Many articles and papers have been written on this topic. I’m sure that they are well studied, surveyed and compiled. I’ve read many of these papers as this topic is of interest to me. As a manager, I have multiple generations reporting to me.
The generations you will hear are:
Traditionalist 1900 – 1945
Traditionalists, GI Mature, WWII Generation, The Silent Generation, seniors.
Baby Boomers 1946 – 1964
Results Driven, Work to Life attitude, Personal Growth, Team Orienation, Feel they will never get old!
Generation X 1965 – 1979
Work/life balance, cleary identified boundaries, flexible work schedules, relaxed dress codes
Twenty-somethings, Thirteeners, Baby Busters, Post Busters
Generation Y 1980 -
Millennials, Generation Y, Generation 2001, Nintendo Generation, Generation Nex, Internet Generation.Millennium
These are just some of the characteristics of the generations. The more I read, observe and work with these generations the more I am aware that understanding and being open minded is the answer.
Almost all companies have programs about diversity. However, very few address the topic of diversity among the generational workforce.
Managers say that they don’t understand their employees. Those X’ers that don’t go the extra mile without having something in it for them. They leave at five on the dot. If they stay late, they expect pay or time off to accommodate their efforts.
For those X’ers who manage Baby Boomers, and yes this is a reality, there is dealing with the older generation that doesn’t understand them!
I am reading some wonderful books right now and plan on continuing with this topic on my blog. One book that you may want to look into is entitled “Beyond Generation X, A Pratical Guide for Managers by Claire Raines. This book not ony provides insight into this generation, but gives tips and tools to bridge the gap.