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Businessweek Archives

Your Multigenerational Workplace


It is not unusual for us to find four generations of employees in our workplaces today. As a reminder, they are the Silent Generation, born from 1925-1945; the Boomers, born from 1946-1964; Generation X, born from 1965-1980; and the Millennials/Gen Y’ers, born after 1980. As research and experience show, there are many differences among these groups in terms of job expectations, perceptions, work style and approach, and career management.

There are similarities, too, however, which provide you with an opportunity to engage and motivate a singular workforce cohort, particularly in tough or uncertain economic times. According to four Fortune 500 case studies, when asked, "What influences you to join an organization?" the most important elements across all age groups were:

Mission, values, ethics

Pay and benefit package

Challenge and interesting work

Opportunity for career development

When asked, "Why do you stay with an organization?" the most important elements across all age groups were:

Challenge (the work itself: interest and variety)

Being treated with respect by managers and co-workers

An ethical organization

Clearly, there are universal and common features that resonate with all employees. By identifying and building on those common factors, you can create a more cohesive workforce where each generation feels recognized and appreciated for its contributions, and all are communicating with and learning from each other.

Mallary Tytel

President and Founder

Healthy Workplaces

Sioux Falls, S.D.


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