We currently have four main generations in the workplace. These generations share similar needs such as the desire for professional growth, feeling appreciated, and wanting to work in a healthy positive work environment. However, each generation comes with distinct characteristics that make them stand out from other generations. Understanding those characteristics is critical to help everyone identify with and motivate individuals outside their generation whether it’s as an employee, customer, client or manager.

Baby Boomers (age 52-70)

  • Live to work
  • Self worth = work ethic
  • Loyal to employer
  • Competitive
  • Goal-centric
  • Process oriented
  • Focused
  • Disciplined
  • Enjoy working in teams and proving themselves to the team
  • Need to know that they are valued
  • Want to make a difference

Generation X (age 51-37)

  • Work to live
  • Crave independence
  • Skepticism
  • Focused on results
  • Think Globally
  • Adapt to change
  • Eager to learn
  • Thrive on flexibility
  • Education is a necessary means to succeed

Millennials (age 22 – 36),

  • Fully transparent, shares everything
  • Do well with detailed instructions
  • Desire to make an impact
  • Commerce & conscience together
  • Value Diversity
  • Love technology
  • Education is a highly expensive necessity
  • Do not perform at their best in a traditional work environment
  • Find solutions using technology

Gen Z (age 21 -7)

  • Tech-innate (first generation to grow up with modern technology)
  • Accepting of others
  • Make things
  • Realists
  • Individualistic
  • Competitive
  • Transparent
  • Entrepreneurial and inventive spirit
  • Concerned about the cost of education

By understanding the main characteristic of each generation, we can better appreciate, motivate, and relate to individuals across generations. 

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