Generational Perspectives In The Workplace

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The Arizona Association for Economic Development capped a recent Workforce Symposium with keynote speaker Robin Ozz, president of the National Association for Developmental Education and the director for developmental education at Phoenix College.

Ozz humorously shared the differences between the five generations in the workforce, what shaped them and what their values and attitudes are toward work.

She also offered some tips on how to deal with the other generations and maximize their integration in the workplace:

If you work with Traditionalists – ages 70-plus

  • Respect them.
  • Face-to-face communication is preferred.
  • Ask for advice, they have a lot to offer.

If you work with Boomers – ages 50s and 60s

  • Ask them for their opinions.
  • Give them chances to lead.
  • Emphasize their importance to the team.

If you work with Generation Xers – ages 35-50

  • Control any micromanaging.
  • Be available and sincere.
  • Reward with flexibility.

If you work with Millennials -- ages 20s and 30s

  • Ask for their ideas.
  • Pay attention to them.
  • Remember they are great at multitasking—and enjoy it!

If you work with Generation W/I/Net—ages 19 and below

  • Realize that their values and attitudes toward work are still forming.

And with all co-workers, regardless of age:

  • Teach them the hidden rules of the workplace, such as appropriate dress.
  • Remember there are commonalities between them and everyone wants to be:
    • Respected, remembered, recognized, and
    • Coached, consulted and connected.
Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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