How to Play Together in Work's Multi-Generational Sandbox

A professional guide to the personalities and passions of the different generations at work.

by Caroline Dowd-Higgins • Member { View Profile }
Caroline Dowd-Higgins is the author of "This Is Not the Career I Ordered" and maintains the career reinvention blog of the same name.

· Even Boomers need to focus on continuing professional development so consider workshops, training, and individual coaching to keep you sharp, relevant, and able to do your best work.

· Recognize that the tech savvy generation grew up with the Internet and many have never seen a typewriter. Capitalize on their proficiency and encourage them to create systems and innovation for efficiency and productivity. Inspiring them with a challenge can lead to great things.

Generation Z represents the next frontier born from the early 2000s onward. Their work styles have yet to be defined but here are some things to keep in mind if you have kids born into this generation:

· Gen Z will experience “Velcro Parenting” where the amount of time they spend with their kids will reach new heights. 

· Gen Z will experience more significant parental unemployment.

· Gen Z kids will spend less time playing outside and more time indoors with structured activities.

· Gen Z will live by their iTunes apps and games.

· Gen Z won’t have to argue with their parents to get a cell phone. All kids under twelve are predicted to have cell phones so they can communicate with family anywhere.

At the end of the day, we all have to co-exist in the organizational culture so understanding what drives each generation is the first step toward professional peace and productivity. It should not be an “us against them” generational mindset since we are all in this together. It is important to define expectations and hold all generations accountable. Clarity of mission is essential for building and retaining great talent. Take some time to consider how you can learn from each other, and play well in the multi-generational sandbox.



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