What influences different generations in the workplace?
The changing workforce has made for an altered reward structure for baby boomers, Gen X, millenials and Gen Y, according to this infographic

What influences different generations in the workplace?

22 Aug 2016

It’s fair to say the general workplace experience has changed over the past 30 years, but to whose benefit? An interesting infographic could hold the answer.

Nature vs nurture remains one of the oldest psychology arguments around. What do we inherit through our genes, and what do we absorb from our social environment?

In the workplace, that can translate in many ways, with those of an older generation perhaps valuing different things to those of a younger generation.

Future Human

However, not everybody agrees. AOL’s ‘digital prophet’, Shingy, recently told us of his disdain for the title, millennial, for example.

Millennials Baby Boomers Gen X Y Z

“They’re just young adults, they’re acting like young adults have always done,” he told us, at The Royal College of Surgeons. “The difference is their playgrounds are different than what we had. It is on a screen now, not the backyard.

By this logic, it’s the tangibles that have changed, not the attitudes, though perhaps it’s not as simple as that. A recent report into the fintech revolution we’re currently at the start of found how entire corporate structures are changing tack, aiming at younger generations due to their ‘digital native’ upbringing.

Millennials brand-free?

Free of the brand loyalty that often shackled their parents’ generation, under-35s are digital natives who are happy to try different things if they feel it will give them the best deal – so goes the logic.

According to EY, the use of fintech is skewed toward younger, higher-income groups. In its research, conducted towards the end of 2015, about one in every four respondents aged 25 to 34 had used at least two fintech products in the last six months, with 21pc of 35-to-44-year-olds engaging with fintech, and just less than 18pc of 18-to-24-year-olds.

If it’s a different, complicated world out in the wild, it must be a layered, varied experience in the workplace, too.

A new infographic from Silverdoor in the UK attempts to explain differences between four generations: the baby boomers (born 1946-64), Gen X (1965-80), millennials (1980-95) and Gen Z (1996-present).

Elvis to One Direction

Finding musical influences changing as Elvis and The Beatles gave way for Nirvana, Madonna, Spice Girls and, finally, One Direction, workplace expectations differ too.

While authority, pensions and recognition were the aims of baby boomers, a better work-life balance, family benefits and ‘corporate wellbeing’ are more important to Gen X, it seems.

Millennials want money, creative freedom, a fun workplace and work flexibility, while Gen Z workers want to socialise after hours, receive mentoring and gain from experience days.

The findings are clearly subjective, yet thought-provoking. How clean-cut is the break between one generation and another, one company and another?



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Main generations image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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