From traditional Baby Boomers to entitled Millennials, working across age groups can prove to be challenging. Recently Badger NAMA members gathered at Café Centraal in Bay View to discuss some of these challenges and to attempt to understand why each generation operates the way it does.
Through a personality exercise, attendees learned the perspectives among the different age groups. While Baby Boomers were non-confrontational and collaborative, those in Generation X were more selfless and reserved, and folks in Generation Y (also called Millenials) tended to be more competitive and outspoken.
These traits became more evident when the three different generational groups were asked to plan the same project: a soccer team fundraiser with a $3,000 goal. A boots-on-the-ground, personal invitation approach to fundraising seemed to be the best option for Baby Boomers; involving the young players in a pizza sale fundraiser appealed to Generation X attendees; and a 5K fundraiser supported through social media was the route the Millennials chose. See the differences?
So what does this all mean and how can you use it in the work place?
- Millenials, don’t be so quick to shoot a text message to Baby Boomers. They want to see your face and hear your voice, so walk down the hall or pick up the phone to have a conversation with them.
- Do good work! People from Generation X are more entrepreneurial and have high expectations of you completing a project successfully, especially when you ask to take on the responsibility in the first place.
- Boomers, give the younger crowd a chance to spread their wings. Be open to new ideas and trust that when you assign a project to them they will do it to their full potential … and usually do it well.
Written by Sarah Duwe, MorganMyers
Baby Boomers: 1946 – 1964
Generation X: 1960 – early 1980s
Generation Y/Millennials: 1980-2000