Whether it’s clothing, hair, music or language, each generation rebels against the one before. Then the hair changes and the clothes get more professional, but their values stay with them forever.
Never before in history have five generations been in the workplace together. Each generation is diverse and different in how they see the world and how they approach their work… not to mention how they communicate.
Is your organization ready to integrate these generational differences? This can be an opportunity to build strong bonds and create strong mentors versus a lesson in frustration and mystery.
Here are the five generations. Which one are you? Which one do you have the biggest challenge understanding?
Matures: 70 plus The oldest generation was growing up during the World War II, during the great depression and is from a time of scarcity. They like history, credibility and they have strong social codes.
Baby Boomers: 50-69 This middle-aged group who got their name after the post-war Baby Boom is nearly 80 million strong. They were the first counter-culture that showed up as hippies. They are often workaholics and are known as the “me generation.”
Generation X: 35- 50 This smaller group formed their values when the information age was starting and our society shifted from one of authority to influence. The first children of divorce and single parents, they are independent and often creative. X means they don’t want to be labeled.
Millenials: 21-35 Also 80 Million strong, this is the next wave of American workers. They are technology dependent and social. Culture is vitally important to them and they want freedom, growth and experiences over pay and title.
iGen: 3-20 Just now coming into part time ‘gigs’ and companies, these young adults have a digital sixth sense and are “cloud” natives. They will have several jobs and several homes in their lifetime and didn’t witness 9/11. They will be highly educated, diverse and socially conscious.
As leaders of organizations and families, we must create cultures and environments that educate and welcome all diverse points of view and ways of living. Each generation can teach the other generation something important if we open our minds and hearts to learning from all those around us. This might mean getting out of our comfort zone, shifting old ways of doing things.
Are you ready for the next generation of talent in our world?
For a chart on the generations and the dimensions that shape who we are and how we show up CLICK HERE.
- 30 Jan, 2017
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