Right now we live and work in a time where we deal with five generations in ONE workplace, for the first time in modern history:
– Silent Generation (age 74 and older)
– Boomers (age 55-73)
– Generation X (age 39-54)
– Generation Y / Millennials (age 23-38)
– Generation Z (age 22 and younger)
The ultimate characteristics of each generation are operating under one roof and working their different ways towards one company goal. Think about it. Five different mindsets are challenging each other. It is obvious that a shift within the next years will happen due to retirement and workforce integration of “new” Millennials.
Workplace ethics are in change.
Workplaces will be dealing with the absolute opposite work ethic of older generations. Inflexible, authoritarian top-down hierarchies are no longer applicable. The “do what I say because I am your boss” mentality will stop in front of a wall, built by young people, who have the skills and knowledge that companies need in a fast-paced environment. Millennials are the future of your company and soon will be the primary workforce operating. They are able to instantly adapt to innovation, where other generations need their time to comprehend and execute so that they will be overtaken by young competitors in the blink of an eye. So, as an experienced leader, it lies in your decision if this skilled, young workforce is executing tasks and contributing to your company goal or if they turn away from you towards more interesting offers from other organizations and potentially switch to your competitors.
Hierarchy changes into collaboration.
Even experienced leaders with lots of knowledge and traditional mindsets have to understand who and how to differently lead in a modern work environment. If you, as a leader, decide to accept a shift from hierarchical structures to collaborative work within your workforce, you are likely to be successful with your mission to engage young and skilled people. Inspirational and emotional skills are now more important than ever – your task as a leader is to reveal meaning and purpose for people working with you. When they see the possibilities of how to contribute to company goals in absolute clarity then you have great chances to generate and maintain loyalty.
Generation Z is the teaching workforce of the future.
Young people can teach us a lesson in how to engage smart people who are driven by sensation, purpose and meaning, instead of tasks and authority. They have the skills that you need for your successful output to stay competitive with regards to the technology-driven and fast-paced market. It is up to you to understand, for the benefits of the company, how to create the right work environment to integrate Generation Z. Millennials can give valuable feedback for your leadership style to keep yourself on track. Embrace their abilities and don’t try to be a “boss”. Command and Control should turn into mutual Feedback and Freedom. If you don’t incorporate that change into your set of rules, your competitors will.
>> Want to know more about generational challenges and motives, and how to engage the right people for your desired output? Get in touch.