Profitt Report: Three different generations, working under one roof

Baby boomers, generation X and millennials are all working together under one roof. Photo credit: Ted Eytan / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Many problems in the work place can be boiled down to one thing: bad communication. Learning to effectively communicate means learning where the other person is coming from.

“Don’t judge others the way you judge yourself,” said Suzanne Kart, a Delta College corporate services consultant. She uses this quote from her friend in her multi-generational workplace seminars.

The Saginaw Young Professionals Network brought her in to talk about how different age-groups can better get along in the office.

Here are the three generations we’re talking about:

-Baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964

-Generation X – born between 1965 and 1979

-And millennials – born between 1980 and the late 90s.

Kart said a big difference between these three generations is how we complete our work tasks.

“Gen X and your millennial cohorts are really much more outcomes oriented and they do see multiple ways to do things because they did grow up with technology,” she said.

Whereas, millennials think about the process much differently.

“I think our generation tends to be more, as long as I achieve the outcome, who cares how I got there?” said Nathan Breidinger, Saginaw Young Professional Network chair and a millennial. “Sometimes when we're asking questions about the process, it comes across as challenging authority and that's not really what we're doing, we're just trying to find a way to do it faster and more efficiently so we can all go home sooner.”

See the problem? The millennial sees a faster way to do things, the baby boomer might feel like their authority is being challenged and both have great points.

However, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that these are just generalities. Not every person is going to display the stereotypical characteristics of their generation.

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