“Thank you very much for a great presentation today… You were so awesome!”– Rikke Østergaard Christensen, CA, Akasse
While growth projections remain relatively constant, the number of people of “working age” is expected to fall.
The average U.S. employee is getting older, and the labor force will continue to age, with the average annual growth rate of the 55-years-and-older group projected to be 1.8% (more than three times the rate of growth of the overall labor force).
These days, 55-year-olds aren’t necessarily starting to think about retirement.
We’re seeing a significant increase in the percentage of people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s who are continuing to work, both on a full-time and part-time basis.
A lot of workforces consist of five generations, but five won’t cut it for much longer. New generations are continually being added—and each generation comes with at least one sub-generation.
With each new generation comes new demands for society, not to mention new expectations for companies and the workforce. In the past, the generational gap used to be so large that one generation would retire, or be on the brink of retirement before the next even entered the workforce.
But developments in technology have reduced the gap to around ten years. If there’s one thing people disagree on, it’s when the different generations begin and end. There’s been a lot of conversation about the conflicts that arise in connection with the rise of new generations, and how companies are missing the point entirely, losing out on the advantages of integrating new generations in the workforce.
Due to each generation having different viewpoints and expectations for their work, learning, and knowledge sharing, not to mention the culture in their workplace, it can pose a challenge for managers and HR departments who are tasked with attracting, leading, motivating, and retaining new generations.
Young people refuse to accept the traditional organizational framework that defines most of the companies out there.
They might still be minorities, both as employees and customers, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing new, unexpected demands and questions. Despite higher unemployment, we will continue to see a significant change in what young people want to work with and how they want to work.
Their bold, vocal approach presents interesting opportunities for innovation in terms of cross-generation partnerships, so it’s imperative to understand all the generations that are working together in the modern-day workforce.
Here are the seven generations that you need to know:
The Silent Generation (born 1925-1945)
Generation Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
Generation-X (born 1965-1980)
Generation-K (born 1977-1987)
Generation-Y a.k.a. Millennials (born 1981-1994)
Generation-Z (born 1995-2000)
Generation Alpha (born 2000-2015)
What generation do you identify yourself with?
The most recent additions to the workforce are Generation-Y and, to some extent, Generation-Z. Some experts have taken to calling Generation-Y the Burnout Generation.
The burnout effect is the result of things like overwhelming workloads, limited control, unfair work, work that doesn’t reflect core values, and a lack of community in the workplace. In other words, members of this generation are sick and tired of not living in accordance with their values and not having a community.
They find themselves emotionally exhausted, and compared to the Baby Boomers; they are more likely to leave a workplace in which they aren’t thriving.
Generation-Z is followed by Generation Alpha, which is the most advanced generation we have ever seen. The members of this generation are influential.
A British polling organization by the name of OnePoll has carried out a study on behalf of Hotwire, which showed that out of 8,000 parents with kids aged 4-9 surveyed on a worldwide basis, 65% indicated that their kids have a significant influence on the family’s consumption and purchasing decisions. Also, Generation Alpha is expected to live longer than all previous generations.
“Generation Z wants permission to follow their dreams and feel like the masters of their own time, at all times.” – Ryan Harwood, CEO of One37pm (an online news provider)
Many Gen X-ers feel suffocated by the unorganized and uncontrolled way that future generations prefer to work.
All there is to say about that is that Generations Y and Z have grown (and are growing) up in a different era with unique conditions.
It wouldn’t be out of line to call them Generation Multitasking. We’re talking about generations that have been bombarded with information, constant media buzz, computers, TVs, and radios their entire lives. They’re well-equipped to handle any number of distractions, and many of them work best with distractions like heavy metal at top volume.
Unlike the older generations, young people think that knowledge should be shared and allowed to flow freely rather than kept to themselves. They’ve grown up in a world characterized by transparency, where experience is something people are happy to share – and something that you get back from your (social) network.
The act of sharing knowledge has become more and more critical, as the ability to combine specialist and general knowledge across industries and expertise has become a competitive parameter.
There is an art to motivating employees from different generations to work together and share their knowledge, encouraging them to take responsibility and make independent decisions in an environment where the answers of today will be outdated by tomorrow. No matter how you look at it, you will end up with a multi-generational workforce or customer base. And if need be, it might make sense to consult an expert on generational issues.
In the workplace, team misunderstandings and conflicts can be so expensive and time-consuming, and the truth is that we don’t have to let all of these tensions, conflicts and disputes get us down. It can become an inspiration and innovation for future generations to come.
Soulaima Gourani was born in 1975. Soulaima Gourani has many different opinions about how we can optimize cooperation across generations. Numerous companies will soon suffer from hangovers because of a lack of focus on talent development and generation management during the crisis!
Get pragmatic inspiration for how your organization can attract and retain young people who are to form the foundation for your current and future success. Read this article as inspiration.
The talent strategy needs to be reconsidered.
It is not news that young people have high demands.
The combination of youth and talent makes the management role extra challenging. The chasm between generations is getting narrower, and therefore, all managers are facing a massive challenge. We have to adjust our approach to managing the youth continuously.
We have to continue to differentiate and individualize our talent development programs to make them appeal to each person.
This is what the young people expect, and the old ways just won’t cut it anymore. Read this article as further inspiration.
The lecture will involve discussions about how your organization can attract young people and what it means for you to get them on board. The speech can be tailored to suit your needs and e.g., focus on one of the four generations: BB, X, Y, or Gen Z.
Please contact Soulaima if you wish to register for a specific lecture or a combination of topics tailored to your needs.
You can also use the contact form on the right side or at the bottom of this page to send an inquiry to Soulaima.
How recognise a talent?
Blog by Soulaima Gourani
Millions of USD are wasted on “talent spotting” and “talent management”. We are wasting our energy on talents who are not really talents at all. And we overlook many who truly have a talent, just because we can’t SEE their talent.
What is talent, and how do you spot a talented person?
Here is the next big challenge for your company!
Blog by Soulaima Gourani
The young people are a selective group. What can you do right now to ensure that the young generations will choose your company when they enter the workforce? The problem is that many of us do not even know what young people want. Do you know what they want?
The Lazy Brats
Blog by Soulaima Gourani
Young people are being called “unrealistic” and “spoiled” on the job market. This is only because the current managers do not understand them. However, you need to understand them if you want to attract, motivate and lead them. If your company shall survive in the future, you need to consider our differences as an opportunity — not as a challenge.
“Inspiration and affectionate provocation conveyed in a very entertaining and informative way – spiced up with Soulaimas irresistible energy and passion. Thanks for the experience, Soulaima.!”
André Hedegaard Madsen
Communication & Marketing, Konsulenthuset Ballisager
“Thank you very much for a great presentation today… You were so awesome!”
Rikke Østergaard Christensen
“Dear Ms Gourani,
On behalf of PwC and all the participants at the fourth Post Davos Nordic Summit, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to you for speaking at the Summit on the 17th February 2014.
It was a privilege to hear your insights and perspectives on how the new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs contribute to this interconnected and hyper-technological “Reshaped World”.
As one of the most prestigious gatherings of business leaders in the Nordic region, the Summit, organised by PwC in association with the World Economic Forum, once again confirmed its success by uniting a select group of 100 of the region’s leading CEOs, chairmen, senior politicians and speakers from around the world. We have received very positive feedback from the participants, who thoroughly enjoyed attending the Summit.
Many thanks for your contribution to the success of the Summit. We look forward to meeting with you again in the future.
Chairman, PwC Sweden
“It was an excellent presentation and an active panel discussion that fully lived up to the board of directors’ expectations and mine. It gave us exactly the right kick start for the remainder of the conference, just like we wanted.”
Ane Marie Clausen
Secretariat Manager, KTC
“People liked the presentation, and most of them have reassessed their thinking about what is in the past and what is in the future. However, I am thinking that it is a bit like acupuncture and other types of natural healing in that it takes the same amount of time to heal as it took to develop the bad habits… :-)”
Michelle R. Cantor
IBM Global Business Services