Am I alone in thinking that there is far too much being written about the differences between generations? Well I know I’m not completely alone as I know @TimScottHR and @HRtinker agree with me, as we have chatted about it on twitter.
Lots have been written about the generations. I’ll admit to sharing quite a bit of it myself. I was pretty interested in the whole concept when I first heard about it (years ago). Among lots of other things, we are told than Gen Y are different. They put their work life balance above pay and benefits. They are more interested in an organisation’s approach to CSR than any generation before them. Gen Z are going to be even more different still, apparently. As for what is coming after them, I’m not sure. I’ve seen references to Generation Facebook, Generation Connected; perhaps it will be like car registrations and we will start from the beginning of the alphabet again.
Are desires, wants and needs really that generation specific? I’m starting to think it might be just a little bit patronising to make such sweeping generalisations as those I have seen lately through a variety of articles, infographics etc. What is certain that in a few short years we will have five generations in the workplace, and we have to make space for the desires, demands and wants for every individual – without necessarily, in my view giving them labels, or indeed falling into the trap of pigeon holing anyone based on when they were born. Talent acquisition and retention, engagement and motivation will only be achieved by flexibility of approach.
But, perhaps it’s just my age……