Five generations in the workplace and the basic characteristics of each

Cam Marston, the leading expert on the impact of generational change and its impact on the workplace and marketplace, could always go on the road as a standup comedian if his day job fizzles out. At Hood Hargett Breakfast Club’s March event, Marston entertained a captive audience with his insights on demographics with humor, stories and advice.

He began his presentation by identifying the five generations in the workplace and the basic characteristics of each. Tweeners are those born within five years of the start/end of a generation, and Marston noted that the Boomer Tweener Xers are the best managers.

He spent a good deal of time speaking about Generation X women, who hold the most buying power and influence today. Marston also noted that Gen X leaders tend to be distant managers, and they are driving a great deal of turnover in the workplace today.

When selling and/or recruiting the various generations, it’s important to understand what matters to each. To matures and boomers, credibility – based on your story and/or history – is most important. Generation X and millennials care more about how you will impact their future. Online first impressions are also becoming increasingly important, as younger generations look to buy from and work for someone they would like to meet.

Marston closed his presentation speaking about the iGeneration. While it is too early to know for sure, Marston believes this generation may have a remarkable work ethic. This generation thinks in the very short term, and they are focused on today and the now. When recruiting this generation, focus on their individual strengths and what you will do to drive their strengths today.

You can hear more from Marston each week during his podcast, What’s Working with Cam Marston.