Board members Ruth Bramson, David Creelman and I recently met to talk about the opportunities and challenges presented by the increasingly multi-generational workforce. The picture here makes fun of one particular cliche about Millennials, but there are differences between the generations in terms of their assumptions, preferences and beliefs about how work gets done.
When I talked to co-authors Meagan and Larry Johnson a couple of years ago, they reflected on the significance of the cultural events that shaped the beliefs of workers from different generations. Increasingly, attitudes toward technology have become another aspect of difference. The newest generation, still doesn’t have an agreed upon moniker or birthdate for that matter. Re-Gen,Gen Z,Pluralist & or Homelander are all in play. But they’ll start to enter the workplace soon and what we do know about them is that they’ve never known a world without smartphones and social media. Email? That’s what their parents use to communicate.
Tammy Erickson posits that there are four main dimensions on which the generations differ in the workplace:
- Choosing where and when to work
- Communicating among team members
- Getting together; i.e. when/how to connect when collaboration is required
- Finding information or learning new things
You can listen to our discussion about these differences by listening to this podcast: Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce – Ruth Bramson and David Creelman
We’d also love to hear what you think? How important are generational differences in your workplace?