Today it’s not at all uncommon to find a number of different generations working together in one company and more than often, one office. In many ways this is of course a huge plus, but in some areas it does present a bit of a problem – areas like communication and motivation. A number of personalities need to gel to make any team successful, and communicating in the same way with everyone rarely pays off.
But are there key differences in how each generation likes to work? And if so, what are they?
Generally speaking Generation Y (up to 31 year old) have been found to prefer constant communication. This may be from colleagues, management or the outside world. Stopping this kind of communication could in fact have a negative effect on your younger staff and their motivation.
In contrast, an employee from the baby boomers group (49-67 year olds) seem to appreciate face to face time with management and colleagues. Factors like office emails and home distractions during the work day could affect their performance and, quite frankly, get on their nerves.
Taking these things into account admittedly adds yet another aspect to internal communications and motivators, but it might very well be worth the effort. It could potentially hold the key to eliminating some of those niggling issues within the team that can often cause bigger problems. Arming yourself with this knowledge now could not only help whilst at work, (with things like the office seating plan), but outside of work as well. Think about the staff parties!
Use our guide to help identify key traits in your staff:
Silent generation (1925-1945)*
· ‘No news is good news’
· Loyal to the company
· Believe in ‘don’t draw attention to yourself’
· Career goal is to build a legacy
Baby boomers (1946-1964)*
· Want to know what is happening in the company – want news
· Loyalty to the team
· Appreciate face time
· Career goal is to build a stellar career
Generation X (1965-1981)*
· Want open communication regardless of position in the company
· Loyalty to their skillset
· Work ethic based on productivity
· Career goal is to have a portable career and achieve work-life balance
Generation Y (1982-2000)*
· Want constant communication
· Build work around relationships
· Need to feel they are working for a cause
· Career goal is to have a blended life
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