Millennials are different . . . and so is everyone else

By now, you?ve certainly heard that Millennials have a different way of thinking, a different way of doing business, and a different way of communicating. By now, you?re probably tired of hearing about Millennials, actually. Even the members of that particular generation don?t want to hear about Millennials, mostly because they don?t like the label and all of the negativity associated with it.

So let?s talk about everyone else. In particular, there is a new group coming into the workforce that will undoubtedly eclipse the Millennials in terms of discussion topics. Generation Z, aka iGen, aka the New Silent Generation, is going to bring an entirely new perspective to the workplace. This group has been immersed in technology since birth. They are being called the New Silent Generation because they don?t communicate verbally, but rather through posts, texts, and tweets.

Generation Z is on the working scene now in small numbers. Their force will grow substantially over the next five to ten years as more of them come of age, start their first jobs, or start their first businesses. Working for someone else may not satisfy them for long, as they will certainly be able to figure out a better way to do things more quickly than their ?elders? in the workplace.

Some of those elders are in the Gen X group, a generation that never really got much of a good nickname. Some called them Slackers but that didn?t last, fortunately. They, too, tend to look at the world a little differently. This group experienced some significant changes in technology as they were growing up and making their way up the ladder at work. They still tend to cling to email, although more and more are moving toward quicker, more efficient methods of communication.

And still kicking are the Boomers and the Traditionalists, with equally different mindsets. The eldest of the generations still active in the workforce prefer to . . . (gulp) . . . talk to people, face to face or on the telephone. Boomers are betwixt and between, open to learning the new while still secretly preferring the old methods of connecting with employees, co-workers, managers, and clients.

Certainly, all of these are sweeping generalizations. There are Boomers who act like Millennials and Gen Xers that act like Traditionalists, and all the possible combinations in between. Each group, though, does have its ?tendencies,? based on culture, upbringing, historical events, and, the biggie, technology.

Each group is absolutely different. What noise did the Traditionalists make when Boomers started using computers to communicate? Probably the same noise Gen Xers will make when their alphabetical counterparts, Gen Z, learn how to perfect the Vulcan mind meld as a communication method.

Millennials are different. They bring a different set of values and strengths to the workplace. So does everyone else.

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