The Generation Game

We are approaching a time when your business will have to manage the needs and behaviours of many different generations all at once. Make no mistake, each generation behaves very differently. A multi-generational workplace is inevitably a complicated one. Each generation has its own distinct set of values that is develops from the social environment in their early years.

People of different ages typically have different perspectives on the world. They can disagree on the most fundamental issues. They can dress differently, eat differently and travel differently. More pertinently, they work differently.

Demographers have named the different generations around today as Veterans (Generation V), Baby Boomers (Generation B), Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z.

“We used to refer to experts for advice for example for a cooking recipe but now we google it online and see how many likes it has”

Older generations are slightly less productive but this is only marginally so, they are however exceptional at attention to detail, an area in which generation Z sometimes lacks. Generation Z are all about “working with you not for you” and see SME’s as attractive companies.

Unfortunately, as has been proven throughout human history, people often react adversely to change. It’s in our very nature to mistrust those who behave differently to ourselves; anyone whose values, attitudes and motivations do not reflect our own.

So, logically, the more the demographics of your office vary, the harder it is to manage everyone harmoniously. These are challenges inherent within a multi-generational workforce.

Google purposefully made sure that there is always a queue in their restaurant in their offices and Steve Jobs made sure there were limited toilets in his offices, why? To create an environment to encourage people to talk!

Communication is the key! Everyone can learn a lot from each other’s experience . Understanding the differences between generations is useful in communicating with people from different age groups. It is also vital for employers to understand the different generations so that they know how to recruit and retain people from different generations. It is vital for employers to understand these differences so that they are successful in recruiting and retaining people from the different generations.

Here’s a thought “The person who is going to turn 150 is alive today”

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