Millennials and their ideals have become a hot topic in the workplace, as they are rocking the boat in multiple aspects. Because of this, conversation about the generational gap in the workforce is more prevalent today than ever as change collides with conventional paradigms. While many tendencies can be shared among generations, there are also multiple ideals that set each group apart from the next.
Generations and Their Values in the Workplace
While each generation has good work ethic and are driven for success, they individually may go about it their own way. Let’s take a glance at just a few characteristics of each living generation in the workplace.
Millennials – Many like to influence the terms and conditions of their job, which may rub some people the wrong way, but Generation Y is also very motivated by career developments, which drives productivity. Millennials are more connected to their employers and look up to those in leadership positions, even seeking mentoring opportunities with them.
Generation X – Unlike Millennials, Generation X more easily jumps between jobs and is looking for a more casual work environment. Generation X is also very outcome oriented and wants to get the job done and move on to the next thing quickly.
Baby Boomers – Work is their life, which in turn means there isn’t much of a work/life balance. Baby Boomers also value hard work and ambition, and in turn expect that from those around them. They are loyal to their team and want respect from younger colleagues.
Traditionalists – Loyalty, hard work, attendance, and honor are all values of Traditionalists. They are straightforward, follow the rules, and expect others to fulfill their commitments and honor their word.
The Millennial Influence on the Workforce
So why is Generation Y stirring up commotion in the workplace? First of all, the number of millennials is estimated to be approximately 75 million, which is just below the number of Boomers at 80 million. With that being said, Boomers are on their way out of the workforce while millennials are thriving and may seem to be overtaking Generation X. Some of their new ideas and practices that have been and continue to be introduced to the workplace have created unexpected trials. Change can be hard for some of the older generations, but the Millennials are bringing a multitude of effective practices in the ways that we do business. Millennials have brought technology to the workplace more than ever, which has transformed the way businesses communicate and operate, while also opening doors that weren’t available before. Generation Y is also using the concept of working in a group or team to accomplish a multitude of projects, which hasn’t been as pronounced in other generations preceding. Opportunities are knocking and the entrepreneurial nature of this generation is taking business to the next level. Now we need to figure out how to effectively combine this new generation with the others.
A business will reach it’s fullest potential when the traditions, work ethics, and characteristics of each generation can work together to create a successful combination. Every business is different in how they operate, whom the staff is comprised of, and what their mission and goals are, which means there is no one set formula to follow. First of all, don’t mess with something that isn’t broken. Modify the practices that need work and leave the ones that don’t. Also, take a little of the old and a pinch of the new, along with the concerns and ideas of individuals, both the positive and negative, to find what works with your specific business and team. Lastly, remind everyone to keep an open mind about any changes or decisions they may not agree with at first. Finding the perfect flow isn’t easy and will take work from every individual; but with a little teamwork, understanding and cooperation, you can find the perfect collaboration.
DMO’s and Meetings Planners
Destination marketing organizations and meeting planners are not exempt from the difficulties associated with a number of generations in the workplace. Those working in these positions not only have to consider the adversity amongst peers, but also midst their customers. DMOs have to be able to connect with a wide variety of age groups and walks of life in order to successfully draw people to their destination. Meeting planners also have to keep in mind the audience that they are planning for, as different events attract distinctive individuals, or sometimes a variety of persons, in which you have to appeal to them all. Having multiple generations working at DMO’s and as meeting planners can be a great advantage so that they can contribute to what is alluring to their own cohort. But, this brings us right back to the beginning of this article. No matter what line of work or industry you are in, figuring out how to combine generations and work as a team is going to be a feat no matter what.