The Generational Challenge in the Workplace
The generations as we analyzed them are as follows:
The traditionals influenced by World War II, the Korean War, and the Great Depression. They experienced hard times and focused on their stability for the future, as they were motivated by working hard and achieving a pension, which allowed them to retire and live comfortably.
The Baby Boomers, which followed the traditional, had a different approach to life, as they did look forward to retirement, but also wanted to take something with them. As they actually thought of great businesses and major achievements, their thought was more open; they weren’t as fixed in their predecessors, they were affected by change civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, the sexual revolution, the Cold War and space travel. The baby boomers introduced a higher divorce rate than their previous generation; they lived during the years that the American dream defined the way of life during their era.
Generation X had to make their own influence on their environment, as they weren’t as set in life as their predecessors. Generation X was influenced by the energy crisis, dual-income families, single parents, the Y2K, activism, the dot-com bubble, the end of the Cold War, and increasing divorce rates. Generation X are the professionals, self-made, hard-working, highly educated artists-engineers-builders; they are the ones that took less from the previous generations and made much more.
The Millennials (aka Generation Y) had very high standards to live up to. They were influenced by digital media, school shootings, terrorist attacks, AIDS, 9/11, higher divorce rates – in some cases 50%. Generation Y had to face less hardship than its predecessors, it is defined as a generation that requires more human interaction, and more feedback, teamwork, collaboration and they are of the generation that had introduced social networks which allowed the following generation, the Generation Z that has a more practical outlook on life.
Generation Z is the technologists; they live off high-speed data, social media that exists everywhere. They are the generation that had a smartphone handed to them at a very young age, as they are the generation that is the most focused when it comes to being task-oriented they rule! Human attention needs to be introduced to them in order to collaborate with others.