It’s rare to find only a single generation working at one workplace, with Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers sharing the office space. But how do they stack up against each other?
This quality refers to a person’s feelings and beliefs about work, diligence, discipline, and is not defined the same across the board.
Millennials look inward when determining work ethic. They look at what their own job is, not at what needs to be done as a whole—something that can chafe at their older coworkers. And when they are at work, they view their jobs as a means to an end so they can fund their fun.
This generation will put in every ounce of effort they can—if they feel their workplace warrants it. They don’t hand over loyalty blindly, only if they’re met with diversity, challenge and creativity. But once they’re on board, they’re on completely, and will brighten up the workplace with fun, meaning and flexibility.
The post WWII-generation was raised on valuing work above all else, and will put in all hours necessary to get the job done. Promotions and raises aren’t handed out, they’re the result of long hours, dedication, very hard work, and merit.
How much do gizmos and gadgets matter to each generation?
Of the three on this list, this generation is most likely to seamlessly implement technology and software into their jobs. In fact, technology is so much a part of their jobs and careers it’s hard to draw a line between where one stops and the other begins.
They’re the first generation to grow up with computers, and use smartphones, laptops and email with ease. However, it’s not quite second nature for them, and there’s a degree of learning and adaption present.
Often maligned for not knowing the difference between a tweet and a text or liking every single picture on Facebook, Boomers have had a bit of a rough ride with technology. It’s not that they don’t want to learn—or can’t—but the field is so huge, it’s like trying a different language without even knowing English.
Who’s in charge? And how well does the team listen to them?
The younger employees often get the rap of being lazy and feeling entitled, thinking that a couple years of employment equals to promotions. They see themselves on the same level as their managers and value, and don’t hand over respect for authority “just because.”
Freedom, flexibility, responsibility and independence make up the magic combination for a Gen Xer’s willingness to obey authority, with highly structured hours and micromanaging a recipe for disaster. If managers can provide their Gen X employees with resources and instructions, they won’t have to do much more to expect success.
The first generation to really focus on themselves, Boomers started questioning authority after the Nixon and Watergate scandals. But their skepticism doesn’t translate into a total disregard for authority and nor does it mean they place themselves on an equal footing. Rather, Boomers view authority as a necessary level in the workplace and something to put in hard work to get to.
Multi-generational workplaces may be the norm, but it can also be tricky learning how to navigate different personalities just by virtue of an employee’s date of birth. But knowing who you’re working with can make it easier to get along with them.