Karen Frost explores the key differences between each of the four generations and explains how to overcome the challenge of Generation Y.
- The ‘Matures’, born between 1909 and 1945 and sometimes referred to as the ‘silent generation’, are those members of our workforce who made the sacrifices, who are comfortable with hierarchy and are influenced by the traditional military model. They expected to be in one job for the majority of their working life and respect that success means promotion and this is the order of things.
- The ‘Baby Boomers’, born between 1946 and 1964, are known for being workaholics, still retain the idea that hierarchy is the norm and although they may both love it and hate it they still work to authority. They hold high ethical values working for the family and being part of a team.
- ‘Generation X’, the music television (MTV) generation, born between 1965 and 1979. Generation X’ers are those members of our workforce who were the first generation where both their parents were likely to have worked. They tend to have loyalty to people rather than the organisation. They are more comfortable with change and regard success more in terms of lifestyle than getting that next promotion.
- ‘New Millennials’, often referred to as ‘Generation Y’, are all those in our workforce born after 1979. They are our first generation that has grown up with technology around them from an early age. Everything is personalised to them, their mobile phone, their iPod and their learning. They are great networkers with a highly developed set of values that they can express. They work to fund their hobbies, not to get promotion. Millennials are predominantly the children of Baby Boomers and have been entering our workforce for the past 10 to 12 years with more coming over the next eight years.
A constant connection
Karen Frost is from Values Based Leadership Ltd