As companies continue to figure out what’s next in terms of what the workplace looks like for their team, taking a look at who is in the workforce should be a priority. We have a mix of generations that currently make up the workforce, and each has different priorities and things that make them thrive. But collectively, we’re mixing everyone together to create diverse teams. So how do you help meet the needs of a multi-generational team? Let’s take a look
There are technically five generations present in the workforce, three that make up the majority, and two bookends with a much smaller presence.
- The Silent Generation (1925-1945)
- Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
- Gen X (1965-1980)
- Millennials (1981-1996)
- Gen Z (1997-2012)
Between the baby boomers, gen x, and millennials, they combine to make up roughly 93% of the workforce1. The silent generation, often referred to as the traditionalists, is almost fully out of the workforce, with about 2% still working. Gen z makes up 5% of the workforce, but only because this generation is just becoming of working age.
Each year, the demographic of the workforce changes. Older workers retire or get a step closer to doing so. Younger workers start entering the workforce in larger numbers. The landscape is ever-changing so remaining flexible and adaptable is key.
What motivates the three largest generations in the workforce today?
Baby boomers are motivated by company loyalty and longevity. They were working professionals before the internet and computers dominated communication lines. Raised by the silent generation, they appreciate a more traditional office environment while being flexible, with a “whatever gets the job done” attitude. Work for most of them is a place with four walls, and working from home was not something they did in the formative years of their careers.
Gen X is known for being the independent workers. If they have a task and know what it entails to get it over the finish line, they get it done. They appreciate flexibility and being able to make decisions that help them work at their best level of productivity. They watched the internet take off during the early phases of their working years, contributing to their ability to be flexible.
Millennials were the first generation to be raised on technology. The majority of this generation was introduced to mobile communication in their formative years and are constantly on the move. They thrive on change and like being challenged. They look at work as something that fits into their life and want to move along with it rather than stay stagnant.
Why does this matter?
Right now, we’ve got a diverse group of people making up the workforce. Each generation has gone through very different world matters that have shaped their point of view and working style. With each passing year shifting the demographic of the workforce, flexibility is imperative. That is one thing each generation possesses in one way or another.
Work is no longer a one-size-fits-all place. The best way to accommodate a multi-generation workforce is to give them options. Flexible work can single-handedly empower each age segment of your team. Allow those that thrive in the office to come into work while providing remote and on-the-go employees the right tools and tech to stay connected no matter where they are.
Collaboration and communication are no longer limited to in-person meetings. As things continue to evolve and change, making sure your company culture is evolving to match is important. Take what you used to do in the office and mobilize.
If you’re currently trying to accommodate your unique, multi-generational team, we’re here to help. Taking your team from a single location to multiple locations is easier than ever with the Appspace platform. If there are any questions, please reach out to our team.
- “Generational Differences in the Workforce”, Purdue Global