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VIEWPOINT: The New Workplace

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For the first time in working environments, four generations will be functioning together. A plan is needed to manage these differences to the advantage of your employees, so that your company benefits.

Globally growth-leading companies have something in common: a relentless focus on talent from the pit of generations. They are very intentional about this. Executives who lead these companies use the differences within the generations to maximise profitability.

Who are you and what do you stand for?

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Mature (born before 1942): Believes work is an obligation: respects authority; takes rational approaches and produces quality work; money and compensation are important and embraces retirement.

Boomer (1943 – 1964): Job-focused; security and stability conscious with stated goals and tasks; communicates in-person; separates personal and professional life; loyal; strong work ethic and not afraid to work the hours; specific known feedback system needed.

Generation X (1965 – 1979): Values work/life balance and independence; adaptable and resourceful; embraces and uses technology to enhance productivity; “the new working environment”.

Generation Y (1979 – 2001): Work/life balance and flexibility most important; seeks freedom; wants instant workplace equality; doesn’t fear authority; seeks challenging and meaningful work; needs immediate recognition, affirmation, connection and feedback.

The challenge
Do you understand how work is done differently by the different generations? Do you understand customer needs, interaction and work styles from different generations?
And what are you doing about it?

Strategies
Given that each generation has unique strengths and weaknesses, how are you getting your four generations of employees to work harmoniously as a team?

Ideas

  • Offer coaching
  • Innovate by tapping into all groups
  • Consider individual needs
  • Commonality
  • Retirement planning
  • Praise for contributions

The strength in it all
Embrace the experiences, knowledge and cultural familiarity from each generation in your organisation and make it your unique selling point!