We’ve got an amazing mix of generations in the workplace right now. In fact, the current workforce has a wider range of generations than ever before in US history.
- Traditionalists (born prior to 1946) are about 5 percent of the workforce
- Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) make up 45 percent of the workforce
- Gen X (born between 1965 and 1976) make up 40 percent of the workforce
- Millennials (born between 1977 and 1997) make up 10 percent of the workforce
- In addition, a fifth generation known as Gen 2020 (born after 1997) is joining the workforce.
Each generation joins the workplace with unique perspectives, experiences, and expectations. How we unite this multi-generational workforce as entrepreneurs will create either barriers to overcome or a competitive advantage toward success. Two generations currently have a stronger impact on our businesses: Millennials and Baby Boomers. Millennials are the present and future workforce, expected to make up 50% of the world’s workforce in the next 5 years.
The Millennial Generation is creative, tech savvy, excels at work in teams but with freedom, and seems to have some emphasis on family relationships, They tend to be actively engaged in citizenship, comfortable with the world’s issues, expect corporate integrity and transparency, and encourage speed and having fun at work. On the down side, Millennials have a reputation for being spoiled and impatient, ie. they want to be leaders now—without earning their dues.
Millennials see themselves different than these perceptions and stereotypes.
A recent study titled “The-Great-Divide” found that 14 percent of HR professionals perceived Millennials to be less people-savvy, but 65 percent of Millennials surveyed think they excel in this skill. In the same way, 86 percent of HR leaders felt that Millennials were more tech-savvy than other workers, while only 35 percent this group rated themselves this way. The largest disparity in perceptions is that 82 percent of Millennials believed that that are loyal, compared to only 1 percent of HR professionals. Finally, 86 percent of this generation considered themselves to be hard workers; only 11 percent of HR professionals agreed.
Boomers have seen it all.
Layoffs, downsizing, financial success (and sometimes failure), real estate booms and droughts, and multiple wars. They have had a disproportionate economic and cultural impact on nearly every trend of the past 40 years. Why is this important?
Boomers are retiring at an increasing rate and for every two experienced and knowledgeable Baby Boomers that retire, there is one in-experienced Millennial joining the workforce. This is a trend we are going to be dealing with over the next several weeks. How do we transfer Boomer knowledge to younger workers? One good piece of news is a global CEO survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 98% of Millennials think positively about working with a mentor, and 89% believe continuous learning is important.
We need to capture the knowledge and experience of our Baby Boomer Generation before it is lost! Does your organization have a succession plan in place? Bringing a mix of generations together to work with each other, share knowledge, and work styles is the best place to start. With a generation mix, help them learn about how their own communication and work styles are impacting their success at work. The EDSI Increasing Personal Effectiveness program has been taught to thousands of groups over the years. It’s also been updated to reflect continued changes in the workplace. Give your employees the best chance to succeed by teaming up with us!
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.