With Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Gen Z all working together under one roof, understanding how to motivate each generation is key. In our white paper, Generation Optimization, we dig into generational diversity in the workplace. We outline each generation to find out how to attract them to your organization, keep them there and motivate them to do their best work.
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are the first generation to attend college, with 27 percent of them earning degrees. They are and career-focused and have a solid worth ethic. This extremely coachable generation didn’t grow up with technology, but they are open to learning it. Their pensions and savings took a hit in the Great Recession, so now Boomers are most interested in benefits and financial security. In order to motivate them at work, give them a problem to solve and the autonomy to get it done.
Generation X (born 1965-1979) is reaching their career prime, and should be performing at a highly-skilled level. Gen Xers were the last generation to grow up without technology, but they have embraced it and can use it well. They are independent risk-takers who are motivated by recognition, collaboration and flexibility. About 60 percent of Gen Xers attended college. Stability, performance-based incentives, and a flexible schedule matter the most to Gen X. Unlike previous generations who lived to work, they seek balance between the office and their personal lives.
The extremely tech-savvy and independent generation, Millennials (born 1980-1994), became the largest generation in the workforce in 2015.. As a result of the economic crash of 2008, many Millennials entered the workforce at the height of the Great Recession. While they began their careers more educated than previous generations (62 percent have degrees), they also experienced high unemployment and underemployment due to a lack of available opportunities. Up-to-date technology, corporate culture and performance-based incentives are important to this generation. They also enjoy open communication and collaboration.
Generation Z (born 1995-Present) is just starting to enter the workforce, and therefore has little experience. Most members want to make their hobby their job, and they love the idea of working for a start up. Members of Gen Z want to create their own companies. They believe that success comes from their networks rather than from their qualifications. They don’t remember a time without technology, and have grown to expect things instantaneously, so they tend to be impatient.
The Key to Generational Diversity: Communication
All generations have a need for meaningful input. Corporations stuck in traditional models with closed-door policies, isolated executives and highly structured communication channels will find themselves at odds with the new dynamics.
One of the keys to generational diversity is solid communication. To be successful, organizations must maintain open lines of communication and ensure that job duties and responsibilities are clearly defined. Communicating with each group is critical. It will help you become familiar with their perspectives and better prepare you to interact with all different types of workers.
For an in-depth look at each generation, request your free copy of our Generation Optimization white paper!