Confused where one generation ends, và the other begins? Read this HR manager’s guide on the differences between the generations in the workplace, and how they fit into your organization.

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Work is the one place where all generations come together. From Boomers to ren Z, people of all ages collaborate within teams & on projects.

This can be challenging for managers who are trying to lớn motivate employees. Each generation wants something different from the workplace. It’s your job as an HR pro to empower managers khổng lồ develop strategies lớn engage employees of all different ages to keep them motivated và happy.

Understanding the generational differences between Baby Boomers, ren X, ren Y (aka Millennials), and Gen Z is a powerful way to harness their collective strengths and understand how to lớn effectively communicate, manage, và lead them.

The more you know about each generation, the more you can navigate issues and sidestep potential conflicts.

First, let’s explore the different generations in today’s workforce.


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What are the different generations in today’s workforce?

Today’s workforce is made up of 4 distinct generations.

Baby Boomers are the oldest, born between the years 1946 và 1964. They are between the ages of 56-75 years old, và nearing retirement.Boomers are followed by members of gen X, who were born between 1965 và 1980. They are between the ages of 40 and 56.Next comes Generation Y (more commonly known as Millennials), born between roughly 1981 and 1994. They are between the ages of 27 và 40.

As you can imagine, there are vast differences in communication preferences and work styles between people born in the 1960s and those born in the 2000s.

What generation is after gen Z?

You might be wondering who will come after gene Z in the workforce of the future. That would be Generation Alpha, currently considered lớn be those born in roughly 2010 và beyond. Of course, the oldest are just pre-teens now, but in the coming years they’ll begin to lớn enter the workforce as they look for their first high school & college jobs.

What percentage of today’s workforce does each generation tài khoản for?

In 2016, Millennials became the largest generation in the workforce, according lớn Pew Research. As of 2017, there were 56 million Millennials in the workforce followed by 53 million gen Xers and 41 million Baby Boomers. There were 9 million ren Zers in the workforce and, surprisingly, 3 million from the Silent Generation (the one before Boomers!) in the mix as well.

This means that Millennials make up over one-third of the U.S. Workforce. Gen X takes up a third of the workforce itself, while Boomers 3d a quarter và Gen Z comprises about 5 percent.

How bởi you motivate the different generations in the workplace?

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How lớn motivate Baby Boomers

Many in the Baby Boomer generation equate work to self worth. Perhaps more than other generations, they’re motivated by title, traditional perks (like a 401(k) retirement account), và prestige. Getting things accomplished at work & having those accomplishments recognized & rewarded can go a long way in managing a Baby Boomer employee.

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They’re also fairly goal oriented. As a whole, they tend khổng lồ be OK with minimal feedback, assuming that everything is fine unless they’re told otherwise. With little hand holding, Baby Boomers can be motivated by milestones like promotions & upgrades to lớn prestigious roles và job titles.

However, this can lead them lớn being fairly rigid và functioning best in a traditional, hierarchical environment. They can struggle to lớn understand and function in workplaces that take a flexible approach lớn their structure.

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How lớn motivate Generation X

As a generation that, by & large, grew up with a lot of alone time, gen X-ers are happy to work independently. However, they’re credited with introducing the idea of work-life balance into the workforce. Many of them saw their parents dedicate themselves khổng lồ their work only to lớn suffer through an economic downturn in the 1980s, so they have a healthy skepticism about too much work.

This means they gravitate towards perks lượt thích flexible schedules & telecommuting that are becoming popularized by younger generations & enabled by technology. Because they’re so independent, gene X relishes the opportunity lớn make choices, so allowing them lớn come up with their own ways of doing things or giving them the space to lớn select tasks on a daily or weekly basis can go a long way.

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How khổng lồ motivate gene Y (aka Millennials)

Unlike Boomers, & even some members of gen X, Millennials are characterized as job hoppers. You’re unlikely to lớn see them stay at one place of employment for more than a few years. Pay and benefits are big factors in their decision lớn stay or go.

These aren’t the only things motivating Millennials, though. Lượt thích their Generation X predecessors, they love flexibility & options. They also love professional development opportunities.

Stagnation and feeling lượt thích they’re reached a dead kết thúc at their current role can lead workers of any generation, but perhaps especially Millennials, to lớn look at what else is out there. HR managers can help retain Millennial talent by ensuring that there are plenty of mentorship và professional development opportunities lớn keep Millennials growing và advancing through their career.

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How to motivate gen Z

Gen Z can be a lot lượt thích their Millennial predecessors, but there are a few places where they stand out. First, they want fulfillment & a sense of purpose from their work — they want what they bởi vì to matter.

Not only vị they expect sincere corporate social responsibility initiatives, but they expect that same cấp độ of thought to lớn be applied internally as well. Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet, so naturally diversity and inclusion efforts matter khổng lồ the age group most impacted them.

Much lượt thích Gen X, ren Z saw their parents plunder through the Great Recession of 2008, so they can be particularly motivated by pay & traditional financial benefits like bonuses after seeing what happened when people found themselves without enough. Perks such as a 401(k) match, student loan repayment, tuition reimbursement are important lớn Generation Z.

What else should HR managers know about generations in the workplace?

Tech savvy-ness is one last major thing to consider. It is worthwhile to note that both Millennials và Gen Z are digital natives, which means that they’ve grown up with giải pháp công nghệ for their entire lives và tend khổng lồ have a faster, more natural understanding of it.

That means that they can be quicker to get up to lớn speed with new technologies và might even suggest using technological solutions in the workplace first. Naturally this doesn’t mean that Boomers và Gen X can’t — or haven’t — learned plenty of tech things too, just that their approach to lớn it might differ.

By investing in technology that streamline processes & make work easier, chances are you’ll keep all generations happy in the process.