For the first time in history (probably), we have five generations working together in the workforce.
- Veteran: born 1922-1943
- Baby Boomers: born 1943 to 1960
- Generation X: born 1960-1980
- Millennials, aka Generation Y: born 1980-2000
- Gen Z: born after 2000, and just starting to enter the workforce.
Diversity in age exists in almost every workplace, yet I had a hard time finding a stock photo for this post with diverse ages in it. This is the best I could do, with at best three generations represented:
So instead, since I’m a late Gen X-er myself, I’ll share this:
Because of what we do here at Give and Take, I think a lot about collaboration and knowledge sharing. We hear a lot about the friction caused by multigenerational misunderstandings, but we don’t hear much about the incredible richness this kind of diversity can bring to a workplace. While managing Millennials tends to get the most attention and focus, each generation has strengths to bring to a collaborative workforce, and each has opportunities to learn from others.
I found this great infographic from Award Concepts that focuses on tips for bridging the gap to encourage effective communication and collaboration while eliciting the best work from each group. For example, Baby Boomers are inclined to value their own goals more than the Veteran Generation, whereas Gen X is much less career-oriented than Baby Boomers.
Turning these varying perspectives and experiences into a high-performing machine can be difficult, but the employers who succeed will outperform their competition. Check out this guide that further defines the characteristics of the main generational groups we find in the workforce, along with some tips for tapping into their potential (scroll through the infographic to see the whole thing).