Kellie Mills – Coach, Trainer and Speaker

Creating Change…one conversation at a time

How to work in a multi-generational workplace

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Finding the balance when working with multi-generational colleagues can be a difficult task. Each generation has their own unique work ethic, culture and way of communicating.  These differences can impact the way staff work together and the quality of the finished product. Here is a breakdown of each generation:

o       Builders/Silents- aged between 67 – 96

o       Baby Boomers- aged between 48 – 66

o       Gen X- aged between 32 – 47

o       Gen Y- aged between 18 – 31

o       Gen Z- aged between 3 – 17

In order to understand the barriers we must look at these differences as cultural rather than age-related. The three main generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y), must be explored further in order to understand how their views were shaped according to influences from the world around them.

Baby Boomers

·         Were raised to be ‘seen and not heard’ when around adults or people of authority

·         Strong set of ideals & traditions, Very family oriented

·         Believed hard work & education got you most things in life

·         Life had stability and safety with mothers at home when growing up

·         Forever young – still young and funky!

·         Value experience over education

Generation X

·         Live in the present

·         Like to experiment but look for immediate results – impatient

·         Self-reliant & question authority

·         Like options & to set own priorities

·         Developed independence

·         Ambitious and hard working but value a work/life balance

Generation Y

·         Accepting of diversity

·         Question tradition

·         Have been taught skills rather than discovered skills, often over supervised

·         Rapid adapters to change

·         Want to be entertained, quick to change interests – Multi-taskers

·         Appear Extremely confident and abundance of self esteem

·         Very concerned with self image & product brands

·         Focus on personal priorities

·         Smart, creative, optimistic and tech savvy

By delving into a generation’s history we can gather some important points which lead us to how each generation behaves in a workplace environment. For example Baby Boomers often prefer face-to-face conversations over emails. Gen X generally opt to working alone rather than in teams. Whereas, Gen Y expect equality and willingness to break tradition.

However, it is important to note that everyone is an individual and they should not be stereotyped by their generation. For a workplace to cater to the needs of a multigenerational workforce it is important to keep an open mind and understand the different perspectives.

Mills-Eaton Training delivers In-House training for medium-large organisations. They specialise in Team Development (with expertise in dysfunctional teams), Leadership, Communication and other practical programs.

Contact Kellie Mills on blogresponse@millseaton.com.au

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