Generations At Work


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This matrix compares and contrasts characteristics of generations in the workplace - from WW I to Generation Y.

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Generations At Work

  1. 1. Generations at Work (Caution - These are broad generalizations!) Traditionalists Baby boomers Generation X Generation Y Born 1900 - 1945 1946-1964 1965-1980 1981-1990 More likely to have friends that High parental divorce rates, Post WW II prosperity and have died young, or have been in Experience of adversity WW II and Great Depression governmental scandals, parental economic growth jail, natural disasters and global layoffs issues, corporate scandals Work hard and you will be Self-reliant and skeptical of High expectations for getting their General philosophical outlook Loyal, faithful to institutions, rewarded, institutions needs met, consumerism Should be meaningful and a Work hard and what has meaning balance of hard work and paid time How they view work Work hard and you will be rewarded for you, has changed major jobs 2-3 A means to an end off, will change major jobs 5-10 times times Workplace improvements over time What do you mean I can't have How they view change at work Workplace didn't change rapidly for efficiency but don’t' change too No big deal, adapt and move on "Instant Messenger" at work? much too soon Highly educated, but not A blend of generalist and Well-educated, generally 4-year necessarily 4-year college, Management generalists, traditional Talents and skills technology, depends on the person, college or trade school, good with technologically savvy, pagers, cell skills/trades emphasis on professional education all types of technology phones, MP3, comfort with virtual learning Generally focused on work-aholism, Can be individual, generally will More important to spend time How they view family/recreation What comes after work - Male and family time is after work, until the work hard in spells and then want doing what you want, with people time female roles defined divorce! long time off that you like Less cause-focused, more global Not quite old enough to have Pick a social cause and donate Socially conscious but short of time, How they view activism issues, vary who they donate to, disposable income but may have money gives to a few causes yearly done service work in high school How to stay gainfully employed, how How to pay for consumption, How to finance college education for What is on their mind today Rising costs in retirement to pay for school loans, how to keeping rapidly changing skills, kids and retirement for them move out of parent's house Music, cars, time off, fun Quick gratification tied to their Flexibility, tie economics rewards to Slow and steady promotions and goals, they want feedback on their Best way to manage performance Financial incentives and promotions their individual performance, training increases work, and training opportunities opportunities that relate to more money © Benoit Consulting Services 2007, al rights reserved
  2. 2. Sources Chaddock, Gail Russell, US Notches World's Highest Incarceration Rate , 2007 The Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 2003. at: Dougherty, Kirk, Harder, Hill & Miller, The Echo Boom: What Generation Y has in Store for the HR community , accessed April 2007 at: Fieldstone Alliance, Tools You Can Use, Six Generational Trends that will Affect Your Nonprofit, accessed April 2007 at: Kinner & Chapman, Service-Learning and Community service in K-12 Public Schools , Education Statistics Quarterly - Elementary and Secondary Education, Vol. 1, Issue 4, accessed April 2007 at: Lloyd, Joan, Gen X work ethic isn't all that different from others, accessed April 2007 at: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), Workplace generation gap: Understand differences among colleagues, 2001 Planetree, Inc. accessed April 2007 at: Panepento, Peter, Connecting with generation X , The Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 31, 2005, accessed April 2007 at: Senior Journal.Com, Many Baby Boomers May have to Rethink Retiring Before Becoming Senior Citizens The Baby Boomer Generation, Paying it Forward and Backwards , April 17, 2006, accessed April 2007 at: The Baby Boomer Generation, What Generation are You? April 29, 2006 accessed April 2007 at: Yelowitz, Aaron, Young Adults Leaving the Nest: The Role of Cost-of-Living , The Network on Transitions to Adulthood, May 2006, accessed April 2007 at: