Baby boomers are a selected or designated group of individuals who were birthed in the period of post-World War II in the years 1946 to 1964 (Pappas, 2016). The name was derived from the fact that at that point in time, their world experienced a surge in the number of babies born. In the United States of America for instance, the first year of the baby boomers experienced the birth of about 3.4 million children which was a record number within the one year period. Per se, a record of about four million babies was born annually in the USA alone from 1946 to 1964 before a decline was experienced, and towards the end of 1964, a record of 76.4 million people had been born within the 22-year margin hence constituting about 0ne-quarter of the American population. In the contemporary society today, the baby boomers have shaped the society and cultural landscape for over 60 years and continue to have imperative influence as they approach retirement.
Following the end of the Second World War, many people were optimistic about the future hence the surge in population increase at the time. Most war veterans who had returned home were inspired by the peace prospects of the future hence had all the time to make babies. Most women who had been curtailed on their family roles with their husbands at war fronts and them working in the production sites for manufacturing of war materials were free to take family responsibilities after the end of WW II. Further, the ability of the county to focus on food production and economic growth saw the increase in the establishment in the number of family institutions and giving birth to babies. Economic prosperity, peace and free time fueled the existence of baby boomers who have invaluable contributions to the society today.
Baby boomers are never afraid to inject a hard day working. Most of the people in the workforce in this generational bracket have a self-worth from the type of hard work they give to their jobs thus professional achievements. In addition, the group is inspired by their past experiences of the great depression and the occasions of the aftermaths of the World Wards. As such, in principle, they would like to play by the rules within the organizations, taking orders and meticulously executing such orders (Ryback, 2016). They work with hierarchies and observes protocol in communications. It is also important to note that the baby boomers besides having a strong work ethics, they are also self-assured. Thus they are not afraid to question certain practices that are against their values or against the code of ethics of the organization if such malpractices are done either by junior officers to them or senior staff.
To manage such a group, the organizations need to plan for their retirement benefits and gratuity. They can easily be managed by having a simple work plan within their job descriptions and job specifications. Such plans stipulate what is to be done, how and when. It also gives the standard of expectation from them in work they deliver. Per se, the group in communicating to themselves, prefers the traditional modes of communication of letters, emails, and text messages. They have little time for social media as an interaction site, though they use it for production purposes.
The Generation X is also referred to as the post-boomers and were born in the years of 1965-1981. Kane state that over sixty percent of people under generation X attended college and are more educated than the baby boomers. They are professionally ethical and have advanced in the use of technology at the workplace (Kane, 2018). They have created a unique work-life balance, where a person can achieve professional growth and at the same time raise a family and do other personal matters too. According to Kane, by the end of 2018, generation X will constitute a total of 65.8 million of the Americans. At the workforce, they can be described as skeptical of the activities and traditional jobs are done by the baby boomers as they tend to challenge the system and increase creativity. At the workplace, they tend to value responsibilities and freedom, dislike the micro-management system at the workplace and also embraces the hand-off management system.
Kane, 2018 advances that generation X at workplace wants good savings into their retirement hence a lot of them are being concerned about the future. Many of them tend to be more aggressive when the future is at stake. However, some have found themselves in some financial difficulties to an extent that they have been forced to use some part of their retirement money. They are individualistic and have good work ethics. However, when they are in the course of their duties, they do not like strict supervision. This is translated that they supervisor do not trust their abilities to do the job. When given the job, however, they deliver good work even under little supervision.
In their interaction, they tend to use more technology than the baby boomers. They are in the social media, visit friends a lot and love the institution of the family. As managing such a generation is also not quite difficult but at the same time very sensitive. The generation X employees are very individualistic (Lesonsky, 2016). They can easily be managed if they are given the opportunity to take care of their work obligations independently as earlier mentioned. However, the most important component of the generation is that they watched their parents lose jobs during the great depression and also suffered the tough economic times of the 1990s.
As such, they do not entirely believe in the employment as the main source of income and definer of the future. Such a work-related philosophy makes them delicate for work environments. They are motivated by the flexibility of the work whereas they work, they can still get time off to attend to matters of the family. In addition, managing such a group would be easy if they are tasked in their areas of interests. Their passions will drive them to deliver quality work. As such, it will be easy managing them by putting them under mentoring program within an organization. If they are part of a larger plan by the organization for the future, the job security and better reward system will inspire them more to deliver their best for a firm.
The millennials are believed to have been born in the periods of 1980-2000. They are a lucky generation born and raised in the advent of increased digital technology and surge in technological use. The mainstream media have painted them as a lazy generation, self-centered and digital technology has played a significant role in shaping their attitudes, political ideologies, and cultural thinking. Millennials constitute a third of the labor force in the United States has a population of about fifty-three million in the workforce and are the most educated generation in the western world (Espinoza, and Ukleja, 2016). Their education status has made them be very competitive with the other previous generations and a combination of technological advancement in communications and their education makes them a key component of the labor market.
Millennials are said to be multitasking pros who are able to juggle so many things at a go. It is an ability that makes them best at a workplace since they can hand their responsibilities and also chip in when need be, on other duties within the firm. They have the ability to adapt to changing workplace needs and can specialize in several tasks. It also means that distraction is easy with the advent of the social media and texting which can hardly be separated from them. The connectivity and interaction of millennials are advanced through the provision of the social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp among other social media sites have eased communication and interaction of the generation. Such communication avenues are very dangerous if not closely monitored within the organizations, but can also be an asset to a firm if utilized. For example, if the firm does not control the usage of social media within the working environment, the millennials can spend most of the time on social media as opposed to working. However, the same sites can be used for marketing and enhance brand identity of the organization.
Millennials are free thinkers and enjoy the fruits of democracy and free speech in most countries globally. They would come out and express themselves on the issues that matter to the society. Such energy can be harvested and channeled at solving certain societal problems. According to Espinoza, and Ukleja, (2016), to manage the millennials, deadlines and targets should be set for them. Meaning that when a task is given, a deadline or a level of expectation is followed to limit them from self-distraction. Keeping the millennials busy by establishing daily and or weekly expectations is important since it will also raise their levels of quality delivery of work.
Additionally, millennials prefer instant gratifications and recognition. As such, to manage such a generation, an organization must have a well-organized reward system to compensate them for their hard work. Teamwork and team building will be paramount in organizing them to work best. Transparency is vital since they need an assurance that they have an honest and transparent relationship with the organization with their colleagues and bosses. Organizations that the millennials also prefer working at are those that secure work-life balance where they can work hard and play hard too. Thus organizations must devise means of accommodating such interests from the millennials.
Espinoza, C., & Ukleja, M. (2016). Managing the Millennials: Discover the core competencies for managing today’s workforce. John Wiley & Sons.
Kane, S. (2018). The Common Characteristics of Generation X Professionals. The Balance. Retrieved on May 31, 2018 from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/common-characteristics-of-generation-x-professionals-2164682
Lesonsky, R. (2016). How to Retain Gen X Employees and Why You Want To. [Online]. Small Business Trends. Retrieved on May 31, 2018 from https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/05/how-to-retain-gen-x-employees.html
Pappas, C. (2016). 8 Important Characteristics Of Baby Boomers eLearning Professionals Should Know. [Online]. eLearning Industry. Retrieved on May 31, 2018 from https://elearningindustry.com/8-important-characteristics-baby-boomers-elearning-professionals-know
Ryback R. (2016). From Baby Boomers to Generation Z. [Online]. Psychology Today. Retrieved on May 31, 2018 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201602/baby-boomers-generation-z