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How to Work With Four Generations Under One Roof

How to Work With Four Generations Under One Roof

How do you run a business with four generations of team members and do it successfully? Through feedback and rewards – however – that’s the tricky part because each generation perceives them differently.

The Mature Generation

Born before 1946, the Mature, WWII Generation are more dedicated to their jobs than any other generation.  They believe that work is an obligation.  They respect authority.  They are conformists and honor rules and they place great value in job security.   Along with these traits is the fact that they also do quality work and they have an abundance of knowledge and expertise.  

Hand-written; that’s how the Mature generation still wants to receive feedback – not through email or intra-office messaging.

When it comes to rewards, they still value plaques, incentives and of course, money! One thing to keep in mind; they still want to continue learning and growing in their field so don’t forget to provide educational courses to help them work smarter and help save time.  Keep in mind that due to the present economic situation, they do not plan on retiring.

The Baby Boomer Generation

Known as a workaholic generation, they spend long hours at work – why?  Because they were raised to believe in the American Dream by their parents and taught that hard work will get them there. Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1965 and witnessed the Civil Rights movement, the assassination of President Kennedy and the Vietnam War.

The best way to give feedback to a Boomer is through written performance documents that will support their work but they still want the one-on-one meeting.  Rating in writing is important to them.

Reward the Boomer with money; they don’t care about the plaques or gold watches.  Most have debt they need to pay off.  If money isn’t in the cards, then promoting them with a title and recognition among their peers is an alternative solution.

Just like the Mature generation, Boomers want to continue growing and learning so education is important to them and they have no plans of retiring.

Generation X

Known as the latch key kids and born between 1965 and 1981, they prefer to work independently.

Both of their parents worked and many come from divorce.  You must remember that these kids were used to doing things on their own; coming home, doing chores, doing homework – all without being told to do them.

Again, because they are hard workers and do not require supervision, the best way to provide feedback to Generation X is direct and immediate so that they can fix the problem right now.

Work-life balance is extremely important to them.  They want the successful marriage that escaped their parents and they are willing to work hard.  They have learned to appreciate money and are very independent, choosing to spend time with their families.  Keep in mind that they want to have fun at work. Take a look at companies like Google – filled with this generation – they make sure these computer, cell phone and technology geeks have some down time within the organization.

Continuing education is important to them so make sure to send them to courses that will help them improved their knowledge and skills.

Generation Y or Millennials

Born between 1982 and 2000, this generation grew up with technology and wants their work environment to be a fun place.  Meaningful work is important to them and they are very goal oriented.  They are often labeled as the “spoiled and entitled” generation but in most cases this isn’t true.  Gen X needs to be supervised and in a structured work environment that is stable.

They want a fun work environment and require immediate praise and feedback and the best method of communication is by text, email or voice mail.

As a reminder, Gen Y needs a structured and stable environment with supervision and motivation.  Meaningful work is important to them and they strive to make a difference within the company.  To help them work faster and smarter, send them to courses that will improve their knowledge.

Since most companies now have all four generations working under one roof, it is vitally important to the health of your business to understand all four generations so that you can build a successful team.

ROSI provides smarter solutions for your team environment.  We can provide your business with the necessary office layout through our space planning system.

Are you looking to purchase cubicles for your new or growing business? We offer a comprehensive selection of both new and remanufactured cubicles to ensure that you will get the system you need for your company that maximizes productivity and minimizes cost.

Contact us today for more information.

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