The concept of generations in the workplace involves the different age groups that make up the workforce at any given time.  Each generation has its own unique characteristics, values, and attitudes towards work and management.  As the workforce continues to evolve and change, Hybrid Boomers need to understand and respect the different perspectives and contributions of each generation.  Let’s look at the different generations currently in the workforce and discuss the challenges and opportunities of working with each group.

Traditionalists (born before 1946)

Born before 1946, the first group is the Traditionalists.  Sometimes called the Silent Generation, they are known for a strong work ethic, loyalty, and respect for authority. Traditionalists are one of those generations in the workplace that value stability, security, and continuity.   Approaching work in a very structured and orderly way, they often have a strong sense of duty and responsibility towards their work.  Traditionalists don’t often challenge their bosses and they are proud of their work contributions.  Times have changed, right!

The other generations in the workplace have accused Traditionalists of resisting change and new ideas.  It is argued that they might hesitate when it comes to new technologies or methods of working.  Adapting to a rapidly changing environment is a challenge.  However, Traditionalists do bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the workplace.  In fact, the younger generations in the workplace might find them to be valuable mentors and advisors. 

Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964) aka Boomers

Other generations in the workplace have found a Baby Boomer’s lack of flexibility and adaptability a challenge.  Like Traditionalists, Boomer’s may be resistant to new ideas and ways of working.  Boomer’s have also been accused of struggling to collaborate with other generations, probably due to a lack of understanding between them.  Also, like Traditionalists, Baby Boomers offer a wealth of experience and knowledge, especially as leaders and managers. 

Generation X (Born 1965-1980) aka Gen Xer’s

Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, is known for their independence, skepticism, and resourcefulness. They are often described as valuing work-life balance, flexibility, and autonomy in the workplace. Self-reliant and independent, Gen Xer’s generally have a strong sense of entrepreneurship and innovation.  In comparison to the Baby Boomer generations of workers, Generation X tend to be more liberal on social issues and more ethnically diverse.

One of the challenges of working with Generation X is their lack of commitment and loyalty to their employer. They may be quick to change jobs and may not have the same level of dedication as older generations. However, Generation X brings a wealth of creativity and innovation to the workplace.  They can be valuable problem-solvers and entrepreneurs if they make the decision to do it.   This generation often wish that Baby Boomers would retire.  Their thinking is that more career advancement opportunities would then open to them.  

Millennials (Born 1981-1996) aka Generation Y

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are known for their optimism, collaboration, and technology-savviness. They value diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility in the workplace.  Millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generations ever!  Coupled with a strong sense of community and social responsibility, this generation approaches work in a very collaborative and team-oriented way.

One challenge of working with Millennials is their lack of patience and attention span. They may be quick to change jobs and may not have the same level of dedication as the generations before them. However, what Millennials bring to the workforce is creativity and innovation.  Like Gen Xer’s they can be valuable problem-solvers and entrepreneurs. 

Generation Z (Born 1997-2012) aka Gen Z’s

Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is known for their adaptability, creativity, and digital proficiency. They value collaboration, innovation, and flexibility in the workplace. This generation tends to approach work in a very digital and technology-oriented way.  They were born during a time when computers and the internet had already matured.  They work and even socialize through technology! 

In closing

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Catherine Cooper Hybrid Boomer

A Hybrid Boomer is an individual born between 1946 and 1964 who is still in the workforce but working from home or a remote location. We are only required to report into a company facility when it is necessary to collaborate in person or for in-person company meetings. We transitioned into this type
of work mode during the COVID 19 Pandemic. In defining a new normal and the future of work our companies have decided to allow us to make this a permanent way to work.

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