As business owners, we want to provide our employees with a work environment to foster creative ideas and opinions while balancing your company’s work ethic and standards. Understanding your employee’s behavior, what are their expectations and how they interpret situations will go a long way to keeping the balance.
Take time to understand your staff, what “Generation were they born into”;
Traditionalists ( 1922-1945)
Baby Boomers ( ( 1956-1964)
Generation -X ( 1965-1980)
Millennials ( 1981-1997)
Gen X ( 1998 and after)
I have included the article from Dr. Jill Novak, University of Phoenix, Texas A&M University
Common characteristics: loyal, cautious, formal, proud
Workplace influence: Most traditionalists are now retired, but their influence can still be seen in workplace structures that have a top-down hierarchy with clear reporting structures and the “uniform” of a suit and tie. In fact, the cautious, rule-following traditionalists are the reason for many organizational practices that persist today. They also were known for their company loyalty and the practice of working at one place your entire career. Much of this is due to the fact that 50 percent of men of the traditionalist era shared the experience of serving in the military (compared to less than 1 percent of our population today). Most women of this era did not work outside the home.
BABY BOOMERS (1956-1964)
Common characteristics: optimistic, self-focused, competitive, forever young
Workplace influence: Boomers — until very recently the largest generation in American history — created more competition in the workplace as women and minorities began to take on jobs previously held only by white men in the Traditionalist era. Although some Boomers in their 50s and 60s are retired, others are still heavily involved in the U.S. workforce, thanks to their “forever young” natures and the global recession that began in 2008 and forced many boomers to postpone their retirement plans. Many Boomers prioritized work over family obligations, and they did not have the technology available to work from anywhere but the office, so they can sometimes be less supportive of flexible work policies.
GENERATION X ( 1965-1980)
Common characteristics: independent, skeptical, tech pioneers
Workplace influence: A generation almost as small in size as the Traditionalists, Gen Xers like me have felt overshadowed by our Boomer predecessors for most of our lives. We grew up independent, self-reliant and supportive of technology that helped us take care of ourselves, such as microwave ovens, video games, and personal computers. When we entered the Baby Boomer-dominated workplace, we felt alienated and unimportant, knowing that we would never be a big enough group to have a huge impact at work. That helped fuel the independent instincts that led many to move to Silicon Valley and do our own thing (Gen Xers are the most entrepreneurial generation). Sandwiched between the massive Boomer and millennial generations, you could say we have a hint of an inferiority complex, which is why we often see ourselves as independent, self- sufficient and out of the mainstream.
MILLENNIALS A.K.A. GENERATION Y ( 1981-1997)
Common characteristics: self-expressive, group-oriented, global, tech-dependent
Workplace influence: Other generations often criticize millennials for acting entitled, demanding constant feedback and thinking they deserve a trophy just for showing up. I believe that these criticisms— I call it millennial shaming— can be traced back to the way many Gen Ys were parented (or “peer-ented) and taught; they grew up in an era in which children received a lot more attention and coaching. Also known as digital natives, many of today’s young professionals grew up with the Internet, and that has a major impact on how they see the world and interact with others — think texting and IM vs face-to-face or phone communication, as well as the expectation that infinite information is just one click away.
GEN Z ( 1998 and after)
Common characteristics (so far): cautious, technologically advanced, entrepreneurial, diverse
Workplace influence: Make way for the next generation of entrepreneurs — 61 percent of (Gen Z) high school students say they want to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee. That means that successful companies will need to begin focusing on offering frequent rotational assignments and early leadership experiences to embrace this generation’s entrepreneurial bent. As the most diverse generation in U.S. history, Gen Z will also expect the current trend toward more inclusive communities and policies to continue and accelerate. As children who came of age following the Great Recession, they will likely also share some of the cautious, frugal characteristics of their traditionalist forebears.