Differences in Generations Beget Management Approaches

Differences in Generations Beget Management Approaches


A workforce made up of employees of differing generations is nothing new, but the divergence in workplace approach has never been quite as starkly contrasted. A new report published by XpertHR examines the differences, and how it applies to managers. 

The Baby Boomer generation is living longer than its predecessors, and remaining in the labor force for longer. Beginning in the coming years, Boomers will be working with the first wave of Gen Z college graduates. And then, between the two, are the largest two generations of the work landscape, Gen X'ers and Millennials. There's a chasm between the groups, created in part by the proliferation of mass communication during their formative years. 

The younger generations in particular either entered the workforce during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, or had their childhood perceptions shaped at that time. Coupled with the ubiquity of online connectivity -- something that really only became part of the public consciousness in the 1990s, when X'ers were becoming adults, but exploded for the Millennial generation -- younger workers have different views on the employee-employer dynamic. 

XpertHR's report addresses this dynamic through the lens of "job-hopping." Some employers view Millennials and, soon, Gen Z'ers willingness to move jobs as a negative. Rather, it's a call to action for management to address their younger staff's needs and expectations. 

At the same time, the shuffling around of employees dependent on opportunities contributes to wages in an industry. Baby Boomers might have to compete with younger and presumably cheaper counterparts for the same positions. 

Robert S. Teachout, XpertHR Legal Editor says, "“Employers need to understand each generation’s concerns in order to plan how to address them."

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