The workplace is an ever-changing environment - no doubt about it. And in fact, we’ve gotten to a place where there are now FOUR generations functioning within the workforce - each with different work styles/preferences. So how do you cater to all four?
Well, we recently came across some interesting information put together by Nancy Colter Consulting, LLC, explaining the different work styles of various generations. See below:
Baby Boomers (1945 - 1960):
- Work style - Workaholics, self image based on careers, needs to believe in the mission
- Communications - In person, likes to be a team player, loves to meet
- Feedback - Doesn’t like feedback in general, prefers to meet once a year with a lot of documentation
Generation X (1961 - 1980):
- Work style - Skeptical, fun, informal, independent, wants to make a quick impact
- Communications - Direct, immediate, combo of one-on-one with email, visual examples and demonstrations
- Feedback - Will ask for it themselves
Generation Y (1981 - 1995):
- Work style - Multi-tasking, goal oriented, flexible in hours and dress, independent
- Communications - Email, hands-on learning, weak social skills
- Feedback - Prefers instant feedback
Generation Z (1996 - 2015):
- Work style - Entrepreneurial, flexible in hours and dress, wants to have an impact on society
- Communications - Even more tech-savvy than Millennials, but prefers face-to-face communications
- Feedback - Likes feedback, looking to be mentored
Pretty interesting, right? What generation do you fall in? Do you feel like those styles represent you?
More importantly, do you feel like you take those factors into consideration when managing your own employees? If not, there may be some work to be done.
The Bottom Line
Every generation is different, but so is every person. So if you’re really not sure how your employees prefer to work/communicate, ask! You really can’t go wrong with that.
Now the Millennial generation is currently the largest segment of the workforce population (though soon, that will be Generation Z). If you’re struggling to engage Millennials (whether they’re employees or members,) check out our free Guide to Millennial Engagement below!