Earlier this summer I was interviewed for a research project and master’s thesis by an EY (rebranded from Ernest & Young) Fellow in Ireland. For one of the questions, I generated a long list that provides an overview of challenges in the current multi-generational workplace. I am happy to share this with you.
There’s a 5th generation in the workplace wings. I am asked about the generation following Gen Y/Millennials. What are they like? What do we call them? Here I summarize some useful observations and give my interpretation of comparisons with other generational cohorts as well as 12 tips.
It was hard to miss the deluge of articles (and they’re still coming): “The Daddy Juggle;” “The Increasing Choice to Be a Stay-at-Home Dad;” “The Rise of the Hands-On Dad,” for example, in the major business media. Stigmas do still exist. Nonetheless the percentage increase in stay-at-home and highly involved dads has been significant. Time to re-think flexibility.
It’s obvious to just about everyone that we have been witnessing fundamental changes in communication media and styles, accelerating markedly in the last 15 years. Technology and the market have led the way to faster, more efficient, smaller, “always on” media. Communication styles have followed and adjusted, causing generational and occupational divides.
In a fascinating article on the “Taste” page of the Wall Street Journal almost 5 years ago, Mark Bauerlein made a powerful case for the need to bridge the gap between the Gen Y texting culture and use of what anthropologist Edward T. Hallcalled “the Silent Language” - nonverbal cues or body language and voice tone.
Many of us have an intuitive sense about what makes a "best place to work." Various surveys track what employees are looking for to join and stay, and those items shift in rank from generation to generation depending on existing social, political and economic circumstances.
It’s time to revisit how the generations collaborate at work. Collaboration has become the preferred work style, and a large percentage of workplaces are multi-generational.