Baby Boomers, born between 1946 & 1964, came of age during the early days of the Cold War. As they entered the workforce, they combined their parents’ work ethic with their own budding idealism in hopes of making the world a better place.
As a group, Baby Boomers are loyal to a fault. Most are eager to trust their employer and only move to other companies to escape truly reprehensible conditions. For that reason, they respect hierarchy and most decide to climb the corporate ladder from within the company they start with.
Generation X, born between 1965 & 1981, saw the rise of two income & single parent families. With their Baby Boomer parents drawn into their work lives, young Gen Xers became independent at a much younger age. They possess a natural self-sufficiency and are resourceful enough to work their way out of any problem.
On meaningful challenges, they will relentlessly work to achieve a solution but they are not blindly loyal. They consider themselves free agents and are more than willing to leave a job for a better opportunity.
Generation Y (The Millennials)
Generation Y, born between 1982 & 1994, is focused on following their own path. From a young age, the Millennial generation has been told they can do whatever they want by their highly supportive and engaged parents. In most cases, their adolescence was jam packed with scheduled events and technological distractions, making multitasking second nature.
On the job, they are focused on achievement more than money, and will only stick around if they feel they are contributing to important tasks. When they work on projects, they expect to have regular feedback to make sure that they are going along the right path.
In general, each of these groups has a different way to accomplish tasks as well as a different way to prioritize tasks, etc. But does our work space, our procedures and our technological adoption rates take any of these differences into account?
That's a big question that needs to be explored in greater depth to more effectively utilize the generational benefits that a multi generational workforce presents.
This infographic gives a generalized picture of some of the stereotypical characteristics of each generation.