Different Needs for Different Generations Essay

Today’s job market is filled with up to as many as four different generations. These generations include the Silent (Mature) Generation (Born 1933-1945), the Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964), Generation X (Born 1965-1975) and the Millennial Generation (Born 1977-1998). Depending on what generation you are, it makes a difference in how you react to and deal with people in the workplace. Since different generations have different needs, it is important as a Human Resource Manager / Manager to be aware of what these are. Below are each generation, with their work characteristics and approaches to their career needs.

The Silent (Mature) Generation is born between the years 1933 and 1945. This generation is considered a more “loyal” generation to their company. They are likely to stay at the same company for a considerable number of years. They want to make a lasting contribution to their employer. (Lancaster and Stillman) Recognition of a job well done plays a large part in motivation for this generation, although they would not ask for it. The Silent Generation are cautious of spending, respect the previous generations, and hold their experience as an important resource, (Noe, 453) The Baby Boomers are born between 1946 and 1964.

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They are largest represented generation in the workforce. Like the Silent Generation they are motivated by recognition, but are in need of it more often. Due to the large number of competition in the market, by the time they were seeking their career, Baby Boomers are hardworking and competitive. As members of the “me” generation, they are the first generation to question authority and go against the norm. (Noe, 453) The Generation X’s are born between the 1965 and 1978. Like the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation, Generation X’s are also motivated by recognition.

They also prefer a great deal of mentoring and training in their career. Generation X was the first generation to come from an independent childhood, where both parents usually worked. Because of this independence, this generation thrives in a more self-sufficient workplace. Gen-X enjoys a fun workplace, with emphasis on team work. Generation X hold work-life balance in high regard, along with status and prestige. This generation is more willing to change jobs to gain experience, and move upward, then the two generations before them. Noe, 453) The Millennial Generation is born between the years 1979 to 1988. This generation thrives on being able to recognize and meet their personal goals. They are extremely computer-literate and enjoy all things technical. This generation is full of great multi-taskers, with a need for challenging work. The Millennial Generation is group-orientated, globally concerned, and health conscious. (Noe, 453) References: Noe, R. (2010). Employee training and development. New York, NY: McGraw – Hill Irwin Starcevich, M. M. (2009). Coaching and mentoring: are generations expectations different?.

Retrieved from http://www. coachingandmentoring. com/generationsexpectations. htm Lanchester, L. and Stillman, D. (2010). When Generations collide at work. Retrieved from http://www. humanresources. about. com/od/conflictresolution/a/generationquiz. htm What the Generations want from their careers. (2002). Retrieved from http://www. careersystemsintl. com Findlay, C. B. (2007). Different generations hold onto their own values, expectations. Business First, Retrieved from http://columbus. bizjournals. com/columbus/stories/2007/11/19/focus3. html


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