Ben EubanksGuest Author

Breaking News: New Research on Generations in the Workplace

By | Ben Eubanks – Industry Analyst, Podcaster, and Influencer, Lighthouse Research

After looking deeply at the research on generations in the workplace, my team has come up with some findings that will help everyone to perform their jobs better. It seems like a new study comes out every day attempting to explain how to approach each generation of workers, what matters to them, etc. This blog is a synopsis and deep analysis of everything currently written on the topic.

Note: Please read this entire post for context.

Boomers

This group of workers has been in the workforce the longest and often holds senior level roles. There is a significant amount of institutional and tribal knowledge locked away in the minds of these workers. It’s up to companies to help find a way to get that knowledge out to the rest of the workforce while they are still around.

Actually, who cares what they think? They’re all going to retire soon anyway. Let’s just wait them out and we won’t have to listen to them anymore.

Gen X

Simultaneously voted most likely to be annoyed at Millennials because they have it so easy and equally annoyed at Boomers because they are still holding the senior leadership slots in a death grip. Gen X is really just full of people that look for ways to use generational research as a lever to get what they want.

Need to mollify them when pursuing a change initiative? Just turn on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or another inane 80’s movie and they will subconsciously zone out.

Millennials

Voted most likely to text during a performance review, chew with their mouths open, kick your puppy, or whatever else we can say about them to make them seem like the most uncivilized humans on the planet.

In fact, why are we even allowing these monsters to stay in the workplace at all? Let’s fire them all and look for a way to survive until a better generation comes along.

Gen Z/Whatever

Let’s just give up before they even get here. Life as we know it in the business world is going to cease to exist. Adios.

Good luck.

Note, this is completely and totally fake, and hopefully you realized that somewhere along the way. I’m trying to bring some attention to the ridiculous things that people say about generations in the workplace and how divisive they can be. If you agree, share this with a coworker or friend in the industry.

My real take on this topic? We can find ways to work with anyone, and their “generation” has less to do with it than their career or life stage. Instead of looking for things that divide us, let’s spend more time looking for common ground.

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Originally published by Ben Eubanks @LinkedIn and republished with kind permission.

I’m a human capital management industry analyst helping companies and vendors with strategy, content, and more. I have worked as an analyst for more than seven years with five of those in an independent capacity.

Previous experience working as an in-the-trenches leader in the human resources field has provided a broad range of opportunities to lead HR in smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. I’ve had my hands in pretty much everything at some point: recruiting, benefits, employee relations, coaching, and the rest of the spectrum you run across in an HR shop.

I’m also co-founder of the HRevolution movement, an event that has attracted hundreds of attendees from around the globe to work together and explore the future of HR, work, and business. During the evenings, I write at upstartHR.com. I’m an HR blogger with a passion for leadership and culture–two things that can make or break your organization.

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