How To Be Productive In An Office of Differing Generations

Each generation is different from the last. Each having its own trials and tough times, victories, and stereotypes about it. And to some degree those stereotypes are true. It can be very difficult to have a team of different generations with different ideals, ways of completing a task, and opinions.

The three biggest generations in the workplace today are Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen X (the Silent Generation is a shrinking minority). Each one of these generations provide their own unique challenges and perks, as coworkers.

Millennials: Millennials are currently the largest cohort in the workforce. They were born between 1977 and 1999 to Boomer parents. Millennials are often seen as the self-indulged, selfie, tech-savvy generation that was raised in a world of participation trophies. A general rule, millennials crave a work-life balance, personal happiness, and the ability to better the world around them. For this generation, allow them to pursue their passions through their work and be treated as meaningful contributors.

Baby Bommers: The second biggest generation in the workforce and for a long time the biggest generation in American history. They were born between 1946 and 1964 and are most known in American history for their hippy days, rock ‘n roll, civil rights, and Vietnam. As a generation, they typically are competitive and think that paying your dues matters. Even in the generation of free love, diversity and the global culture of today can be a hard pill to swallow. Just because they grew up before personal computers does not mean Boomers cannot adapt to technology. Be sure to explain your reasoning for new methodology to this generation and why it should change.

Gen X: Gen X is the smallest generation in the workforce. Born in 1960s -1980s, Gen X is often seen as the lost generation. They are the products of  the Cold War which makes them much more cautious than the generations they are sandwiched between. Typically, they are more conservative in the workplace with a lower liking of risk. Coworkers should provide constant communication and updates, especially through email, will be very beneficial.

While it is always best to go off of individuals and specific situations, these general tips can help save a group. Build a group that can work well together and increase team productivity. It will be extremely beneficial to your organization all while creating an environment that is inviting to workers of all ages.