Within the last year or so, an amazing phenomenon has begun to occur throughout the American workforce. For the first time in history, four distinct generations are sharing the same workplace, with a fifth generation following closely behind. While this is an exciting time filled with a variety of different ideas and methods for getting the job done, it also makes for a wide range of values, work ethics, and career goals which can sometimes be conflicting. For companies not adequately prepared to work with these different generations of workers, employee management can become extremely challenging. Because each generation is unique, it is important to understand their specific working styles, what motivates them, and the effect that each has on the workplace.
- Traditionalists. Currently the oldest generation in the workforce, Traditionalists tend to be some of the most loyal and trusted employees, viewing work as a necessity in life. While they often struggle with technology, they embrace working with others to reach company goals. Traditionalists are typically great leaders as well as strong communicators.
- Baby Boomers. As the first generation to experience success after the effects of World War II, Baby Boomers are known to be financially driven workaholics. Baby Boomers are hardworking, optimistic, and reliable; however, they often need extra time when it comes to solving problems, communicating with each other, and taking authority from younger colleagues.
- Generation X. Despite once being referred to as the lost generation due to being born between challenging economic times, Generation X was the first generation of employees to be computer savvy. While Generation X employees are communicative on many different levels, they require interesting projects in order to remain productive.
- Generation Y. Also known as Millennials, Generation Y workers are the most technology savvy employees in today’s workforce. Generation Y employees are excellent multitaskers who thrive on collaborating to come up with new ideas and concepts. Generation Y workers are often known to have an automatic sense of entitlement which can sometimes clash with older generations.
- Generation Z. Currently the youngest generation, many members of Generation Z are still in high school or younger and will be entering the workforce soon. Although Generation Z is just in its beginning stage in the workforce, prepare for a highly-educated and altruistic generation who has never known a world without mobile technology.
Managing a workforce with such different perspectives and approaches is undoubtedly challenging, however, it can also be very rewarding. Having the benefit of five unique sets of views can provide your company with the competitive edge of seeing a project from all potential angles. If you are looking for additional staffing resources for today’s multi-generational workplace, contact the experts at Springborn Staffing today!