The Strengths and Weaknesses of Every Generation in your Workforce

2 minutes   |  CAREER ADVICE

With four different generations making up your workforce, it can be difficult understanding what they all need and where they are best utilised. Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z each bring a different dynamic to the table but the only way to truly harness their potential is to understand their generational characteristics.

The strengths and weaknesses of the generations in your workspace:

BABY BOOMERS (born 1946-1964):

Strengths

  • Boomers are characterised as being workaholics who relish long weeks and overtime.1 They are more committed to their roles than any other generation
  • Baby boomers are considered good team players with 53% of organisations saying they work well with others2
  • This generation are regarded as making excellent mentors to their colleagues and juniors in the organisation3

Weaknesses

  • This generation has a preference for structure and discipline and are less inclined to welcome change4
  • Boomers are competitive so need recognition and rewards to keep them motivated to achieve more
  • Baby boomers are regarded as the least tech savvy of all generations, prohibiting their ability to keep up with developments5
GEN X (born 1965-1976):

Strengths

  • 70% of organisations believe Gen X are the best overall workers6
  • Gen X is committed to juggling work with family time, and favour work-life balance in an organisation7
  • Gen X is considered to be the biggest revenue generators overall

Weaknesses

  • Less than 40% of Gen X are satisfied with the senior management in their organisation8
  • This generation is less inclined to say something if they disagree with management than their successive generations9
  • Gen X value being able to do things quickly and are less inclined to spend hours of overtime completing something perfectly10
MILLENNIALS / GEN Y (born 1977-1994):

Strengths

  • Of all generations currently featuring in the workforce, Millennials are considered the most independent workers11
  • Millennials are concerned with ethics and the social responsibility of the organisation they work for12
  • Millennials have grown up sourcing information, they need to be left to create their own processes rather than being told exactly what to do13

Weaknesses

  • Due to their independent nature, Gen Y are not as interested in teamwork as other generations
  • Millennials do not have as strong a work ethic, with an average of 38.8 hours spent at work a week compared to previous generations who both average above 40 hours14
  • This generation is impatient when it comes to career growth. 71% are likely to leave before 2 years if they feel their leadership skills are not being developed
GEN Z (born 1995-2010):

Strengths

  • The most tech competent of any generation, members of Gen Z are able to pick on developments quicker than other employees
  • Gen Z are natural entrepreneurs, with 72% wanting to start their own business and hire people15
  • Described as the “always on” generation, Gen Z are able to multi-task unlike any other generation using up to 5 screens at once

Weaknesses

  • Gen Z are regarded as more cynical than their predecessors, favouring a realistic outlook over the idealism of Gen Y
  • This generation is not likely to show too much company loyalty, with 25% believing they should only stay in a job for a year or less
  • Gen Z don’t know much about a time before social media and easily accessible tech. This can make them very reliant on technology to solve problems for them

No matter which generation you belong to, you need the most up-to-date skills to stand out.

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