The Multigenerational Workplace

By Cam Marston
September 1, 2015
THE TALK... | Management

Millennials and Generation X are changing the workplace and the way companies do business. Employers and managers need to understand the attitudes and expectations of these generations so they can best work with each.

Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are children of the Baby Boomers, and generally, just like their parents, are not content to do things “the way they’ve always been done.” They want jobs that make them happy.

In today’s workplace, the Millennial generation offers three stand out talents: implementation of technology, collaboration, and inclusivity. Millennials describe themselves as digital natives; the digital world is their friend. In the workplace, they can see opportunities provided by new technology.

Collaboration is also key to their workplace success. Throughout their studies, they’ve learned via group projects, and today their desire and ability to collaborate is unparalleled. They easily share information, ideas and resources. Additionally, Millennials promote workplace inclusivity.

Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1979, are a well-educated generation of self-starters. Many were latch-key kids and, in college, were told they would be the first American generation to be less well off than their parents. Now in their 30s and 40s and approaching their peak earning years, their definitions of success are more rooted in the here and now than previous generations, as opposed to the long haul, and they’re more interested in work-life balance.

As Baby Boomers begin to retire, Gen Xers are poised to assume positions of leadership. In some respects, they’re uniquely suited for it in the multigenerational workplace, as they are in a position to understand the perspectives of both Baby Boomer executives and entry-level Millennials.

On September 17 at GlassBuild America’s Key Note breakfast, I’ll explore how this awareness can help attract and retain a new generation of employees. And, I’ll put the concept of generational studies in the context of sales in my Express Learning session. I hope to see you there.

What do you think? Have you noticed the difference across generations as millennials solidify their positions in business and commerce? Do you have a multi-generational workplace? Read this week’s poll results, post a comment, and/or email your thoughts on the subject.

Survey Results for 09/02/2015 :

Do your company's workforce demographics represent all three generations? Is this a boost or a bother for business?

Yes, and the mix works very well.

  

 

30.43%

 

Yes, and it causes many issues.

  

 

21.74%

 

No, we employ mostly Gen Xers and Boomers.

  

 

21.74%

 

Yes, and it doesn't seem to affect business one way or the other.

  

 

21.74%

 

No, we employ mostly Gen Xers and Millenials.

  

 

4.35%

 

 

The author heads the firm Generational Insights, and is a leading expert on generational change and its impact on the marketplace. For more information, visit cammarston.com.

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