4 generations of employees in one workplace, or how to deal with generational change?

4 generations of employees in one workplace, or how to deal with generational change?
Written By
Joanna Jankowska
Members of each generation grow up in different times, witness different events, and are permitted or forbidden to do different things. External factors largely shape the attitudes distinguishing particular social groups. These generational differences can be seen very well on the job market. We currently have three generations of employees, and the fourth is slowly getting ready to start their careers.

HR professionals must demonstrate an innovative approach to achieve the business goals set before them. So what is the story with these generations? How do their professional attitudes, motivations, and expectations differ, and how can it all be reconciled?

A generation is a group of people born in a specific period of time who are united by certain specific behaviors, views, or values. However, these assumptions should be approached with flexibility, as they are purely conventional in nature. Not every person born at a given time will have the same expectations of their employer or the same views of the world.

Today, another generation, generation “Z” , is entering the job market. Dynamic development, modern IT solutions and technologies, as well as globalization are changing the “rules of the game” very quickly. In order to effectively execute recruitment processes, it is necessary to develop a strategy to motivate representatives of all the generations active on the job market and prevent any potential conflicts between them, determine the further professional development of individual employees. Soft HR skills include all the actions related to ensuring the highest quality of hired staff. So there is a good chance that professionals with expertise in this field will soon be able to pick and choose job offers.

Characteristics of individual groups

Awareness of the differences between generations and adjusting the employer’s actions to the needs of the staff will certainly have impact on the effects of their work, and thus – the development of the entire organization. So what are the common features of each generation?

  • Baby Boomers

This is the oldest professionally active generation. Its representatives were born between 1946 and 1964. They have been on the job market for several decades, and their hard work and persistence have strengthened their market position. They consider stability to be the most important factor in the workplace. Some representatives of this generation have worked most of their professional lives for a single employer. They do not like change, they are loyal and expect their employers to be loyal as well.

  • Generation X

People with rich professional experience born between 1965 and 1980. At work, generation X employees consider it important to have good conditions for personal and professional development, access to training, and the ability to decide about their own careers and the way they perform their duties. In life, they value stability, but not to the same extent as the previous generation. They are often very dedicated to their work. Overtime or completing tasks at home are not a problem for them.

  • Generation Y, the so-called millennials

This generation was born between 1981 and 1990. As they were coming into the world, the rapid development of digital technologies was beginning. Raised in the era of consumerism, they are very adept at using modern tools, which makes them flexible and mobile. They are active, educated, and speak Western foreign languages.
The most motivating factors at work are: the ability to influence their own career and its direction, development and professional challenges, high salary, but also the image of the employer. They strive to achieve a balance between private and professional life.

  • Generation Z

Generation Z are the people born after 1995 (sometimes 1990), the youngest generation entering the job market, born and raised in the world of modern technologies. They are often called digital natives. They are very ambitious, using the Internet and mobile applications is not a challenge for them. At work, they value development opportunities, a clearly defined career path, and high remuneration. They pay attention to the atmosphere at work and CSR activities undertaken by the employer.

How to handle these differences?

By having qualified HR staff and appropriately selected IT tools, we will be able to smoothly integrate different generations. One such solution is SAP SuccessFactors, whose features can be used to manage and meet the expectations of all employee groups.

The SuccessFactors Succession & Development service is useful when a company cannot identify future leaders within the organization. Support in effective talent management allows one to secure qualified and prepared successors for all key positions. This results in savings on unnecessary hiring processes and reduced employee turnover.

There is no success in an organization without the success of individual employees

SuccessFactors Learning supports the processes of employee learning and development. Especially appreciated by the younger generations who want to have a real impact on their own career path and the competence areas in which they specialize. The possibility of self-education in the right area and at the right place and time has a positive impact on the efficiency of employees and allows the employer to optimize the costs related to staff education.

Only full utilization of employee potential can enable sustainable company development. The SuccessFactors Performance & Goals service enables dialogue between the employee and the manager based on the principles of coaching and feedback. Such direct contact improves communication, allows for better understanding of the company’s goals and strategy. Moreover, understanding business priorities helps employees identify with them as well as increases their efficiency and commitment.

The areas of talent management, human resources, and soft HR skills are worth their weight in gold. There are many differences between us, but when properly managed, we have a chance to achieve our own goals and contribute to the implementation of the company’s strategy. And properly selected IT tools can make this much easier. You just need to know what we want.

Do you need a tailor made solution?
Joanna Jankowska
Marketing Specialist, Hicron

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