There are many reasons to contemplate the various generations that make up the current workforce: Managing employee retention, designing reward and compensation packages, leveraging the talents and perspectives of all employees, effective training and continued education, creating an awesome work culture, maintaining institutional knowledge…
Here are a few descriptions of the current workforce generations and (below) various resources for articles and studies.
Date of birth: before World War II ended
These folks believe in institutions and career ladders, they respect hierarchy, rules and authority. This generation is made up of team players who put duty before pleasure, with a penchant for dedication and sacrifice. Their communication style is indirect, and they prefer directive leadership. Their career goals are typically to build a life-time career with one employer, and they demonstrated and are motivated by institutional loyalty.
Date of Birth: 1946-1964
This group is optimistic and competitive, they like to challenge the status quo but they ‘bend’ more than they ‘break’ the rules. This generation disapproves of absolutes and structure, and doesn’t respect titles necessarily. An optimistic bunch, they are team-oriented but focused on personal growth and gratification. They tend to be less comfortable with conflict. Rather than focusing on one company, they seek to build a perfect career that defines them and their self-worth.
Date of Birth: 1965-(1977)1980
This crew is skeptical, resourceful, and independent. A positive but impatient bunch, they are goal oriented and seek responsibility and the freedom to carry out their duties in their own way. They are global thinkers, technically literate, and they question authority. They value learning and skills as a means to security via building a transferable career. They seek flexibility and work-life balance, and have the perspective that one should work to live as opposed to living to work.
Millennials – Generation Y
Date of Birth: 1981- 2000
This demographics is confident and tech-savvy, and continuously connected. They have been described as needing frequent affirmation and feeling entitled; they are empowered and opinionated, and question authority. They are driven by personal relationships and prize mobility over security. They are keen on customization, of everything from their consumer purchases and personal technology, to their job terms and conditions. Mllennials are consummate multi-taskers, and they often focus on several parallel careers, working several jobs simultaneously. They question whether excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life.