Recognizing Generational Diversity in the Workplace

Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials are working side by side in today’s company. Recognizing the differences in a multi-generation workplace is essential. Managers agree that each group has a different approach, expectation, and attitude about work:

Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964)
Boomers prioritize work over personal life. Many Boomers lost their retirement savings during the bubble. Now they must work longer than they had planned. An AARP survey found that 63% of Boomers plan to work at least part-time in retirement. Another 5% never plan to retire.

Generation Xers (Born between 1965 and 1980)
Gen Xers are often unfairly labeled as slackers. This generation questions authority and values work/life balance. They have strong technical skills and are very independent. Although Gen Xers place a lower priority on work, they want to develop new skill sets and take on challenges.

Gen Y or Millennials (born after 1980)
This is the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Technology dictates every facet of their lives, and they are always “plugged in.” They haven’t lived in a world without the internet and gadgets. They are global-minded and expect their employers to support diversity and inclusion.

Strategies for a Multi-Generational Workplace

Success in today’s competitive marketplace depends on integrating a multi-generation workplace. Besides recognizing generational diversity, companies should consider different approaches for each. This will help to bring out the best qualities in their workforce.

● Communicate with everyone – Communicate with workers across several different platforms. Baby Boomers usually prefer hard copies or face-to-face communication. On the other hand, Generation Xers and Millennials want their information through technology. Therefore e-mail, text messages, or blogs work best.

● Reward and Recognize – Lock-step promotions are not effective in a multi-generation workplace. The same is true for and automatic raises. Promotions and rewards should consider several metrics, including productivity, and results.

● Rethink Mentoring – Traditional mentoring involves pairing a young employee with an older. Seasoned workers are great for training and guidance. However, younger hires offer new ideas. Many companies now realize that different generations can learn from each other. One-on-one sessions, group programs, senior leadership panels, and reverse mentoring are all cross-teaching opportunities. This environment can create a more robust workforce.

● Overhaul Compensation & Benefits – Offering the same package to all employees may not retain the best talent. Younger workers want flexibility and work/life balance. They also seek out new skill sets. Older workers may wish to transition to different roles. Generation X has been told not to expect Social Security. Therefore, they look for companies that offer 401 (k) plans. The right mix of benefits and compensation will help with recruiting and retention across all of the generations.

The Daniel Group

The experienced professionals at The Daniel Group can help with all of your staffing needs from Baby Boomers to Gen Y and everyone in between. We have a proven track record of finding and qualifying the best candidates, and we can find the right talent to fill your company’s needs. The Daniel Group stands behind our work with a One-Year Replacement Guarantee.