Generational Differences in the Workplace

Traditionalists (born before 1946): respect hierarchies, very high firm loyalty, ethics highly valued, like face-to-face contact, strong preference for face-to-face contact

Baby Boomers (born from 1946-1964): likely to see job-changing as competitive disadvantage, prefer face-to-face contact, generally prize recognition in tangible form (e.g., corner office or money)

Gen X'ers (born from 1965-1979): value flexibility in the workplace, more willing to take reduced compensation for an improved work-life balance, less importance placed on ethics, relatively low firm loyalty, comfortable with electronic communication, prefer egalitarian leadership

Gen Y'ers or "Millennials"  (born after 1980): sociable; want mentoring, teamwork, and feedback; intolerant of drudgery, low firm loyalty, very comfortable with electronic communication, multi-taskers, expect egalitarian leadership