The rules for business are changing rapidly. With the constant advances in technology and the growing divide in the generations of people engaged in the workplace, we need to find ways to allow this multigenerational workforce to come together using their very different behaviors, work styles and expectations to drive collaboration and change into the business.
According to expert data sources, today’s generational divide encompasses four different groups of people:
• Traditionalists (Silents) (Born between 1925 and 1946)
• Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964)
• Generation Xers (Born between 1965 and 1980)
• Generation Ys or Millennials (Born after 1980) starting into a fifth generation called Gen Z
While not everyone will ever fall specifically into one generational divide or the other, there are patterns and findings from years of expert research and assessments that find more similarities within certain generational divides than without. These diverse sets of employees experience the workplace with different expectations and needs. They also desire different “engagement factors” from generational group to group.
Employees want their employer to have a value proposition and an employment brand. That takes a call to action for employers to transform the workplace from what was a “command and controlled” hierarchical organization to a “learning and coaching” organization that meets people where they are and provides interaction and learning in a multidirectional style. Today, a successful leader needs to know what behaviors and work styles employees “normally” possess, and then learn how to “flex” their own behaviors and styles in a way that allows for each individual they lead to be their best self at work.