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Generational Traits and Values

Businesses that enhance their organizations by hiring youth gain from understanding the challenges and the benefits that a multi generational workforce can bring.

With more people working longer there are four generations in the workforce. They include: the silent generation (1922-1945), the baby boomers (1946-1964), generation X (1965 -1980) and generation Y or net generation (1981 – onward). Each generation has its own values, work style and management style.

Generational Traits in the Workplace

Silent Generation

Baby Boomers

Generation X

Generation Y

This generation is hard-working, trusting, optimistic and very moral.

This generation is optimistic and driven to succeed in a work environment.

This generation is not very trusting, but very adaptable to change.

Has a good idea of work and life balance.

This generation is hard working and adaptable to change.

Optimistic about the future and open to ideas.

Generational Values in the Workplace

Silent Generation

Baby Boomers

Generation X

Generation Y

Dedication

Hard Work

Respect

Conformity

Duty

Delayed gratification

Optimism

Team focus

Health

Personal growth

Work

Involvement

Diversity

World thought

Balance

Fun

Self-reliance

Technologically literate

Civic duty

Confidence

Optimism

Social ability

 

Tips to guide you in managing a multi generational workforce 1:

  • Create an awareness of the different attitudes towards work and flexible employment options;
  • Train leaders and managers on generational/cultural differences;
  • Implement a variety of family friendly programs or policies such as child care, eldercare services and parental leave;
  • Consider offering career development workshops that target the unique needs of each generation;
  • Give prompt and useful feedback, letting each employee know what you see as his or her individual strengths and opportunities for growth;
  • Encourage formal and informal mentoring; and
  • Communicate often and in as many different ways as possible.

Coaching and Mentoring

To assist with integrating younger workers in your business, consider setting up a mentoring or a coaching program.

Mentoring is a way to help a new employee adjust to a new work environment. Younger workers can be paired with older and more experienced workers in similar positions.

Coaching is another way to teach employees specific skills and information relevant to their jobs. Young workers can be included in training sessions, internal courses, and on the job training to help them learn the job until they are able to do their job without any assistance.

1 Source: How to Attract, Retain and Engage Employees, p. 12

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