Submitted by: Maxine Goulding, CSO – California Special Occasions Event Planner/Owner

Understanding the differences in generations and the value they add will become a key competitive advantage in any organization. For business success, we will have to learn to shift our marketing,leadership styles and approach to recruiting to stay relevant in this new marketplace.

Here’s a quick overview of the five generations and key factors for each generation by birth years:

iGen/Generation Z: born 1996 and after – This group has been raised on a Smartphone resulting in their ability to process information faster than other generations. They have a desire for quick, accessible answers (rather than a drive to think through problems) and informality in communications (both written and verbal).

Millennials/Generation Y: born 1977 to 1995 – This group is ambitious, always wants to know “what’s next”, and they love to multi-task. This generation works best in a collaborative, diverse and flexible environment where their work life balance boundaries are respected.

Generation X: born 1965 to 1976 – This group prides itself on working smarter, not harder and with greater output. They like to eliminate tasks, they want structure and direction. Give them projects, recognize them for results and don’t micromanage them in order to inspire loyalty and top performance.

Baby Boomers: born 1946 to 1964 – This group is driven, they work 60-hour weeks and they like doing quality work. They are diplomatic communicators that challenge authority, while valuing relationships and achieving results.

Traditionalists: born 1945 and before – This group respects authority, they are hard workers and their dedication to the company is first. They are very conservative and equate age to seniority on the job which is why they place a high value on the chain of command and stability within an organization.