Generational Perspective: Three Marketplace Characteristics Leaders Should Know

For the first time in history, the workforce includes five generations. Gen Y is increasingly powerful at a count of 80 million. The next largest group is the Baby Boomers at 75 million, and the generation in between, Gen X, is about 45 million. Traditionalists and Gen Z bookend these generations. 

Leaders want to take this cross-generational perspective into consideration, creating workplace cultures that are consistent with the views of all the generations in the workforce today.

A Cohesion Culture™ is an environment where all talent has a sense of belonging, feel valued and make a commitment to organizational success.  When all three elements are present, both the talent and the company benefit from increased performance.

A lifetime of events shape a generational perspective, but it is behavioral characteristics that provide true insight for leaders to understand and turn workplace environments into fully functioning Cohesion Cultures™. Here we will focus on the three characteristics that leaders need to know when creating today’s workplace culture that thrives, regardless of when the talent was born:

Characteristic #1: Entrepreneurial Spirit

Today’s talent expresses an entrepreneurial spirit, which is a mindset that actively seeks out solutions and change, instead of waiting to adapt to change initiated by someone else. This mindset embraces critical questioning, innovation, service, and continuous improvement. 

Leaders who embrace the knowledge generated by someone with an entrepreneurial spirit allow them autonomy. Subsequently, this action increases the talent’s value of belonging to the organization. Bottom line is that everyone in the organization benefits!  

Characteristic #2: Collaboration

The ground rule of understanding collaboration is the premise that everyone at the table has an equal voice. Talent within an organization wants to contribute. Given the opportunity, they will seek opportunities to share equally. 

Leaders want to think of their cultures as spaces where talent can freely exchange ideas, information, and solutions.

Folded into the characteristic of collaboration is trust. Trust results in the highest form of engagement when it is given away to others freely and only taken back when there’s a good reason to do so. Through the act of giving away trust, teammates form strong bonds that lead to a measurable increase in the collaborative process.

Characteristic #3: Purpose & Drive

The last of the characteristics is purpose and drive. Today’s talent seeks purpose and they want to know they have a place of community, a place of refuge, and a place of meaning. Added to that, when leaders explain the “why” behind the task or project, meaningful work occurs.

Are you explaining the “why” to your talent?