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Upskilling and Reskilling for Success with Multiple Generations in the Workforce

A few days ago while enjoying a cup of coffee (or lavender lemonade) with a friend, we started a discussion her daughter, who is in her mid 20’s and her work ethic. During our discussion, my friend expressed that she didn't observe the stereotypical traits associated with the "Gen Z" generation in her daughter's work habits. I shared with her that I thought that work habits across generations are influenced by various factors beyond just the time one is born in. These factors may include things like:


·      Modeled behavior from parents and peers,

·      Your environment, or,

·      Culture.

 

·      “Boomers are set in their ways.”

·      “Millennials don’t have work ethic.”

·      “Gen Z are glued to their phones.”

 

These are all stereotypes we have heard and used about different generations among us. When I facilitated the workshop, “Success Across Multi-Generations: Leveraging Differences and Strengths to Grow” this past January; we challenged the biases… although the group didn’t know it at the time.


With phrases like, “It’s a privilege to work” or "I value individuality," participants went around the room and stood next to the phrase they most identified with during their work life. When the answers were revealed, it was funny to see the faces of the 20 somethings, who identified with a traditionalist, or the Genex’er who had a global mindset, like the Gen Z group.


What can we learn from this? These stereotypes are biases, and we can benefit from each other by pushing ourselves to ask questions of our colleagues and actively listen to their insights. Throughout this month, we will further explore this topic, delving into the generations that present themselves in the workforce and explore ways to harness the strengths of our team for improved work outcomes.




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