For the first time, four generations are finding themselves side -by-side in the workplace.
Age is no longer an adequate and definitive means for role assignment, as we see many young professionals rapidly climbing corporate ladders and surpassing many twice their years. Rules, or “tricks of the trade”, are changing as fluidly as the slang of the season, and many work force veterans are finding themselves seemingly on a “first date” with their careers all over again. The workplace is changing.
Though daunting it may seem, keeping up with the Jones’ across the cubicle is necessary in maintaining a cohesive work environment. As with much else in life, the trick is simply: understanding. Generational differences can affect recruitment and team building, dealing with change, motivating, managing, maintaining and increasing productivity. Generational difference from an HR perspective might also affect misunderstandings, increase employee turnover, and create difficulty in attracting employees and gaining employee commitment.
Generation Timeline in the Workplace
Any decent architect will tell you that, in order to build a solid bridge, one must first understand the valley below. That being said, get familiar with the four varying generations and their idiosyncrasies with the timeline below:
- 1922-1945: Veterans / Silent Traditionalists
- 1946-1964: Baby Boomers
- 1965-1980: Generation X, or “Gen X’ers”
- 1981-2000: Generation Y, or “Millennials”
These personal distinctions between generations also manifest interestingly in the workplace:
- Many companies now heavily incorporate social media outlets such as blogs and Twitter into their PR regime.
- Whether you’re twenty-two or fifty-five, it’s important to be able to navigate these corners of social media: understanding these various blogging platforms and “twitter etiquette” keeps you relevant in the workplace, but also makes a valuable niche for yourself.
- Employers are looking for someone who will not only add to their workplace community, but strive to promote growth as well.
- Using these social media outlets is an excellent way to keep company relations in the loop and also act as small, free promotional flyers to attract new clientele.