This is the first time that modern workplaces are catering to four very different generations.
This is a difficult situation for managers who need to understand the thinking and behaviours of the various generations to know how best to manage them.
An article in the Harvard Business Review tells us:
So what might really matter at work are not actual differences between generations, but people’s beliefs that these differences exist. These beliefs can get in the way of how people collaborate with their colleagues and have troubling implications for how we people are managed and trained.
2020 has seen a new generation enter the workforce in large numbers – Gen Z; those born between 1996 and 2010.
Read the top 6 things you should know about your Gen Z team member:
- Fast Communicators – if you want a quick answer use electronic communication. They prefer to connect electronically, think about how your business can use technology to your advantage. On the flipside Gen Z can struggle with verbal communication; showing them how it can enhance their work will offer them new learning.
- Competitive Spirit – They usually love competition, especially with themselves. Give them challenging tasks and they’re sure to thrive. Learning by gamification is the next wave, get on board, set some challenges for them to achieve.
- Tech is a way of life – Expect them to rely heavily on tech tools in all areas of their work. Give them the opportunity to review and implement time saving through Tech.
- Short Term Focus – if it’s not of interest them they will quickly filter things out. Don’t misread a lack of interest for a lack of focus. For an employer, this means giving them a reason to pay attention, eg: giving them the bigger picture even if their role only plays a small part. This also links back to the competitive spirit – feeling that they are doing something with an outcome/reason.
- Transparency Wins – Brought up in a socially connected world, they demand authenticity in their dealings with others. They want transparency in their conversations at work and workflow. Our advice – be direct and clear.
- Exercising Choice – They like making their own choices, involving them in decisions/ideas is a great way to have them connect to that idea. When recruiting them to your team, highlight the benefits and challenges they will be exposed to in the role.
There’s no doubt that this generation will change the workplace as we know it and present opportunities for improvement and, there’s little doubt they will keep company leaders on their toes in order to really tap into the benefits they have to offer!
Looking closely at the Millennial generation which is those born from 1980-1996 they have specific traits which also need to be managed.
6 Traits of Millennials:
- Collaboration – they like to collaborate and work as a team, this is usually their preferred way to participate. They are open, happy to voice an opinion and work in with others.
- Career Advancement – this generation will want to know the path to the top and the prospects for career advancement. If they see no future path and no light at the end of the tunnel focusing may be difficult for them
- Gratification & Recognition – these are two traits that are important to this group. They expect instant gratification which has been common for them with social media and they apply that to work. They want to see results and don’t like to wait, this can be difficult to manage. They require recognition and constant acknowledgement, they want credit and kudos for their achievement. If they find themselves in a company that is not good at acknowledgement or feedback this can create an issue.
- Social media – they are the generation that know everything there is about social media. This is how they find out information and companies that are not on social media will find it difficult to attract members of this generation without it.
- Diversity – this generation take this seriously and are suspicious of companies that don’t take appear to have a policy or framework, it is important to them and it’s something to consider when dealing with them
- Flexibility – this is really important to Millennials and they are not as willing to sacrifice their lifestyle for a job like in the past. They have a life outside work, they will put in what it takes but know there is more to life.
Check this out visually – below we have included a very informative infographic which compares the two generations.
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