A Multi-Generational Workforce
Today’s workforce poses problems for managers because it consists of three generations: baby boomers (boomers), generation X (Xer’s) and generation Y (millennials). The recent economic collapse has kept many boomers in the workforce longer than they expected. It has also forced many boomers back into the workforce. Even with all of these boomers in the workforce, most of the workforce comprises Xer’s and millennials.
It is important for managers to know the strengths and weaknesses of each person they manage. In our current workforce, some of the strengths and weaknesses of employees stem from when they were born.
Boomers will make any necessary sacrifices to get the job done. They will sacrifice personal time, family ect. Xer’s will also make the necessary sacrifices to get the job done. While willing to make the necessary sacrifices Xer’s will also aim for a work life balance. They are not as willing as boomers to sacrifice their personal time, family etc. Millennials have an attitude of entitlement. The world revolves around them. Not to say they aren’t hard workers but for the most part millennials are not willing to sacrifice any of their time for something that does not directly benefit them.
Managers have to be aware of the tendencies of each generation. Boomers have been in the workforce longer and possess a wealth knowledge and wisdom. Millennials are tech savvy but lack wisdom and experience. Xer’s have the benefit of being between the two. They have been in the workforce long enough to have gained some wisdom and are young enough to be tech savvy.
Boomers will not embrace change as easily as Xer’s and millennials. Managers should not allow the unwillingness of boomers to affect their ability to glean wisdom from the older generation. Managers also have to help millennials realize that technology is not the solution to every problem. Xer’s have both problems, some of them are slow adapters and others think technology has a solution for every problem that exists.
Regardless of which generation you are a part of, make sure you consider the tendencies of the other generations. The following link provides a more indepth look into managing boomers, Xer’s and millennials http://guides.wsj.com/management/managing-your-people/how-to-manage-different-generations/ .
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