Traditionally, organisations focused talent development programs on early career employees, accelerating their progression into more senior roles. However, with today’s organisations being flatter and less hierarchical, traditional definitions of ‘talent’ are constraining. Generation X, Y and Z all play different but essential roles in shaping the workplace, and we saw the consequences of keeping them apart during the isolation of covid, with younger employees missing the presence of role models and older employees lacking the input of fresh perspectives.
The workplace of today is a melting pot of generations, each bringing a diverse set of skills, experiences, and perspectives.
What does each generation have to offer an organisation and how can businesses harness the strengths of each group to drive success and innovation?
Born between the early 1960s and late 1970s, Generation X has experienced significant changes in the workplace throughout their careers. They bring valuable traits to work:
- Adaptability: Having witnessed significant technological advancements and societal changes, Gen Xers possess an ability to adapt to new challenges.
- Work Ethic: Known for their strong work ethic, Gen Xers prioritize commitment, dedication, and the willingness to go the extra mile.
- Leadership Experience: Many Gen Xers have gained substantial leadership experience over the years, making them valuable mentors and team leaders.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Growing up in a time of economic uncertainty, Gen Xers are adept problem-solvers, making them valuable assets in navigating complex business scenarios.
Generation Y (Millennials)
Millennials, born between the 1980s and mid 1990s have become a significant force at work, bringing fresh perspectives and innovation:
- Tech-Savviness: Raised in the digital era, Millennials have an innate understanding of technology, enabling them to contribute to digital transformation.
- Collaboration: Millennials thrive in collaborative environments, valuing teamwork and diverse perspectives in problem-solving.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: Many Millennials have a strong desire to pursue entrepreneurship and are keen on bringing an entrepreneurial mindset to their roles within organisations.
- Social Consciousness: Millennials are often driven by a sense of purpose and social impact, making them advocates for sustainability and responsible business practices.
Born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, the newest entrants into the workforce, Generation Z, offer a fresh perspective and a host of valuable qualities:
- Digital Natives: Having grown up with technology, Gen Z brings unmatched digital fluency, making them ideal for roles requiring data analytics and social media expertise.
- Creativity and Innovation: Gen Z is known for their creative thinking and ability to innovate, fostering a culture of experimentation within organisations.
- Diversity and Inclusion: This generation places a high value on diversity and inclusion, contributing to the creation of more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
- Resilience: Gen Z has faced numerous challenges and uncertainties – including starting their career during a pandemic – which have shaped their resilience and adaptability to changing circumstances.
What does this mean for organisations?
The multi-generational workforce offers a rich tapestry of talent, skills and perspectives that organisations can leverage to thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape. Generation X’s adaptability, work ethic and leadership experience, combined with Millennials’ tech-savviness, collaboration, and social consciousness, create a potent blend of experience and innovation. Gen Z, with their digital fluency, creativity, and resilience, inject a fresh burst of energy into the workplace.
To harness the strengths of each generation, organisations need to foster an inclusive and collaborative culture that celebrates diversity. Offering continuous learning and mentorship opportunities allows each generation to contribute their unique skills and perspectives. Recognising that talent can be nurtured and grown within each generation, and not simply for those early on in their careers, allows organisations to capitalize on the collective strengths of their diverse workforce.
Interested in finding out more?
TNM Coaching develops talent at all levels in the organisation, resulting in well-rounded, prepared leaders, equipped for whatever tomorrow throws at them.
If you would like to explore how we can support talent in your organisation, we’d be delighted to share our insights and experience with you – simply click on book a discovery call for a no-obligation conversation with one of our team.