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Generational differences in the workplace


Employers and employees alike must understand varying communication styles, attitudes, motivators, and etiquette. These soft skills, along with managing workplace relationships, are key to succeeding on the job. In the workplace, it is important to understand how these skills and abilities contribute to generational differences.

When thinking about potential interactions with colleagues, keep in mind how these generations generally approach the workplace:

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

A study published by Ernst & Young LLP found that Baby Boomers are considered the most productive and hard-working generation despite their general aversion to new technology and teamwork. Additionally, the study found that Baby Boomers highly value employee benefits such as health insurance and retirement funds.

Generation X (1965-1984)

Members of Generation X are known for their adaptability, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial spirit, according to The report explains that Generation X-ers value a strong work-life balance and are family oriented.

Millennials (1982-1994)

According to the Gallup report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, millennials approach their careers and work-life balances in a matter that is very different than previous generations. Rather than focusing on monetary and status gains, millennials want to be coached by their superiors to become better, more valuable individuals and employees. Furthermore, millennials seek to integrate their home and work lives to create a flow that works for them.

Since the workplace is a melting pot of generations, individuals need to learn to play nice. This means being conscious of others and considering how others may be working to find a balance so that everyone gets their job done, meets goals and expectations, and achieves workplace satisfaction.


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