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About the generations

Traditionals: 1922-1944
Baby Boomers: 1945-1961
Generation X: 1962-1979
Millennials: 1980-2000

Traditionals: The Greatest Generation

Attitudes and values

Great effect on the workplace
Lived American dream
First Boy/Girl Scouts
Brand loyal/buy American
Effect of growing up during Depression makes them cash-focused
Conservative and loyal
Strong work ethic
Father worshipping – male-fixated generation
Value consistency, uniformity
Want to be “regular guy”
Conformists
Dislike conversations that get too personal
“There’s a law.”

At work

Solid, reliable
Don’t take the job for granted
“We’ve never done it that way.”
Don’t toot their own horn
Intimidated by technology
Favor authoritative management, decisions made at the top

Baby Boomers

Shaped by: Cold War, Vietnam, Civil Rights, Woodstock, Watergate

Focal point for society
Grew up in a positive, optimistic time
All benchmarks recognized
Pursued personal gratification
Interested in “finding themselves”
Half say they’re better off than their parents
Want to be opposite of parents
Individuals
Optimistic, future-oriented
Interested in personal growth
Want to feel young as they age, stay healthy

At work

Good at teamwork with opportunity to shine
Want to be valued, appreciated
Love perks
Good with office politics
Switch jobs more often than traditionals
Want to be treated as important and unique

Generation X

Shaped by: Roe v. Wade, Women’s Lib, Challenger, Berlin Wall, OJ, Rodney King

Affected by divorce rates, self-involved parents
Latchkey children
Self-reliant, independent
Personal determinism
Informal
Not threatened or impressed by authority
Skeptical
Believe in truth in actions
Technology savvy; love gadgets

At work

Multitaskers
Set own priorities
Don’t need supervision
Sometimes lack tact
Not afraid to ask questions
Dislike dull tasks
Like merit

Motivated by

Freedom/flexibility
On-the-job training
Do not micromanage them
Allow them to have a life: work/life balance

Millennials

Cute, cheerful, scoutlike, wanted

Shaped by: OJ, Clinton, Columbine, 9/11

Coddled, fawned over, raised by soccer moms
Helicopter parenting
Still optimistic and cheerful in a violent world
Raised in child-centric families
Rode in “Mom’s Taxi”
Grew up busy, overscheduled
Girl power
More open-minded, multicultural
Like their parents
Environmentally conscious

At work

Open about gender roles
Extremely technologically savvy
Resilient
Believe in hard work
Good at teamwork, collective action
Need strong leadership, lots of supervision, training, mentoring, praise
Do not like to buck authority
May not get along with Gen X’ers
Gen X’ers can figure it out. Millennials will not. Need direction

Gen X: need hands-off managing
Millennials: need hands-on managing

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