people and your team can help improve your overall team function and address concerns that stem from generational differences.

If you are looking to hire talent for your company or team, let us help! We understand what different generational candidates expect from their company and their jobs. 

Join the pack, contact us today.