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From Baby Boomers To Millennials: Different Generations At Work

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Author: Future Manager Research Center

If you have never heard of Generation X, Millennials, or Generation Z, then you are probably a Boomer. If so, this word will seem unusual to you, but do not worry: all these categories can be distinguished very easily following a chronological order. Because of the different historical contexts in which these individuals grew up, we are able outline the approach that each of them has in the world of work.

 The first are the so-called Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 (and who have therefore fully experienced the economic boom from which the category takes its name). History speaks clearly as regards the events that took place in those years, twenty years of radical social, economic and professional change. The Boomers have experienced wars and conflicts, which is the reason  why they can be considered the true descendants of Stachanov, those who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty and work hard. Currently they are a very attractive category in the world of marketing, being gathered in that silver economy made up of people who have savings to invest.

Immediately after (from 1965 to 1980) there is the X generation or Xennials, so unfairly defined because they are considered as those who did not have a strong personality, as if they had nothing to say. The Vietnam War, the Chernobyl disaster and the Fall of the Berlin Wall are just some of the events that characterized this era. This is also the generation that has been influenced by the advent of the very first technologies, such as television, walkman and cell phone. However, they also have the misfortune of reaping the complex legacy of the Boomers, which has resulted in economic paralysis, rising unemployment and a consequent large public debt. The Xennials in the workplace approach the world of the Web discreetly, they are considered independent, loyal, innovative but also competitive, ambitious and meticulous.

That between 1980 and 2000 is the age dominated by Y generation, also known as Millennials, are the digital natives, the new workforce that has witnessed their parents’ unemployment, which has made Millennials extremely individualistic and demanding. Unlike the generations that preceded them, they seem to struggle to project themselves into the future and have a distant relationship with the company. On the other hand, they are a category that is not afraid of changing jobs, relying more and more on their technological capabilities.

As for the hyper-technological and more recent category of generation Z (born after 2000), more specific data are anxiously awaited, as the latter have just arrived in the world of work.

In conclusion, after having outlined this very varied picture, a question arises: “what is the most suitable way to manage a multigenerational workforce?”.