Generational Differences In The Workplace


Have you been wondering why some of your team members seem more motivated than others? Do some work with a sense of accomplishment and excited about their career while others seems to be just following the procedures? We have found an article by Manny Rodrguez, MS, bSci21 Contributing Writer that describes the differences in generations and their approach to work values, leadership styles, communication and job satisfaction. The differences within generations may be an indicator to changes needed in your management styles. Please take a few moments to review the chart below that highlights the differences within age groups and the article which also outlines some techniques for managing generational differences.

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Silent Baby Boomers Generation X Millennial
  Born 1925-1945 Born 1946 – 1964 Born 1965 – 1981 1982 – 2000
Work Ethic and Values Hark work, respect authority, sacrifice, duty before fun, adhere to rules Workaholics, work efficiently, crusading causes, personal fulfillment, desire quality, questions authority Eliminate the task, self-reliance, want structures and direction, skeptical What’s next, multi-tasking, tenacity, entrepreneurial, tolerant, goal oriented
Work is… An obligation An exciting adventure A difficult challenge, a contract A means to an end, fulfillment
Leadership Style.. Directive, Command-and-control Consensual, collegial Everyone is the same, challenge others, ask why TBD
Interactive Style Individual Team player, Loves to have meetings Entrepreneur Participative
Major Events Great Depression, Attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II, radio and the telephone Civil rights, Vietnam, Cold War, space travel, credit cards, and television Challenger Disaster, Desert Storm, personal computers, MTV, divorce rates and energy crisis 9/11, school shootings, Boston Marathon, internet, social networking, Enron, Iraq and Afghanistan
Culture Icons FDR, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mouse, Flash Gordon, Jukeboxes, Kewpie dolls Ed Sullivan, poodle skirts, slinkies, TV dinners, peace sign ET, Cabbage Patch dolls, The Brady Bunch, The Simpsons Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Reality TV, Hurricane Katrina
Communications Formal memo In person Direct and immediate Email, voicemail
Feedback and Rewards No news is good news, satisfaction = job well done Don’t appreciate it, money and title recognition “How am I doing”, freedom is the best reward Whenever I want it, at the push of a button, meaningful work