Pulse March / April 2018 - Page 53

defining the generations in today’s Workforce a gENEratioN is a grouP of PEoPlE borN arouNd tHE saME tiME. People in this “birth cohort” exhibit similar characteristics, preferences and values over their lifetimes. It’s important to remember that generations are not a box; instead, they are powerful clues showing where to begin connecting with and influencing people of different ages. Here is a general overview of the three main generations currently in today’s workforce. BaBy Boomers those born from 1946 and 1964. Perhaps the most influential generation in history, this “flower power” generation is known for their pivotal roles in the civil rights movement, Woodstock and the vietnam War. This generation values relationships, as they did not grow up with technology running their lives. Baby Boomers grew up making phone calls and writing letters, solidifying strong interpersonal skills. In the workforce, baby boomers play by the rules, putting their work life first and living the true “American dream,” which encompasses kids, a 9-to-5 career, a house and a minivan. They paved the path for the workaholic in corporate America. Generation X (aka The lost Generation) those born from 1965 and 1980. Members of Generation X are lodged in between the two big well-known generations: the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. dubbed by media as “latch-key kids,” Gen Xers are considered the first “daycare” generation, because many were raised by two parents who worked or by a single divorced parent. This gener- ation delayed marriage and childbearing to focus on developing themselves first. They are the first generation to value work-life balance, possibly in response to experiencing the consequences of their parents’ workaholism. millennials those born from 1981 and 1995. The first generation to reach adulthood in the new millennium, Millennials are the young technology gurus who thrive on new innovations, startups and working out of coffee shops. These 20-somethings to early 30-year-olds have re-defined the workplace. Time magazine called them “The Me Me Me Generation” because they want it all. They are known as confident, entitled and depressed. This blog-savvy generation was raised by parents who were not authoritative, but rather saw themselves as partners. The Millennials grew up making the rules rather than having their parents tell them what is right. The Millennials may be known as successful and driven, but their marriage to technology has nearly destroyed their interpersonal skills and, as a result, depression is rampant in this generation. This could be due to the extreme pressure to be successful. Buying a home, keeping a good job and getting married isn’t as easy as it once was due to the extraordinary high costs in our current society In the workplace, Millennials, contrary to Baby Boomers, strive for flexibility rather than a higher tax bracket. They want more vacation time, casual dress and the flexibility of working from home rather than the office. They are all about working smarter, not harder. sourcE: Psychology Today March/April 2018 ■ PULSE 49