With all the focus on Millennials ? how to attract them, how to keep them ? we tend to?lose sight of the fact that there is still a significant part of the workforce over the age of 35. Some are way over, even twice that age, but we?ll get to them in a minute.
Boomers have lost their status as the most populous generation in the workplace, but just barely. Millennials have only recently surpassed them. And then there are the neglected Gen Xers, who couldn?t even get a decent nickname, let alone sufficient recognition as they were squeezed between the Boomers and Millennials. Xers may get their day, surpassing the number of Boomers in the next 10-12 years, but of course by then the Millennials and the Generation Z group will be in full force in the working scene.
According to Pew Research, Millennials numbers have reached 75.3 million, compared with the 74.9 million Boomers alive in the US?today. Those Xers only number about 66 million. And a group still going fairly strong in the workplace, the Traditionalists, total about 29 million. Many of those Traditionalists are still working, still going strong in fact. They have much to offer the workplace, as long as the other generations can figure out how to communicate appropriately with them.
On the other end of the generational spectrum, Generation Z is coming. Everyone ? even the Millennials ? will have some adjustments to make when the Zers hit the workplace. They are being called the New Silent Generation, because most of their communication is through the non-verbal capabilities of their electronic devices.
Each generation tends to have a different outlook and approach to work, communication, family, and life in general, based on the environment in which they were raised, the level of technology to which they have been exposed, and the events of their history.
Focus on the Millennials, as they are certainly the up-and-coming group and they do present an interestingly different perspective on the work world. However, continue to acknowledge the need to adjust communications and workplace strategies for those 40, 50, 60 and even 70 somethings who are very much an active part of the workforce still. Lo, and those teenagers . . . be prepared for something totally new and different.
Are you and your organization communicating effectively across all generations? Are you ready for the Zers?