Adapting to the Changing Workforce: The Facts you Need about Each Generation

Each generation has unique needs and aspirations in their careers based on their experience growing up and the current events that shaped their lives. Which groups are most loyal to their employers? How do employees from different generations wish to communicate? What are the forces that motivate them? Learn more about what defines these generations and how employers can exercise modern techniques to engage these different employees

Maturists, born before 1945, are committed to their jobs and careers; once they chose their job, they planned to stay in that job for the rest of their working life.

Engage this Generation
Employers should engage this group with face to face meetings and formal letters instead of the phone, email, or social channels. This loyal group makes up 3% of the workforce.

Baby Boomers still make up a significant 33% of the workforce; however, they are reaching retirement age, and this percentage will decline over the next few years. Baby boomers have strived for job security, and often spent almost their entire career at one, or just a couple of companies.

Engage this Generation
Employers can engage this group with face-to face or phone communication, but some online communication when required is also appropriate as baby boomers have become accustomed to with these means of communication. This experienced group’s eminent retirement poses a risk for employers, as they will take their skills and knowledge with them when they retire, leaving a gap in the workforce. Consider how knowledge can be transferred from this skilled group onto the next and offer the training and coaching the next generation of employees requires.

Gen X
Generation X currently make up the largest portion of the workforce, and, while they are loyal to their career path, they are not necessarily loyal to their employers. While Gen X are eager, driven and inspired to achieve goals, their workplaces must be motivating them with a fresh engagement strategy, otherwise they’ll look and find work elsewhere.

Engage this Generation
It is critical to engage this group in order to retain them, especially considering that, as baby boomers retire, Gen X will soon be the most experienced group in the workforce. They strive for work life balance and are comfortable using email and text messaging to communicate, though they still prefer face-to-face communication where possible.

Gen Y
Generation Y currently accounts for 29% of the workforce, and this percentage is rapidly increasing. This group are digital natives, and are completely comfortable using mobile and online technologies to communicate.  They also crave freedom and flexibility, and employers should engage this group with choice – both in the types of communication channels they use and the types of rewards they are given.

Engage this Generation
Gen Y prefers to work with an employer rather than for them, and seeks out employers with strong mentorship and career progression opportunities.  It’s important that employers invest in the training that this group wants, as Gen Y will fill many of the gaps in the workforce that retiring baby-boomers will leave.

Gen Z
Generation Z is the generation born after 1995, and currently holds part-time jobs or new apprenticeships. They are completely comfortable with technology, and enjoy communicating through hand-held devices and VoIP software such as Facetime. While they are predicted to be career “multi-taskers”, moving from organizations to smaller, pop-up businesses, the economic downturn will shape this group immensely, and they will seek security and stability in the workforce.

Engage this Generation
Get a proactive strategy in place to meet the needs of the next generation of leaders. Communication channels have changed drastically, and Gen Z will reply on mobile and online channels to share information. Consider how these channels can be used at your workplace so that managers can provide frequent, open communication with these employees and ensure transparency.

Now is a critical time for employers to act – as baby boomers leave the workforce and technology advances, organizations must ensure that they hire the right people to fill the gaps. Ensure that your organization is prepared to engage and retain the incoming workforce. Find out more by downloading our Class of 2014 Whitepaper.

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Achievers Employee Success Platform delivers proven employee recognition, continuous listening tools and timely coaching tips for organizations to give their people ownership of the employee experience and to drive organizational success. To learn more, visit


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