Looking at the available candidates for hire, you’ll see a wide array of ages – many companies have three different generations all working at the same place: baby boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y (usually referred to as millennials). These three groups grew up in extremely different times, and as such, they often approach work differently. One isn’t necessarily better than another; each brings something special to the table, and all of these groups are viable members of the workforce. So how do you create a multi-generational office that runs successfully?

  • Baby boomers tend to focus more on work than family life because they grew up during a time when that was the norm. This post-WWII generation, growing up during a time of strong inflation and civil rights, has a very strong work ethic and tends to prefer offices that focus on employee work achievements and a steady culture – they’re probably the most resistant to change of all three groups. However, baby boomers are still eager to learn new skills to stay current. 
  • Generation X treads the line of having become adults at a fascinating time when technology really began to explode, so they’re technically knowledgeable. Thanks to their Vietnam-era parents, they value diversity, and they began the trend of wanting more of a work-life balance, so be sure your company offers flexibility. They’re usually well educated, adaptable, and quick to add new skills, adding a great deal of value to any company. 
  • Millennials currently make up about 36% of the workforce, and that number will grow as baby boomers retire. They’re very connected through social media and view the world as a place where everything’s just a few clicks away. They prefer to work in teams, and a job with group collaboration appeals to them. Contrary to popular opinion, many millennials have a great work ethic, especially when it comes to something that appeals to their passions.

It is possible to create a workplace where everyone will fit into the culture. Assigning projects and setting expectations based on each generation’s strengths will help things flow smoothly. For example, allow time for baby boomers to receive technical help from millenials, as long as millenials schedule one-on-one meetings with baby boomers rather than groups. Gen Xers may wish to work outside the hours of a standard workday in order to meet all of their personal and professional obligations. Their team members should feel confident that all of their projects will be finished and all deadlines will be met. Baby boomers should be utilized when it comes to verbal communication as email was not in existence when they began their careers. Although these are very different generations shaped by cultural events and technological breakthroughs, they are able to work together to provide a stronger, more well-rounded workforce. For help bringing in a certain generation, visit PrideStaff.

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