Bridging the Workplace Generation Gap

 

What are the generational breakdowns?

generational breakdowns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to be a Millennial and Gen Z? How are they different from other generations? 

Millennial and Gen Z  employees value a balanced work and personal life. 

They’re not willing to compromise their personal time for work like previous generations were.


They’re virtually well connected and culturally diverse which brings a vast collection of knowledge and creativity to the table.

Millennials were born during an increased time period of immigration providing them with more exposure to different cultures than previous generations. Gen Z will have the most exposure. 


Millennials and Gen Z are looking at their bosses and managers to be like a mentor to them. They want their job to meet their needs. 

Previous generations see their superiors as strict, ethical and in an authoritative role. They believed that they should meet the needs of the company. 


Promotions and personal growth within a company are more important to Millennials than pay. 

Boomers and Gen X were driven by salaries and moving up the ladder


differences between millennials and baby boomers

What are the common Millennial and Gen Z stereotypes?

They’re obsessed with social media (ie: instagram and facebook), political interests, smartphones, apps, disdain for authority, wanting to work remotely, lazy and bad with money.

What are some of the issues that other Generations have with working with Millennials and Gen Z?

Stereotypes

  • Each generation has their own set of stereotypes they unfortunately carry with them. Lazy, old, outdated, stuck in the past, technology obsessed, etc. Before most people are even introduced, these labels are already instilled in their minds from the first look. 
  • Having these first impressions can cause tension and dislike between people which will disrupt your workflow.

Company Culture 

  • Millennial and Gen Z company culture is noticeably different than Boomers and Gen X.  Millennials and Gen Z thrive in cultures where there is purpose, togetherness, open forms of communication through all seniors  and more than just a work driven purpose. Birthday parties, company outings, weekly messages from the owners are all things Millennials expect at work. 
  • Boomers and Gen X may be used to a one time a year Holiday Party, a monthly check in from the higher ups and a more professional, strict culture.   

Personal Goals and Loyalty 

  • Millennials are coming into the workforce with their own ambitions being the highest priority. They’re a generation of employees who are looking to constantly be learning and growing in the company. They expect position changes and recognition more often than their counterparts. If they don’t find personal fulfillment, they’ll move to another company they can find it with.
  • Boomers and Gen X came into the workforce with the company and secured a job first. They do their work as expected and are more in tune with yearly reviews and promotions when the time comes.  These two different motivations and drive factors draw a clear line between the generations. 

Put yourself in a millenial’s shoes that work at big companies. What are some of their struggles? Maybe they’re frustrated with the lack of technology, and not being heard. Unclear as to why they have to go through the chain of command?What is important to them? Culture? Free snacks? Bring your dog to work? IDK – there are a lot of things written about this. Might have to do some research.

Then put yourself in the place of someone who is 60 that just hired 5 new employees between the ages of 20-30. What are their struggles? Seeing that all of these people are entitled? Them wanting to always leave early and work remotely? Wanting 6 weeks of vacation? Them keep talking about mental health? Again, would have to do some research. Don’t be afraid to quote other articles and companies. 

What are some challenges that CEOs have when managing a team of generations? 

Communication

  • Millennials and Gen Z rely on multiple forms of communication; text, instant messaging, email and social media. Gen X and Boomers rely on a phone call or email. This mixed with the different terminology and slang can lead to a breakdown in the communication chain. 
    • A great course of action to relieve this would be to bring the teams in for a meeting and work to figure out the best chain of communication for everyone, then teach everyone the proper use of the method together. 

Different work styles

  • Millennials and Gen Z are multi-taskers who can use technology to get their job done in different ways. These work style changes can cause a disruption to the workflow of older team members 
    • Cross training is a useful method to help each generation learn from each other. Giving the Millennial and Gen Z a chance to train the Boomers and Gen X on their methods and practices,  then switching positions. Harvard Business Research showed that each generation can learn something valuable from each other like building networks, to work control methods. 

Hiring 

  • Monster.com sites that “With such a momentous demographic shift, companies are going to have to (at the very least) revisit their recruiting strategies and fully understand how best to respond to this changing tide.”
    • Previous interviews were structured with the employer screening to see if the candidate is the right fit for the company. Millennials and Gen Z are now trying to see if the company is the right fit for them during an interview. 

What motivates Millennials?

Avocado toast. Just kidding.  

  • Growth and ability to access new experiences  
  • Opportunities to learn and contribute 
  • Committing themselves to work they find meaningful
  • A sense of personal accomplishment
  • Strong core values

According to sites like Fortune.com and Great Place to Work,  the top 5 rated places Millennials have found these motivations like these are:

Ultimate Software

“Our culture is truly lived every day by all leaders and all our executives. They truly care about us and make that known in all the ways possible. I rarely feel stressed at work and even in our busiest times I am happy to be here.” – employee review


Hilton

“The care that is given to the employees, the flexibility that we have to take care of our personal issues, the fairness and the all the benefits we have, and the endless opportunities for growth to all of us make working at Hilton great.”- employee review


Salesforce

“I really love the passion Salesforce has for fighting injustices and leading the way in being a conscious company that cares about the environment, its workers, human rights, women rights, LGBTQ—it’s wonderful to feel protected.” – employee review


Workday

“Workday is invested in growing young talent and helping you find the career path that you love. I’ve moved departments and teams multiple times since I’ve been here and I’ve had a say in what I’m interested in all long the way.” – Employee review


Kimley-Horn

“The firm really works to make decisions about how to do business and treat employees based on our core values and purposes. The firm also is ahead of the learning curve in technology and training new generations of people coming into the workforce.” – employee review


 What is avocado toast anyways?

“While being trendy, Avocado Toast benefits from being versatile, healthy, easy to make, and delicious. In its simplest form, just add avocado slices on top of toasted bread and you’re all set. But there can be an infinite variety of tweaks and variations.” – Quora.com  

What assessments and personality tests are helpful for managers?

A personality test can give you a look into the inner workings of your staff. Knowing their cognitive, behavioral, and personality strengths and weaknesses can help them grow into productive and highly motivated employees.

Predictive Index 

“At its core, a PI Test is a personality test given by employers to determine a candidate’s potential fit at their company”.  – Indeed.com

Why use it? 

  • It’s a highly accurate test developed by the American Psychological Association
  • It will help you determine the cognitive and behavioral patterns of your staff or future staff and give you a chance to see where they can excel.
  • Learn about your employee’s abstract characteristics such as dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality. 

Enneagram 

“The Enneagram test is a way of categorizing the human psyche into 9 different personality types. It’s a typology that is useful for understanding the inner workings and motivations behind human behavior” – Growth Marketing Pro

Why use it?

  • The Enneagram breaks your employees down into 9 different categories to help determine what motivates them. A few examples are: 
  • The Reformer- The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
  • The Helper- The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
  • The Achiever- The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
  • The Individualist- The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
  • Knowing your teams key motivating factors will help you bring them to their maximum potential and achieve their goals.

What experiences can bring teams that are ranging from different generations together?

An article recently written for Forbes stressed the importance of an engaging team building activity. It detailed why these activities are more effective than doing something simple like company dinners.

Here are some of our favorite Boston team building activities: 

Trapology Boston – An escape room where your team is forced to work together in order to accomplish a goal.  Trapology covers multiple team-building points without the team even noticing. Productivity improvements,  increased collaboration, encouraged creativity, constant communication, breaking the barrier and getting everyone in a neutral position of power,  and discovering your teams hidden talents can all be accomplished in one hour! They even cater to larger teams over 50+


Paint Night. – Whether members of your team are skilled with the brush, a paint night is a perfect way to get everyone out of the office and together in a relaxed setting. 


Organize a team scavenger hunt-  You can set these up anywhere, your office, an offsite retreat or a local park. There are even companies like Museum Hack that will bring your team to a museum to learn and play! While some scavenger hunts insight competition, they still band together in a strong form of teamwork and communication. 


About Trapology Boston (www.trapologyboston.com):

We’re a group of local Boston creatives that believe in interactive and immersive experiences that challenge, connect, and entertain. Trapology Boston is Boston-born and bred and we offer escape games for friends, family, and co-workers. Each of our adventures have a suspenseful storyline that will unfold as you and your team explore the room, find clues, and solve a series of connected mind-bending puzzles. Handcrafted locally with creativity, quirkiness and a little insanity. 

 

Blog post written by By Michael Tremblay and Tina Wood, Trapology Boston (www.trapologyboston.com)

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