Traditionalists vs Generation Z

We are living in an age where there are five generations in the workplace, now not uncommon for most medium-large sized organisations. These range from Traditionalists, i.e. those who were born before 1946, all the way through to Generation Z – the youngest generation at work, born after 1990. With longer life expectancies and older retirement ages, an employer needs to understand an individual’s needs and ensure a harmonious working team.

From a managerial perspective, creating a mixed-age team can prove very successful. As employees are at different stages of their lives, they hold varied opinions and points of view, equalling the most interesting results.

Outside of work, mixed generations are everywhere. For example, an underground tube journey in London will contain a broad range of cultures, generations and attitudes. Beginning a conversation in this environment can lead to a fascinating outcome. Likewise, in the workplace, everyone has different levels of experience and knowledge and using this to the organisation’s advantage is a wise move.

An issue which may arise is what is known as ‘generation tension’, where one age group have a lack of respect for another. Often, through the way Generation Z have been brought up, they can live to believe respect should be earned. As the most youthful age category, Generation Z are going to be beginning their careers and working with this in mind, would be a great tactic.

Communication in any environment is crucial and finding a way to effectively converse among generations is a skill which is down to both, the employer and the employee.

An employer should have a sense of understanding and value for their employee and encourage building strong relationships. HR surveys can be a great way to learn about current demographics and what an employee is looking to gain in their role.

For any further help with this matter, please contact Clover HR today. Call Michael on 01905 824051, 0121 516 0299 or email

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