• Kat O'Sullivan

Impact of Generational Distinctions . . . no wonder!

Updated: May 6, 2020

Generational differences just add another layer of complexity to how people relate with one another, or not. The above infographic provides some generalizations that will be helpful in understanding and appreciating how those differences show up in the workplace. Download infographics here.

My guess is that at some time or other everyone has wondered if/how they would every fit in AND others have felt that way about how "that person" (i.e. anyone who is different than themselves) would ever fit it -- because of or despite any generational issues.

So what motivates different generations

Baby Boomers: Because they are very goal-oriented, things like challenging tasks, ongoing professional development, promotions, and recognition for their experience and expertise are all important to Baby Boomers. They also want that prestigious job title, a nice/preferably corner office, oh and their own parking space.

Gen X: This generation doesn't believe in tenure. Rather, they believe promotions should be based on competence, not seniority. They prefer to work more independently and do NOT appreciate micro-management. They want to be able to grow and develop and value mentorship. They are motivated by recognition and other rewards, as well as flexible schedules and the ability to tele-commute.

Millennials: Company culture is extremely important to this generation. They are learners and place a high value ongoing training and development and mentoring. Gone are the days of the annual performance evaluation. They desperately want immediate/ongoing feedback. They are also motivated by the opportunity to collaborate with others. They too want flexible schedules, time off and the ability to embrace the latest technologies to get stuff done. They also need structure. If they don't get what they want, they don't hesitate to move on.

Gen Z: This generation is motivated by social rewards and experiences, mentorship and constant feedback. They also want to be doing work that is meaningful and impactful. They also want flexible schedules. They also expect structure, clear directions and transparency. It's also worth noting that the vast majority value one-to-one, face-to-face interactions.

We actually may have more in common than we realize. Check out our next blog post for more insights on that front!

"To manage across generations, we have to learn to be mindful of each other and treat each other as individuals. (Bruce Mayhew)
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