Frequently asked questions

Your questions answered

How do you manage five generations in the workplace?

To manage five generations in the workplace, it’s vital to have a good understanding of their different needs and attitudes. Workforce visibility is key, meaning data and insight that tells you who your employees are and how to get the best from them by designing a great employee experience that meets their needs.

Today, many employers have five generations of employees in the workplace:

  • Traditionalists have often climbed the corporate ladder in the same organization for their whole career
  • Baby Boomers are the generation that became known as workaholics
  • Generation X are often said to be independent and skeptical
  • Millennials (Generation Y) are hungry for new experiences – they thrive on teamwork and regular feedback
  • Generation Z are the newest workforce members – true digital natives

While every individual is different, there are common characteristics in each of these groups. Addressing them can help you embrace the breadth of talent in a multi-generational modern workforce and optimize workplace productivity.

Research by Sage People revealed that that a diverse workforce needs diverse management approaches. For example, Baby Boomers and Generation Y have contrasting workstyles and attitudes. People-focused companies may develop management training that raises awareness of these differences and teaches tactics to foster understanding and effective collaboration.

Another challenge can be different levels of digital awareness. Generation Z is digitally led, so providing information, communication and tools via mobile and other digital channels works well for them. But for traditionalists and baby boomers, this can be less comfortable. HR leaders need to acknowledge these differences in the modern workforce and take an inclusive approach to communication, giving support and education where needed.

According to the research, over 34% of companies are using People Scientists to help them understand and respond to generational and demographic differences in their workplaces. Using data insight, they can shape employee experiences and promote teamwork in ways that make the most of different generations’ strengths and talents and optimizes workplace productivity.

Our research uncovers insights from 500+ HR leaders on how they’re dealing with the HR to People transformation in the digital world of work – and how they’re using technology to get ahead. Back to top