The Generation Game
Posted on 11th August 2022 at 11:18
Let's play The Generation Game!
There are now up to five different generations in the workplace who all have different values, beliefs and diverse styles of communication.
Traditionalists (age 78+) value authority and have a top-down management approach. They are hard working with a ‘make do or do without’ mentality
Baby Boomers (age 58 - 77) expect some degree of courteous respect to their opinions. They are a workaholic generation
Gen X (aged 43-57) are comfortable with authority and will work as hard as needed. They value having a good work/life balance
Gen Y or Millennials (aged 28-42) firmly believe that respect must be earned. They are tech-savvy and goal and achievement-orientated
Gen Z (aged 13-27) are the digital generation. They celebrate individuality and focus on their own ‘brand’. They are particularly concerned with skills development, stress management and emotional intelligence. How they feel is placed in high value.
For example purposes, imagine we lined up Lord Sugar, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett & Molly-Mae Hague!
Gen Z are shaping up to be a largely inspirational crew
They are fierce activists, advocates of sustainable plant-based food and more interested in curating their social media pages than stealing alcohol out of their parents’ liquor cabinets!
So what’s the problem?
Simon Sinek (2022) calls out ‘The Great Resignation’ as an indictment of decades of substandard corporate leadership and culture. To truly develop a competitive advantage through the delivery of operational excellence in 2022, Gen Z need to be engaged and it is going to take a real change in leadership behaviour and organisational communication to do this.
It is reported that up to 50% of Gen Z employees leave their roles before the end of their probationary period. This is having a massive financial impact on every sector when you consider the cost to recruit, train and replace members of your team. With fewer applicants per position than ever before, retaining people should be seen as one of the key priorities for any business.
It’s time to focus on Being Future Fit, Not Past Perfect
Gen Z are your workforce of the now and your leadership teams of the future and they come with a set of needs and wants different to anything we have seen before. They have grown up with information at their fingertips and in a world where social media gives them instant gratification & feedback. The pandemic disrupted their learning, both from an educational and personal perspective. At a time where routine and discovery were vital, both were taken away. They have a different way of learning, they are passionate activists and they need to feel that they are part of a cause fighting to make the world a better place.
What needs to change?
To recruit, retain, engage and develop the next generation, an awful lot must change when it comes to more traditional styles of leadership.
How you recruit is a biggie. Where do you advertise to attract the young talent you’re looking for? They’re not looking in the same places you were. They’re rarely on recruitment websites or Linkedin, but you’ll find them on TikTok & Instagram – even Facebook is a thing of the past for Gen Z.
Induction processes for the most part are no longer fit for purpose, with Gen Z learning in a totally different way. The point of an induction or ‘onboarding’ is to welcome, teach and develop your new starters, but the sad fact is that for many it puts them off and turns them away.
Think about how you communicate internally, compared to the teenagers you see interacting with one another in the street. It feels like a different language altogether sometimes! There is common ground and shared language, but that involves compromise and adaptation.
Behavioural skills must form the foundations of successful leadership in the modern workplace. There is no longer any such thing as ‘soft skills’. Building confidence and trust should be regarded with the highest importance, and come way before you start teaching practical skills.
And we could go on and on and on………….
What can still seem modern and new to the older generations, is just the way of life to the younger ones.
What's the solution?
Purple Story works with businesses to find solutions by offering Leadership Development Programmes, Future Leader Academies and engaging online E-Learning Programmes. Find out more about What We Do or Contact Us for a friendly chat
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