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Five Generations in the Workplace

For the first time in modern history, we now see five generations working side by side in the workplace and their expectations and motivations differ greatly. 

 In order to attract and retain the best talent, companies need to adopt a flexible approach to packages and benefits, to the point where an individual approach is often required. 

 ‘Traditionalists’, who make up only a very small percentage of the market place but are strong believers in an ‘honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work’.  Loyal and conformists, they value job titles and the pay package. 

 A larger percentage of the workforce are the ‘baby boomer’ generation.  These people are well established in their careers and still prefer monetary rewards.  However, they also value benefits such as flexible retirement planning as well as being motivated by promotions, professional development and a dedicated car parking space!

Generation X really break the mould as they are all about work / life balance.  They like to work independently, value mentorship and personal development.  Their motivations are less about the pay packet and more about taking ownership of something, flexible schedules, working from home and bonuses.

Millennials (Generation Y) are tech-savvy and are the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce.  Maybe perceived as less loyal than previous generations, they have no problem jumping from one organisation to another if the overall package is better.  Motivations include skills training, mentoring, feedback and company culture / values.  Teamwork orientated, this generation value inclusion and prefer tasks where everybody works together to achieve goals.  Flexible schedules, unpaid time-off and latest technology all matter to this generation.

And then there comes a completely new generation just starting to enter the marketplace.  With the oldest being around twenty-two, Generation Z potentially saw their parents struggle financially during the financial crash and therefore are more inclined to value pay packet and security.  Unlike Millennials, Generation Z prefer to work on their own and be judged accordingly; many have a strong desire to run their own business and will soak up knowledge, work hard and try new opportunities with their end goal in mind.  Being born into a connected world, these individuals are used to the constant updates from dozens of apps and message streams. Switching between different tasks and stimuli comes naturally to them.  This generation are motivated by pay package, social rewards, constant feedback and flexible schedules.  

With this vast array of motivations and clear generational differences, everyone involved in setting job descriptions, renumeration, management of staff and teams have to be mindful of each individual and work hard to ensure everyone feels engaged and motivated and their entire packages are relevant to them.

At TD Group, we are constantly working with and advising companies on job specifications, relevant rewards and benefits.  We understand the variances in the five generations, as well as the drivers that influence their decision to apply for different roles. We are happy to work with businesses to compile job descriptions to attract the best people, whatever their generation.

Have a position to fill?  Contact TD Group at hello@tdgroup.co.uk

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