Is collegiality ageless?
Every generation has its own characteristics. The workplace is a prime example where you can notice these differences. Coworkers from different generations can reinforce each other, but are also so fundamentally different that they can clash. Lately there is much ado about generation Y. This generation brings new life to the way we think about work. How do various generations differ and what can they learn from one and another?
From A to Z
Currently there are no less than 5 generations present in the workforce; the Protestgeneration (1940 – 1955), Generation X (1955 – 1970), the Pragmatics (1970 – 1985), Generation Y (1985 – 2000) and Generation Z (2000 – 2015). The first and latter mentioned generation combined comprise a small portion of the workforce. The Protestgeneration is winding down, while the upperlayer of Generation Z is eager to get going.
To work together or not?
Different characteristics between generations can lead to conflict situation within the workforce. For example, every generation has a different view upon career. For older generations it is commonplace to work somewhere for a long period of time and to become a decision maker later on in their career. A small part of the Pragmatics but mainly the Generations Y and Z view this very differently. They are less sensitive to hierarchy and do not believe in the traditional organisational structure. For them it is common sense that responsibilities are spread out evenly.
But there is much to be learned and profited from each other. The protest generation mainly focuses on the process, while Generation X aims at the relationship and the pragmatics and Generation Y on the content. Working with of for people from different generations, requires an open and flexible attitude. Whether you work for a large company or freelance for different clients, having an understanding of the characteristics of the person in front of you makes the cooperation more beneficial.
How to keep each other in check
The younger generations, Y and Z, are entrepreneurial, focused on their development and prefer an informal way. They demand a sense of freedom in their work that can be seen as challenging for their superiors from older generations. Their influence on the workforce is growing and they slowly transform it. Keeping the dialogue open will give new insights and will ensure that generations can complement and reinforce each other.
Interested in expanding your network and meeting people from all generations of the workforce? Check out our various networking and social events on our event page.