In today's workplace it isn't uncommon to see employees of multiple generations working side-by-side. This means that company culture shouldn't follow a "one size fits all" mentality but rather adapt to make everyone feel comfortable and appreciated. In this article, we will pinpoint what each generation values in the workplace so that you can better meet their needs and expectations.
Nowadays, the five generations in the workplace include:
Traditionalists – born 1927 to1946
Baby Boomers – born 1947 to 1964
Generation X – born 1965 to 1980
Millennials – born 1981 to 2000
Generation Z – born 2001 to 2020
It's no surprise that generational differences show up in the workplace. And if we consider the amount of social and technological development that has happened between the first Traditionalists and Gen Z, we can easily understand how different their experiences and necessities can be.
Here's what generally defines each generation:
Traditionalists: This generation makes up about 3% of the workforce today. They have a strong work ethic and are very loyal and earnest workers - which is why they usually work at the same place for the entirety of their careers. They appreciate cordiality and security in their positions.
Baby Boomers: Boomers are known for their strong work ethic and goal-oriented processes. They value face-to-face interaction, traditional working methods and are usually cautious about change. They’re not in constant need of feedback about their work but appreciate insights in terms of professional development opportunities.
Generation X: Gen X-ers value flexibility, independence, and informal work environments. They also appreciate feedback and coaching, just like having access to personal development and learning opportunities. Unlike Boomers, Gen X-ers usually perceive change as an opportunity and are more open-minded to trying new working methods.
Millennials: By 2025, Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the global workforce, so it is essential to understand this generation's expectations. Millennials seek meaningful work that allows them to grow and use their creative skills. They value autonomy and having a well-balanced work life, and are mainly motivated by purpose and impact.
Generation Z: Highly educated and purpose-driven, this generation considers inclusion and diversity essential. They want to work with like-minded individuals who share similar values, ideally in a casual and flexible workplace. For Gen Z, change is simply a part of their reality, and they aren’t afraid to challenge authority.
With these five generations working together in today’s organizations, it’s more important than ever for companies to understand the generational differences that set them apart.
So if your company has a very diverse workforce, don’t force people to fit in the same work environment. Instead, set up guidelines that will allow everyone to feel comfortable.
Moreover, it’s also important that you offer the right tools and incentives to attract and retain each generation. For example, Millennials and Gen Z will highly value companies that can help them develop a sense of security around their long-term financial futures. In short, know what your employees want and be prepared to meet their needs.
And, if apart from building a healthy work-culture where every generation feels integrated, you also want to acquire the best software tools to simplify your workflow, get in touch with us! We have the most comprehensive software for HR professionals, designed to help attract, hire and onboard top talent. Schedule a free demo and learn more about our customizable solutions.